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Mick
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Ronnie
Wood
Keith
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The Rolling Stones
Rod Laver Arena
Melbourne, Australia
Thursday Feb. 27, 2003

The set list

  1. Street Fighting Man
  2. Start Me Up
  3. You Got Me Rocking
  4. Don't Stop
  5. Monkey Man
  6. Ruby Tuesday
  7. You Can't Always Get What You Want
  8. Midnight Rambler
  9. Tumbling Dice
    --- Introductions
  10. Thru And Thru
  11. Happy
  12. Sympathy For The Devil
  13. Gimme Shelter
  14. Honky Tonk Women
  15. Jumping Jack Flash
  16. Mannish Boy (B-stage)
  17. It's Only Rock'n Roll (B-stage)
  18. Brown Sugar (B-stage)
  19. Satisfaction (encore)

Show time: 9:30pm - 11:25pm

Another great show in Melbourne. As the first Melbourne show was so loud, I had brought earplugs for tonight, but when they did Ruby Tuesday, I had to take out those earplugs for a while!

More soon...

27-feb-03 - 11:55pm
IORR/Bjrnulf



Review by Ty Richfor

Dating back to the 70's, this was the 37th time I've seen the Stones live, and the second time on this tour (Boston Orpheum being the first). While the show started off in typical fashion, we were quite excited when the boys broke into Ruby Tuesday, I believe for the first time on this tour. It was a beautiful version of a beautiful song. The boys seemed right on and sharp, and enjoying themselves quite a bit. I felt that the crowd was right into it, though perhaps not to the extent as some American audiences.

Many are talking about their disappointment with the setlist. While Ruby Tuesday was great to hear, we've heard it on previous tours, though certainly not a regular. We're still getting that core of about fifteen songs played every show, so there's not much room for surprise. The Stones have said they lose the audience when they play rarities -- but I say how about reaching some sort of compromise to placate the fans that follow you around the world. Some regulars I spoke with said they feel things are getting stale. Let's hope that when they head to Europe they get a little more daring. It hurts to think the boys could be perceievd as boring. Sure, they sound phenomenal, but when you're playing mostly the same songs every single show, it's hard not to. All this said, I still get shivers every time they burst onto the stage!


Review by Bjrnulf Vik

Rod Laver Arena is made for tennis tournaments. It is a lot lower than most arena's the Stones play. Therefore they could not fit the screens like they usually do behind the stage. The screen is lowered to the stage floor, and it is a lot lower than usual. This makes it more intimate. The capacity is 14,000 people. All seats are great in this nice and small arena.

Following the extremely loud show on Tuesday, I brought earplugs for this show. Sure I should use them for every show, but usually they don't play that loud.

The crowd loved the opening with "Street Fighting Man" and "Start Me Up", but as I was looking around, it seemed like most people were sitting down through the entire show. The people on the floor however were all on their feet all through the show. But you don't have to stand to enjoy a show. To me it sounded like everybody was having a great time.

As "Monkey Man" went on without Lisa, I was sure she had a cold and could not make it for tonight. She might have been off-stage for the first few songs like the set list say, but I did not hear her voice.

Ruby Tuesday was great. The moment I heard the intro my earpluge were gone. I just had to get this song pure and clean, absolutely no degeneration of the sound. They might play it every night, I would not mind. But like with all great songs, it feels like it is over shortly after it is starting.

"You Can't Always Get What You Want". And Lisa is out to sing. Nothing wrong with her voice for sure. May be she was running late. She is changing hair style every night. Tonight she has got the new short hear, the real one I believe, while the Tuesday show featured a large afro style hair, and before that a Tina Turner look.

Mindnight Rambler was to be the 10 minutes song tonight. The band was collected in front of Charlie for most of the song, like that was all the space they had and needed. Ronnie, Keith and Darryl were all shoulder by shoulder playing Rambler. This gives you the club feel even if it is on the big stage. Mick did some great dancing. Even the dancing on Out Of Control is nothing compared to what he did tonight, as he kind of duck-walked and danced his way with great gestures all the way towards us on the far Keith side. Also, he made a lot of eye contact, which is great. He may still throw all his guitar picks onto the stage rather than into the crowd like Keith and Ronnie does, but catching Mick's eyes is great these days.

Mick kept dancing and driving the show hard. It seemed like he never got tired tonight.

