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It's Only Rock'n Roll

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Tell Me

The Rolling Stones
Vision Zukunftspark
Oberhausen, Germany
Friday June 13, 2003

The set list

  1. Brown Sugar
  2. You Got Me Rocking
  3. Start Me Up
  4. Don't Stop
  5. Bitch
  6. Angie
  7. You Can't Always Get What You Want
  8. Rock Me Baby (with Angus and Malcolm Young from AC/DC)
  9. Tumbling Dice
    --- Introductions
  10. Thru And Thru (Keith)
  11. Before They Make Me Run (Keith)
  12. Sympathy For The Devil
  13. It's Only Rock'n Roll (B-stage)
  14. Like A Rolling Stone (B-stage)
  15. Midnight Rambler (B-stage)
  16. Gimme Shelter
  17. Honky Tonk Women
  18. Street Fighting Man
  19. Satisfaction
  20. Jumping Jack Flash (encore)

The Cranberries (warmup) : 6:15pm -  7:00pm
AC/DC (warmup)           : 7:25pm -  8:50pm
The Rolling Stones       : 9:45pm - 11:55pm

Review by Ron Blank

Well it's 5:40 AM and I just made it home after the concert in Oberhausen! What a show, what an event and what a lousy place for a concert! It took until 2:10 AM until I had gone 2 blocks from the parking garage and there was nary a sight of an efficient German policeman to sort out the mess. It looked like they were avoiding it - can't blame them at all!

On to the show. The Cranberries were very lively and not bad. I had never seen them or heard them before. I don't know what everyone complains about so much. They rock and they have a decent female singer who enjoys herself! What's wrong with that?

AC/DC were superb. I have never seen them before but merely drank too many beers to count while listening to them. They played their Greatest Hits show tonite and they were on stage for 90 minutes! After they had played Highway to Hell and You Shook Me All Night Long, I thought they would be done for sure. Not at all. They played three more songs including an encore - For Those About to Rock We Salute You, complete with the two pair of cannon firing off their salutes. What a song to lead into the Stones!

The Stones did not make it onto the stage until 9:45 and then they started it with Brown Sugar like most of the stadium shows. The coloured background was raised as they began the song and it added a lot of atmosphere to the dust and rock encrusted place they had decided to hold the concert. You Got Me Rocking followed and it was a little lazy - Keith's solo was late and Ronnie's was about two bars late. But they both made up for it with a lot of energy. Then Keith began Start Me Up by playing the intro to Brown Sugar, smiling, waiting a moment and then launching the song. The crowd were going wild by now. Mick's energy and singing on the Licks Tour is certainly impressing Europe. Ronnie's solo was clear and powerful, and the combination of Darryl's bass and Ronnie made Keith's chords stand out great. It's such a simple song - but it never fails to ignite an audience.

Don't Stop featured a new way to play it tonite. Normally, they have a dramatic pause for a second and then Mick sings "Don't Stop!" While this time, Keith did not play immediately again. Mick started a sing-along to "Don't Stop" and the audience seemed a little surprised. But they handled it pretty well and by the end of four or five of the phrases they were into it. Then the song continued to the end.

The next song was Bitch and it was probably the low point of the evening. I thought it was going to be a great choice. But then it didn't just seem to click. No reason but it wasn't there tonite.

Angie and YCAGWYW were very well done. The latter featured a great European singalong which is always much better than an American audience in volume. Mick had picked a great playlist.

Then the highlight of the evening occurred. Mick said "we're going to do some blues." Out walked Angus and Malcolm Young from AC/DC. A lot of the crowd didn't immediately recognize them. But Keith started Rock Me Baby and everyone started going crazy. The guitars were AWESOME! Mick danced along to Angus played some very mean licks off to the left-side of the stage. Then after three guitar breaks, Mick started jumping up and down and waving his finger to indicate "one more time only!" So the four guitarists gathered around in the front, Keith with his back to the crowd and the other three facing us. It was amazing what was coming out of those instruments. It was incredible delta blues played in the white man electric style with the crowd eating out of the palm of their collective hands. Then Mick came to the front and at the end of the song (finally) he jumped to emphasis the last words. He said "my back..." and Charlie goes Whump! Whump! on the drum. Mick continues "ain't got no..." Charlie again goes Whump! Whump! and then Mick finishes it "no bone!!!" and Charlie finishes it with a flourish. Finally, Angus puts out his trademark ending scale and ends up by jumping right in front of Charlie. It was simply the best! What an incredible surprise and a highlight to remember.

