It's Only Rock'n Roll
Primal Scream (warmup) : 6:55pm - 7:45pm The Rolling Stones : 8:25pm - 10:30pm
Right from the off the crowd were into it dancing in the aisles, in their seats, singing along and well just going nuts.
As there was no breeze in the stadium the sound quality was excellent except for the b-stage where Charlies drums sounded muddy with not enough 'punch'.
The highlights are as follows, Salt of the earth (hadn't heard it on this tour and it was great), Miss you (again first time on this tour), Rock me baby (with Angus and Malcolm young, great guitar playing and a fine false ending), Street fighting man (Mick missing his cue at the beginning and great extended jam session at the end), Midnight Rambler (it's just so great to hear it live).
Well to sum up, this was a great gig and The Stones managed to make me feel I was in my living room but sharing it with 55,000 fellow fans.
The Tour itself for me has been superb, I haven't been to a duff gig they've all been excellent for their own various reasons. Paris, Olympia, small venue, great setlist and they rocked. Wembley Arena x2 for the b-stage experiences, oh wow still highlight of the tour for me. Twickenham Stadium x2. For proving they can turn a Stadium into an intimate venue. Thanks to the Stones for 5 great shows, thanks to all the fans I have met. You Rock!!!
The effect is electrifying - it continues for several minutes as the crowd works itself into a frenzy; something has to give, like a pressure cooker about to explode.........and then.........wham, Keith Richards centre-stage, white light picks him out as the first notes of Brown Sugar burst through the air.
The crowd's frenzy is sated, relief and celebration as one - The Rolling Stones are here and the stadium rocks.
Openings to a Stones' show never fail - this was as good as any.
The show itself - very good in my view, the boys seemed to be putting in that bit more into their last show on home soil. And everyone was on their game tonight - Keith and Charlie especially strong. Acoustics a little patchy from my position left hand side from the stage, half way down the stadium.
But - no-one, but no-one can put on a show like The Rolling Stones. They are sanspareill.
Highlights - a totally unexpected "Salt of the Earth" with great intro and vocal from Keith, "Rock Me Baby" really rocked - the impact heightened by the two AC/DC guests whose guitar playing inspired Keith and Ronnie to really let rip, a great "Slippin Away" and "Sympathy for the Devil". Mick........ as usual the centre of attention, worked the crowd as always quite brilliantly......... vocals strong through the show.
10.30 - the curfew time - in days of yore I've no doubt their regard for such an imposition would have been simple and to the point - ignore it. Not this time - the show draws to a close with a rousing encore, Jumpin' Jack Flash. Last bows, fireworks - a totally satisfied crowd.
Another day, another show by the world's greatest rock n' roll band.
Keep it going.........please !
The atmosphere outside the ground was one of the friendliest I have ever seen at a rock concert. It was a great mix of families with young children, to aging rockers and hippies. The atmosphere in the stadium was electric as it getting towards the start time, and as the entrance music hit the crowd went bananas.
As usual, Brown Sugar was great with the crowd really getting into it. Mick was urging the crowd to join in, and they didn’t need to be told twice. Its Only Rock N Roll was also as great as ever, with Mick’s vocals being in fine form.
As soon as Mick was handed his Telecaster, everyone knew it was time for Don’t Stop, which is fast becoming the fans main sing along song in the place of You Cant Always Get What You Want. Keef and Ronnie were on particularly fine form tonight and the big screens on the stage set were perfect for the Headstock cam. Ronnie defiantly seemed to be getting into the swing of things, with his famous grin looking wider than usual.
Miss You was particularly good tonight, but the main surprise was Salt Of The Earth. The whole crowd were surprised by this surprise admission to the set list. Rock Me Baby, with Angus and Malcolm Young was also a lift to the crowd. It seems like Mick was really guilty for having to postpone the show in August and was pulling out all the stops to make it up for it. Midnight Rambler was superb and was possibly one of the best-performed songs on the set list tonight, and Tumbling Dice was great as ever.
After the introductions, Keith took the microphone, and was great on Slipping Away, but it was far outdone by Before They Make Me Run! This was SUPERB tonight, and totally blew me away. Every word was sung on-mic tonight, which was a bonus because we all know about Keef’s habit of wondering off of the mic for a verse or two.
Sympathy For The Devil was also brilliant, as were the B-Stage set list. Respectable was good, and You Got Me Rocking had the crowd on the seats…literally.
Gimme Shelter and Honky Tonk Women both had the usual greatness that we have come to expect, but the whole crowd were fooled with a fake start to Start Me Up. Satisfaction was brilliant tonight, with Mick’s vocals being particularly crisp. I think that during satisfaction a lot of the attention was on the guitars. Keith was playing a silver telecaster with pink scratch plate and neck. Ronnie’s guitar was a stratocaster, but with Woody and a picture of Woody Woodpecker on the neck.
The Encore, Jumping Jack Flash was superb, and the fireworks display and pyro’s at the end was well worth straying in your seats to watch. The applause at the end was deafening, but who can be surprised when the best Rock and Roll band in the world has just given 55,000 fans a great show and lost of brilliant memories…Thanks for a great show guys!
I honestly thought saturday was even better than the first Wembley show: a setlist that catered for both the tourists and purists; great sound, and the band, particularly Jagger intent upon making up for the cancellation a few weeks back, in much the same way as they did at the re-scheduled Cardiff show in 1990.
The main highlights for me were Keef missing the opening chord to "Brown Sugar" by a good three frets, Jagger launching a huge ball of phlegm into the drum-riser in between songs, Lisa's mini-skirt, and possibly the greatest version of "Midnight Rambler" I've ever heard, bootlegs included.
Probably my last Stones gig, although that'll probably be my fault rather than theirs.
From the moment, Keith struck-up, with the opening riff to Brown Sugar, the boys hit the floor running, and never let up for the full 2 hour set. We were well and truly compensated, for the 11th hour cancellation, last month. There was something for everyone:-
the greatest hits "warhorses", for the casual fan and for the"die-hards", we were treated to Salt of The Earth, Midnight Rambler and a brilliant version of Rock Me Baby, backed by the Young brothers from AC-DC.
The whole band were on form and enjoying themselves - the crowd were up for it, and it was more or less the perfect stadium show. (The only downer, being an absent Bobby Keys).
If you were fortunate to be at Twickenham on saturday night, and didn't enjoy the show, you need to check your pulse.... cos you're probably dead.
Thanks to Iris Nölle-Hornkamp, Joelle Bonnet, Joe Deegan Mario Dunn and Jan-Henk Zandberg for news links!
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It's Only Rock'n Roll 2003 -
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