"Mannish Boy" on the B-stage was raw and real. And finally we got a true combination that makes Like A Rolling Stone redundant: IORR and Brown Sugar. Again it was hot around the small stage. Mick played to his daughter who was sitting in front of the small stage, and he was even more wild than usual, showing his best bits.

Satisfaction was the encore. And as the final bow appeared, I realized how great the show must have been to everybody in the crowd. Nobody wanted to leave. Imagine 14,000 people standing, making an ovation, crying for more, and as the Stones have just left the building, they simply turn on the lights. Someone should have called them back for another encore tonight. Such a great crowd deserves another encore.

But we will have to wait until Saturday, when the Stones will give us another 20 or so songs before they leave Melbourne for Brisbane.


Review by Roberto De Tuoni (Holland)

Opening band Jet got better and better through these gigs, gaining confidence each night. I really hope the Stones would bring them over to Europe next summer.

The Stones just started where they finished last Tuesday, with the same groove and energy, but with a totally different set list. I thought yesterday's was Mick's night. He worked hard to excite a sleeping crowd and deserve any credit as the best front man in rock's history. Anybody else would have got depressed facing the Melbourne crowd, but he jumped, shook his body and came out with some amazing falsetto scream during Monkey man and Rambler. He tried twice to have the crowd singing along during You can't always get what you want, which was the turning point in Sydney, but the reaction was rather pathetic. I was on second row in Ronnie's side, but I felt like in a wax museum, being the only one jumping, singing and wawing my Dutch flag. Keith did a superb TaT and a rocking Happy, and I looked with envy at Keith side of the crowd on their feet having a good time. On Ronnie's side almost everybody was seating down, including a good 2 thirds of the front row! To these people I say: stay home and watch a DVD! For how much I loved this country and the kindness of the people, I suggest a good rock education to the local school system before the Stones come back touring.

I particularly liked the b-stage. I think Like a rolling stone is redundant in a Stones concert. They can do a good version, but Mick doesn't have the sneer and moral authority of Bob Dylan in singing it and they have so many great songs to play in this intimate part of the set, like Mannish boy, which brought some memories back from MSG last September, or IORR, which I think works better on the small stage.

A final line about the Stones behaviour on Stage: having said of the amazing Mick, and not forgetting Charlie keeping the beat like a "deasel drumming", Keith remained a lot at the back and didn't move around as much as in previous gigs (I cannot complain though, having slapped hands with him at the b-stage), but Ronnie made up for it. He was nutter than usual, having a lot of eye contact and chatting with some guys at the side of the stage (the only 5-6 people standing on teh side seats) and with me at the front. Mick got even a bit annoyed at his showmanship at the beginning of Ruby tuesday and Ronnie's response was a funny mimicking of him as soon as he started singing. He might be a nut case, but we love him. In nights like this, being in front of Ron Wood is just priceless.


Review by Leo T. Ishac, Melbourne

What can I say? The 2nd night in Melbourne and what a sharp contrast from the earlier gig! Unquestionably this performance had that missing raw edge and exhilaration that makes one night standout from another on any given tour. The 1st night was indeed a great performance but not one that would have stuck in mind in years to come as being one of those rare concert experiences. As a comparison, when some close friends and I witnessed the Page/Plant gigs in Oz in early 1996 we all concluded that the 2nd night in Sydney was the best of that tour. From the first sighting of seeing Plant walk out onto the stage wearing the frilly puffy (white) shirt (Seinfeld influence?) to the opening cord by Page for the start of Babe Im Gonna Leave You then right through to the concerts ending, that night will always be remembered for its specialness. This is how it will be for last nights Stones performance. I was pleasantly surprised to see and hear that there was still that Stones raw edge to their music. I must admit that after viewing the 1st night I just didnt expect to be experiencing a set like last night. I was hopeful but not optimistic as it did appear on first glance that the lads were to perform on this tour in a very polished and professional manner rather than cutting loose and showing us they still possessed that primal edge to their music and live concert performances. Thankfully I was to be proven wrong.

One cannot compare this Stones performance to those of the early 70s as that period had its own distinct sounds but certainly for a performance in modern times last nights event goes down in my books as the top two concerts I have experienced in the last 20 odd years. And yes, it stands side by side with Page/Plants 2nd Sydney gig. Its hard to explain in words why this performance was so distinct from the 1st night but it was, and for those of us who frequent concerts we all tend to get a feel overtime for those few rare concerts which leave a lasting impression on us. The vibes that came out of that arena from the very start to the conclusion of that show overflowed with a sense that we were indeed witnessing one of those few rare concerts that will be relived many times over in the future. The 14,000 odd guests who were there Im sure would agree on my assertions.