So how can you top that? You can't. And the band didn't. But they tried. Tumbling Dice had some extra zing to it tonite. Keith's solo was excellent. The band intros followed it and then Keith did Thru and Thru and Before They Make Me Run. The latter was especially good. I don't think I have ever heard Ronnie stretch out the solo in it so long and so well before. Keith was smiling and nodding as Ronnie delighted in making his Telecaster sing. A smashing version.

Sympathy for the Devil followed. They pulled out all the gas stops with this one as I have never seen so much fire during it before. Even though it was probably still 21-22 C. degrees, the heat felt great on our faces. Then they went down to the B stage. The instruments were clearer from this stage, and the bass was louder. It made for a good combination. IORR was followed by Like a Rolling Stone. We could have done without it as it seemed rather perfunctory. But it was followed by a very well-done Midnight Rambler that made up for it completely. By the end of the song, Mick seemed tired in the face as we waited more and more for Keith to get to the fast tempo part. But he did finally and he brought it on home.

Then it was back to the main stage and we saw and heard the usual five closing numbers. Lisa wore her short blue denim skirt tonite with the fringed top with the low neck. Mick had a lot of fun rubbing and getting close to her during HTW! The last thing I wanted to mention was that I didn't remember hearing before Ronnie use the same guitar in Jumping Jack Flash that he does during Street Fighting Man. Is that normal? It sounds great with the middle eastern tones. But by the time the red petals had fallen, the fireworks had exploded, the last of the gas had been burnt, and the band had taken their bows, we were all exhausted. It was 11:55 and the evening had begun at 6:15 with the first band. Mick had acknowledged as much a couple of times when he asked if we were still with him. Over 60,000 people saw an awesome show tonite, not only for the Stones, but for the parts played by AC/DC and the Cranberries. Regardless of your favourites (and there were definitely AC/DC hardcore fans around) you had to be very happy with what you heard and saw. I'm glad that I went, even though that locale will never see the likes of me again. When and if the Stones return, let's hope they go back to Cologne and avoid Oberhausen! I wish AC/DC were coming to Copenhagen (my next show) but I'll have to see if a great version of Rock Me Baby comes around because that was a keeper!

Review by a fan

wow, what a night

my girlfriend (pregnant in her 33rd week) and I made it to the so called "arena" barely on time to see the cranberries...somebody here on the net had said that it'd be a ten minute foot walk from the train station...well buddy, it was more like twenty, even if I had been without my pregnant girlfriend ;-)

the punctual arrival made me happy because I had been looking forward to see the band from ireland again...however, the sound quality of their set was rather poor, especially when compared to the one of AC / DC and the stones

then the oz band came on stage...I'm not a fan of theirs, so I don't have much to say about them, other than I personally would have preferred more songs from the cranberries and less from them ;-)

and then, at 9:50, the stones finally showed up! I'm sure those die hard core fans will tell you all the details about their set list and the way they played their songs...all I want to say is that we had a fantasitic time there, the sound was absolutely brilliant (we had seen springsteen a few weeks ago in ludwigshafen, a rather small town with an old arena here in germany and there the technicians just didn't get it right)...also, the TV show was personal highlights were angie, midnight rambler and gimme still surprises me how talkative Mick can be... at some point he called us "a f... bright audience"...lots of German phrases in between...would be nice to know if they are same the remarks he makes every other night in Germany or if they are genuine...

last not least the only thing we were disappointed with was the site... loose gravel and lots of dust, really hard on thou old bones... we are still sore!

Review by Norbert Maass

This was my tenth Rolling Stones concert (if you count Keith�s solo show for the Main Offender album), and I must say that I enjoyed it a lot. I was right in the front of the stage, so I could see and hear almost every detail of the performance. Those reviewers who say that Keith has lost some of his energy are right, but Ronnie is back on form and Mick�s voice is stronger than ever. In Oberhausen he really gave his best when he sang Angie and You Can�t Always Get What You Want. There wasn�t a weak song, so this concert was definitely better than the ones I saw on the BTB tour.

There were many other highlights: Bitch is still a great song, but I think most people in the audience don�t know it, the live version of Don�t Stop is softer than the studio version, which makes the song even more interesting. Keith gave us Through and Through, it made me happy that he played this rare track from Voodoo Lounge. It was fantastic to see the joy in the faces of all the musicians when they did Rock Me, Baby with Angus and Malcolm Young. Mick wanted to finish the song, but they just started again and played a long coda! The crowd got wild.

