It's Only Rock'n Roll
Tim Burgess (warmup) : 7:25pm - 8:15pm The Rolling Stones : 8:47pm - 10:35pm
Although there were no real surprises in the setlist, the show rocked very well from Street Fighting Man until Jumping Jack Flash.
No Midnight Rambler or Can't You Hear Me Knockin' this evening... but Loving Cup was just so sweet
Keith took lead vocals for The Nearness Of You [best version of this song I've heard on this tour] and Before They Make Me Run followed. You don't see Pierre de Beauport often onstage but between songs, he's just tuning guitars and he does make a gig much easier for Keith.
Then it was over to the B-stage for Mannish Boy, IORR and Brown Sugar before disappearing from view and reappearing for the final encore on the main stage. By the way, it was the first time that I saw Charlie giving away an autograph on the catwalk because he normally just walks straight on.
JJF ended the Wembley Show with red paper thingies all over the place. Keith, Mister Pirato himself... thanks in putting such a nice shirt on. Keep on rolling
As usual, the first few songs were big hits and came out as expected, real crowd pleasers. Then we were treated to an Exile showcase, with Live With Me and Loving Cup both taken out and given a rare dusting, plus Rocks Off (more often played and a personal fave). Mick was on great form - let's face it, he carries the show. I thought that Ronnie started out looking a bit pissed off but he bucked up a lot after a few tracks and a big hug from Keith!
On the subject of which, it was good to hear The Nearness of You - finally. Before he sang it, Keef approached the mike, clearly enjoying his moment (perhaps aided by some herbal remedies) saying that this was the part of the show that wasn't rehearsed and nobody - not even he - knew what the first song would be. After Before They Make Me Run, the show really moved into top gear with an awesome Sympathy and a truly excellent Paint It Black, which went down a storm with the crowd. The band intros were good - with Ronnie Wood getting some special chanting of approval. Next up were two more big ones: Honky Tonk Women and Satisfaction.
Onto the small stage. Unfortunately the sound where I was came acrosss as muddy so Mannish Boy and the other mini-set songs (IORR, Brown Sugar) didn't come over so well. Then it seemed to be all over as they disappeared from view, only to return from the main stage a few minutes later with a blisteringly loud - and fast - Jumpin Jack Flash, in a blizzard of confetti.
After that, group hugs all round and a swift departure.... until Monday, when they'll be back for more!
We can't and we will not understand what all this criticism is about. These people just copy the intellectual heritage of some great guys. As Jack Nickolson said 20 years ago: "Some artists' work speaks for itself, and some artists' work speaks for its generation". And another qoute Keith: "You can put together five musicians that are much better, but don't have the same success." And another one of him about his biggest unfullfilled wish: "I wanna see the Rolling Stones on stage. I just want to know what the fuzz is about."
Thanks. Enjoy all the Shows you can get (Maybe Keith survives us all, but you can't bee too sure).
After 10 minutes lights went out, Keith came walking on stage and commenced Street Fighting Man. But (again) he messed up the intro, and Jagger was gesticulating heavy to keep the song going and was finally able to start his singing. The first songs were ok, only Ron was hard to hear, and Keith's guitar sounded muddy, and in the beginning was not nice to listen to. On the other hand I could here the back up vocals very well, especially Chuck's. Mick apologised for the rescheduling of the concert, apologies accepted Mick, but I could make it, I felt sorry for the people who were not there because of all the reshuffling of the dates.
Live with me is always nice to hear, then came Lovin' Cup to my surprise, as part of the Exile set. It was a bit sloppy but who cares, it's a great song, the brass was very good in this song. Only they must practice more for the ending of the song, Mick was singing his last notes, but the rest of the band kept on playing like they didn't notice what was happening, so Jagger communicated with Chuck and he gave the signal to end the song more or less. Mick spoke something to Chuck and said something to the audience in a sort of " sorry about that" manner. It was fun.
Rocks off was great, but Keith didn't play a few chords at the end, because he picked up a shawl or something that was thrown on stage, so the drive of this song at the end was less then it could have been, lacking Keith's guitar for some moments, so Keith: please wait with picking up things from stage until the song has finished allright ?? Also during LC and RO the audience was a bit lame, probably as they don't know these songs too well. But with Tumbling Dice things were getting better and better. The crowd really love this song, so they got in a good mood.
Keith played Nearness to you, which was very good, and BTMMR. Then lights went out for Sympathy, and by then the crowd really got into it, and also from this point the sound was turned up quite a lot, and from then on it was really party time ! So Sympathy, Paint it black, Honky tonk Women and especially Satisfaction the band played furious like it would be there last concert (fortunately it isn't), and Mick was working hard, and putting in all the energy that he got from the crowd in this songs, it really was fantastic to watch this and be part of this.
Then it was on to the B stage, because I had a seat in the middle I had a perfect view on this stage, I feared that the sound would be worse than the previous songs on the main stage, but this was not the case at all ! The sound and the playing of the three songs on the B stage was so good, so LOUD and therefore so ROCKING that this was one of the best experiences I have ever had with the Stones. I was completely blown away by this lesson in Rock and Roll in its purest form. And then also the perfect encore JJ Flash. Ater it all ended I walked to the tube station, and looked at my watch, it was only 22.50, but in my remembrance this concert will never stop !
My brother threw his shades onto the stage and Keith swept them aside with his foot to place them next to his foot peddles! I wonder if he's wearing them now?
If anyone recalls two very drunk 20-somethings with bald head's who were falling all over the show ala 'Ab-Fab' fashion then that was my brother and I. Sorry if we pissed anybody off.
Can't wait to see the band again (hopefully they'll continue) and am about to start investing in more Stones albums. They kicked serious ass and I feel "uplifted" as a result of seeing them. Thanks guys. 10/10.
PS: Just how amazing was that version of 'Paint It Black'??!! Unbelievable. . . . .
Thanks to Iris Nölle-Hornkamp for news links!
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It's Only Rock'n Roll 2003 -
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