The group of family and friends that I went with all came away with the exact same conclusion that this set was one out of the box from start to finish. The audience certainly seemed to thoroughly enjoying this show much more than on the 1st night. It had nothing to do with the numbers they played or didnt play; it was just a feeling that this nights performance overflowed with that very rare sense of raw, out on the edge rock performances that we very rarely get to see these days. The band did appear more relaxed and appeared to play with more passion and not as precise and structured as on the 1st night. Whereas the 1st night was note perfect and faultless it didnt lift up to that next level of being rated a long lasting memorable performance, as it appears the 2nd night has. My friends and myself all agreed that the 1st night was certainly a great performance and not surprising considering the professionalism that the Stones exude, but we also fully agree that this 2nd night held our attention and senses as we witnessed the true Greatest Rock N Roll band that has endured decades of changes. We all can talk about which numbers should have been played and which ones should not have been, but in this instance the overall performance left all and sundry satisfied that we got more than what we paid for. Yes, it would have been great to see more encores and a longer set but thats an analysis and reflection we make after a concert has finished but Im going by the feeling I and others around me had during the actual concert. We all agreed that it was everything we ever wanted and much more.

The sound system this night was again the only area where Id be a bit critical. This time the sound from the main stage set was a tad louder than on the 1st night. So much so that our chests were thumping as the band rocked away. The mix again was slightly lost because of the volume and the stereo sound was not as clear at it could have been. The vocals werent buried in the mix as much as it was on the 1st night but still it could have been improved a bit. However the sound from the small stage was at the precise output level and mix. In all aspects it was picture perfect for a total aural experience. My friends and I all commented and agreed that it would have been amazing to see the whole concert from just the small stage as it would have been more intimate and also the sound was more spectacular. Having said that, the sound overall never distracted us from the total enjoyment of the performance and its just a comment made on reflection.

I told my brother and his girlfriend who went to last nights gig that they were very lucky to have acquired tickets to the 2nd nights concert and not the 1st as he had only intentions of going to one concert. He missed out on getting tickets for the 1st night, which at the time annoyed him, but he easily managed to buy a ticket for the 2nd gig. What was an initial disappointment has now become a lasting and memorable bit of luck! Of course had he attended the 1st night no doubt they would have been satisfied but if he had heard me rave about the 2nd night then he maybe would have been a bit peeved for not buying that extra ticket.

Once again the Stones prove to their fans and critics why they have endured for such a long time in one of the most unforgiving industries. There are not many bands around who could put out one tenth of a performance as the Stones did on the 1st Melbourne gig and certainly I could count on my left hand only a small number of artists who could deliver a set like that I experienced last night. Many critics keep asking the same old stupid question as to when will the Stones retire. Well, as long as the lads continue to have the same fire and passion for writing and performing great music Id say to these same critics to go and get yourself a job where you could give many 1000s of people around the world as much pleasure as what The Stones do!

One wonders what highlights Saturday will bring.




Review by Craig Stevens

Ever since I saw the Stones in Adelaide on April of 1995, I have been anticipating the next tour. Unfortunately the Bridges to Babylon tour didn't reach our shores so I was itching with enthusiasm for the 40 licks tour. I lobbied hard to get the Stones to go to Adelaide but I guess financially it just isn't worth it. It was no big deal for me to travel 900 kilometres to Melbourne though!!

The show was awesome. In comparison to the 1995 stadium show, I think the music was much tighter and more professional but I do think the band, and especially Mick, works better on the really big stage in the arenas. Ronnie played noticably better this time and there is no doubt the band is improving with time. They continue to push our perceptions of what a rock and roll band should be and how long they should play.

With such a huge song history, there was no pleasing everyone. I really wanted to hear Miss You but was not at all disappointed it didn't make the show list really. It was a good mix of old fav's, new stuff and some bluesy lesser known numbers (ie. Mannish Boy).

Great stuff. Long may they roll.


Thanks to Jaime Castaneda for photos!
Rod Laver Arena photo by Bjrnulf Vik.


This page will change over the next few days, as you and other fans send reviews, set lists and reports. Please send your e-mail to IORR. Thanks! For details and great photos from the Rolling Stones and their World Tour get the IORR magazines.

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