Oh, and I should not forget Midnight Rambler, a monster of a song! Well one last word about Keith: I had the impression that he really concentrated on his played, he wasn�t running around all the time or only paying attention to posing for the cameras. He still did a great job... We had a wonderful summer night with a full moon up in the sky, a great show.... so can you ask for more? By the way, AC/DC kicked ass, they were great, but I guess you don�t read IORR to get a review about their show, do you?

Review by Matthias, 37, D�sseldorf

This was propably this summers's best Rock'n'Roll Festival.

What I mean to say by this: It was not like usually - everyone waiting until the Stones finally get on stage. With the Cranberries and the fabulous AC/DC, a setup was chosen that turned this horrible gravel pit in Oberhausen into a 6 hour non-stop Rock'n'roll Party.

I completely underestimated the time it would take me to get from my car park to the "arena" , so I already heard the Cranberries do their "Zombie", when I entered the O-Vision construction site.

The spirit among the audience was very hippie-like and relaxed, and that's what I liked so much about the night. Dolores and her boys did a great job. She has really got an outstanding voice and a good band backing her. I have never heard an opening band for the Stones receive such an applause. The Cranberries deserved it.

The Cranberries had the late afternoon sun, AC/DC had the sunset. It was a great thing to see the guys get on stage and the sun go down behind the Gasometer, an old industry facility that has turned into an art exhibition place nowadays.

From the first chord on (and as AC/DC fans know, changing cords is not their favourite thing to do), it was clear that they were not openers, but the first top act! Everything has been said about their set, they are the masters of continuity, so no need to go into details. The only thing left for me to be said about them: like always, they managed to create a sound that was very transparent with Angus' guitar so present that you could believe yourself standing in their rehearsal room. Very authentic, very handmade, very Rock'n'Roll.

The Stones finally topped all shows of theirs that I had seen before. The sun had set and a perfect full moon appeared on the opposite side of the stage when the Rolling Stones entered the stage. For me, the highlights of their set were Keith's two solo numbers "thru and thru" and "before they make me run", the Jam session with Malcolm and Angus on "Rock my baby" and Lisa's great singing on "Gimmie Shelter". They always manage to compose a set list that is so unique with a high percentage of good old friends like Brown Sugar, Midnight Rambler, JJF and so on and a set of rarely played songs like "Bitch" that makes you remember this particular night forever. Mick's performance was brilliant - as a singer, as a dancer and as an entertainer. This guy is a miracle - he seems to become younger with every year!

Review by Michael Halve, Netherlands

Thursday morning -the day before the concert- a collegue said he had two tickets for the concert. I did not hesitate a moment and so friday at 4 in the afternoon I drove to Oberhausen. Of course there was way too much traffic, so we reach the Zukunfstpark when AC/DC played their last song. And it was loud.

It was my nineth concert of the Stones. Although I'm 37 years old I saw my first concert 21 years ago. My brother surprised me with tickets on my 16th birthday and he said that this may be the last concert of the Stones. So I have been to the Stones 7 times:

  1. 1982 Rotterdam, Feyenoord Stadium
  2. 1990 Cologne, Stadium (Steel Wheels)
  3. 1995 Nijmegen, Goffert Park (Voodoo Lounge)
  4. 1995 Rotterdam, Feyenoord Stadium (Voodoo Lounge)
  5. 1997 The Hague, Malieveld (Bridges to Babylon)
  6. 1998 Amsterdam, Arena (Bridges to Babylon)
  7. 1999 Groningen, Stadspark (Bridges to Babylon)
This concert in Oberhausen was great located at one point of view; the space. It was bad choice because of rocks and dust. The moon must be like this! Getting out of Oberhausen by car was not an easy thing to do. But... the atmosphere was great, the Stones still are. I have tried to be objective, but I think I am too much a fan. But being realistic, they still rock, but they are losing a little bit of the enrgy of the Voodoo and Bridges tour. I don't blame them. Like I said; they are still hot and still know how to make a 70.000 people counting crowd swing.

The German crowd is a little bit more stiff than the dutch, so I'm looking forward to the concerts in august. I will be at AHOY and FEYENOORD STADIUM (both Rotterdam) for sure. And hopefully some more.

Full Moon Party in Oberhausen
Review by Marcel van Egmond

After attending the Circus Krone show, i told myself not to compare any show with this one, should i stay home or drive towards Oberhausen. I did the last and it was worth it.

It was hard to get tickets from the scalpers for a nice price, so at the end i bought them at the ticket-service around 21.15u. Listening to the Cranberries and AC/DC outside the field, we walked towards the stage at the right-side. Pretty nice sight and the show went suprising me around 21.45u.

Brown Sugar, You got me Rocking and Start me up.... this would be an greatest hits party?

Don't Stop, Bitch, Angie and YCAGWYW we beautiful, the sound was perfect and the stage looked nice when it was getting darker. Then the party where i hoped for, Angus and his brother joined the Stones in stage to do a awesome version of Rock me Baby, at the end Ronnie, Keith, Agnus and his brother took over the stage and that maked it looked like a club-gig???

Then Thru and Thru i saw that one in MSG (New York) so i knew that was an "awsome blues", perfect screen pictures Keith and the full moon on Friday the 13th..... After this beauty Before they make me run and again Keith was rocking, he looked very fit to me.

Sympathy with an nice tune from Keith in it, and the stage was getting rougher and rougher.

Then the B-stage with a perfect version of Midnight Rambler and a lot of sing-a-long with "Like a Rolling Stone".

Then another higlight, the stage on fire and Mick and Lisa in a duett with Gimme Shelter everytime i'm looking forward to see them singing together, Monky Man or Gimme Shelter always perfect with Lisa joining.

"Honky Tonk Woman" and "Street Fighting Man" were also nice, didn't hear "Satisfaction"last week so like the German radio said: "Sir Mick looked like a 20 year old rubber dancer on stage". And it's thru everytime i wonder were is this energy comming from, running, dancing and playing with the crowd. I think because they still have a lot of fun in doing what they do best........keep rolling.

Than "Jumping Jack Flash" and a lot of firework.

Again a night to remember, too bad the traffic was terrible but with Stones on the radio driving back home it is always easy.

Review by Stefan Zanders (babylonbob)

I just have to write something about the greatest show i had ever seen...

This was my fourth Stones concert since �95 and it was definitely the best, although it�s always hard to compare because every show is something special.

Like the last three shows i had seen i was standing in front of the stage on Keef�s side, probably fourth or fifth row. It�s a great pleasure to be so near my idols.

The Cranberries surprised me very positive, never seen them before, but i know some songs of them, a very good live singing Dolores was a good start in the evening. Then AC/DC rocked us, it was definitely very loud, but cool. They did their compact set like they did on their last tour in �2001, no time to fall asleep.

But then on 21:50 the Stones jumped on the stage, starting with Brown Sugar, great start, although i think Jumping Jack Flash is the best starting song like they did �99.

Then one of my dreams came thru!!! After the first song and ending with the last riff of Brown Sugar Keef threw his plectron in the crowd an it hitted me on my right arm, i got down on my knees and grabbed it!!!!!!!!!! I still can�t believe it, i got Keef�s plectron!!!!!!!!!

Now i was out of control. The next songs rocked, but bitch was a bit lazy this time. Midnight Rambler and Jumping Jack Flash, one of my favourites, were played great! I hoped the would play Can�t You Hear Me Knocking but they didn�t, it would have been great, but perhaps next time.....

After they played their B-stage set my dream repeated: i grabbed another plectron from Keef!!!! Unbelievable, god must love me!!!!

I don�t know what i can say more to the show, i think i have to realize all first.

One think i don�t unterstood is when Ronnie and Keef came back from the B-stage Ronnie had a paper (pehaps a letter or graphic) and showed it Keef, smiled and finally destroyed it with a bigger smile. What was that????

The band was definitely in a very good mood, Ronnie was making jokes, was laughing about Angus Young and had a lot of fun. In the end Mick gave his last energy and wust jumping, running: amazing.

One thing i didn�t understand was the very strong controlling security, which didn�t allow to take photos. It was never so hard to make photos of the stones like this time. They came into the front stage area and took two people near me their camera! I was sweating blood with every photo i took after i saw that their threw one man with a camera standing next to me away. They needed three!! securities to took him away!!!!! They should f**** up.

But finally i could took over 30 photos, so it will be a great souvenir.

That�s all i can say at this moment.

Review by Chris Wouters, Belgium

I got home this morning around 5 AM and was warmly greeted by my dogs :) Wanted to start writing a review, but too tired, so I got some sleep first.

First of all: it was GREAT!!!! We left pretty late, around 1:15 PM, picked up another fan in Hasselt (Hi Johan) and then we drove on to Oberhausen. Surprisingly, not too much traffic, so we arrived around 3:30 PM. We split up, and Johan and I went to look around for some people we only knew through IORR. Lucky that I posted a link to a pic of my jacket, so in the Brauhaus and the Irish Pub, we got in touch fast :)

Not very interested in the Cranberries, and having FOS tix, we decided to skip them and went in half an hour before AC/DC was due. And the trick with the different cameras worked again :) The throw away camera with flash was "confiscated" (got it back after the show), but another throw away camera and my digital camera got through. Another snack and then on to the FOS-area (Ronnie's side). That took us some time to get through those standing in the field, but then we were in and could look for a nice spot. We installed ourselves at the barrier along the catwalk, some 30 meters from the mainstage and then it was showtime :)

Last time I saw AC/DC must have been somewhere in the late seventies, so it was fun to get to see and hear them again. A great (and long) set and when the canons went off, we were ready for the main dish. Someone came up to me and showed me a copy of the setlist, and I was a little disappointed that there was no CYHMK on it, but, hell, You Can't Always Get What You Want :)

So, around 9:45 PM, our heroes exploded onto stage. Nothing really special on the setlist, but a good, solid set and EXCELLENT SOUND! I'm not going to analyse each and every song, but I agree with Ron; highlight of the show IMHO was "Rock Me Baby"! GREAT guitars and it went on and on. I am not going to talk about the errors, false starts and so on; this is a live show, so such things happen. But I found that Keith wasn't really there 'till after the Band introduction . Two very nice songs, and at a certain moment a great camerashot, taken from a camera to the right, combining Keith and the (almost full) moon.

I didn't see any beerruns during Keith's set and our group of newly made friends where drifting away on Keith's tunes. Wonderful! And from that moment on, Keith's playing got better and better. Nearing the end of SFTD, it was time to go the 20 meters to the B-stage and being first row. No a good decition; sound was really bad, you get the sound from three sources: main amplifier for the field, the guys system and the original sound, directly from the instruments. But watching Charlie from a distance of couple of meters , and seeing how he's enjoying himself, makes up for the poor soundquality. And of course; Mick and Ronny coming to our side (the backside) of the B-stage, is also great. Ronnie making funny faces, throwing guitar picks in the crowd and like a real gunfighter reach behind his back to take a new pick is fun the watch. When MR was about to end, I made my way back to he catwalk and was rewarded with a high five from Keith, Ronnie and somewhat later (he changed clothes at the B-stage) from Mick (Who decided to dance a little just in front of me for a couple of seconds before getting back on the main stage)

At the B-stage, some security guy saw me take a picture and wanted my camera, but after showing him my diplomatic passport, I was allowed to keep the camera if I promised not to make any more pictures (but off course I made some, without flash, carefully holding the camera out of his sight, and I can assure you that he really was fixated on me during my stay at the B-stage :))))

So, on with the show. I think tonight's version of Street Fighting Man was also great and then a solid "Satisfaction" and an encore (JJF) that really rocked the crowd. And was over :(

Slowly making our way out of the venue, picking up my disposable camera (a lot of "gestapo Staat" murmur by people picking up their confiscated stuff) and of to the Irish Pub for a coke (had to drive, so no more beer after I entered the venue). Seeing all the cars at a standstill, we had some drinks, talked about the gig, went to have something to eat and then around 2 AM, we started our journey back to Belgium. Me awake, my 2 newbies (first concert) sleeping in the back, Johan talking to me to make sure I didn't fall asleep (how can you fall asleep, with all that adrenaline still flowing :)))). Dropped of Johan, decided to let the others sleep, continued to Kortenberg, woke up my other friends, helped them to their car and went inside. The dogs were barking, so my wife came down and I had of course to tell her everything :) Went o bed around 6 AM and, shame on me, woke up at noon.

General remarks : Watching Keith's fingers; they seem to be better than they were sometime ago. Keith also started walking the wings of the stage, left and right (but made a huge error when somewhere on the left wing, think it was during SFJ). But as I said before, halfway through the set, good "old" Keith was playing GREAT.

Ronnie...... Well, Ronnie is Ronnie; always fun to watch, but this tour also great to listen to! "Ronnie Be Goode" ???? NO, "Ronnie IS Good"!!!!!! Charlie, our gentleman drummer, solid as ever, lots of smiling in Oberhausen and looking quite happy. Mick is just Mick, 60 years this year? No way!!! This guy has the energy of a twenty year old (and more if you watch some twentiers)!!!!!!! Daryl, nothing special to report. Bobby Keys; adding that special touch to the songs. Bernard and Lisa; good at their job, But Lisa has gained a few pounds, and the high notes are definitely not those of previous tours anymore. But still fun to watch as she is pulling up Mick's T-shirt and teasing him (and Mick teasing her).

The crowd : a mix of Stones and AC/DC fans, but I didn't see any incidents, in fact, I was standing in a mixed group and we cheered for AC/DC with them and they went wild with us during the Stones set. And afterwards mingling everywhere in the pubs and restaurants. One more thing, being a fan and meeting other fans is part of the fun. I even could buy an Olympia spare ticket at cost ! So to those who go see the boys; Don't get to much absorbed by the technicalities, analysing all songs, but mingle with the other fans, enjoy the show. It's not a concert, it's an Event!

Fire the soundcrew:
Too Tough�s Oberhausen review

Just back from Oberhausen. We arrived there too late for the Cranberries. But we noticed they got friendly applause for their set.

AC/DC was next. I saw them in 2001 and knew what was going to come. Older Stones fans around me were sceptical first but went nuts later! The sound was perfect: crispy, loud, distorted. Right in your face, no compromise. It was the longest and best set I ever saw by an opener. They used the small stage, were loud, used their guns incl. pyro, and played 1,5 hours! The crowd went nuts all over the place. Best support I�ve ever seen!

I was curious what the Stones would do. Setlist and soundwise.

Sound: The worst, as always in the fields. It�s the 70+. show of this tour. How stupid can the soundcrew be to send Keith and the rest onstage with half of the volume AC/DC used? The guitars weren�t distorted at all, Charlies bassdrum nearly sounded like his snare and toms, and the worst thing: the first 30 minutes I could easily understand what my friend was saying. IT WASN`T LOUD ENOUGH! That is bad because we weren�t in the back of the field, we were standing FRONT OF STAGE. In the end the sound was better, but the guitars still sounded too weak. Even the Telecasters had this soft H�fner sound.

The crowd was enthusiastic, though, so setlistwise it was ok (in the end I got 2 songs I never heard before (Thru and Thru with a fantastic keith, and Rock me baby with the sound brothers Angus and Malcolm). That was pure fun and a really historic moment for me. But again 4 low and soft guitars in the mix (strange hearing Angus play on that one and hear him playing 2 hous earlier).

Ronnie wasn�t in his best form (I was so hot to hear him rock the house like Munich, but he didn�t yesterday).

Blondie played guitar on several songs onstage. What the fuck? Let him stand there and shake his maracas. That�s all.

They used a Gimme Shelter instrumental electronic bullshit intro for the walk back to the main. Sounded strange and obsolete. Skip it.

Last field for me ever, have two big shows left (Stade de France and AOL-Arena). But having seen them at Olympiahalle: can�t wait for Bercy and Ahoy! And: Olympia and Vredenburg, of course;-)

Review by Gerold Berens

A great day, lots of sunshine, a rotten place, lots of dust (especially if you wear contact-lenses), poor sound from the Cranberries, an great kick-off from ACDC and at last the Stones. Though they have never been really disappointing to me I think they didn't keep up to their standards in Oberhausen. Was it because of the audience, wh�ch couldn't get the hands in the air in the beginning (well, there must have been two or three)?? But who could blame then, standing, waiting in the dust, until almost 10 o' clock, which of course was unavoidable for the light show and the brilliant effects with the very large screen.

In spite of the other reviewers I had the impression, that the guitars where overwhelmed by the other instruments and sometimes it seemed Ronnie mainly was fooling around and wasn't playing at all (Midnight rambler, first part, for instance).

Rock me baby indeed was great, for me the highlight of the evening, and the Stones are at their best playing the blues. Perhaps the setlist was too much standard to be a challenge for the Stones themselves. For a long time fan like me it was a little dispointing, nothing new compared to the former tours. There are so much songs, little or not played earlier. I would have liked 'Can't you hear me knocking', the O- Jays cover 'Love train' of 'Stray cat blues', songs they did in the States. Just twenty licks, only one encore, nothing special. It's a pity I can't visit one of the concerts in Holland (where I live) because of my holiday. Playing in Holland seems to be always special for the Stones, so...

At last we left the field, a little jealous at the ACDC-fans, whose favourites I think did a tremendous job (even I don't really much about this band).

Review by JT

This concert was the fourth I have seen and it once again reinforced my opinion that the Stones are the best live act on this planet. They are a natural-born live band! What a performance, they played sooo damn good!

BUT...the biggest mistake the Stones made was inviting AC DC as support band. The whole audience was a unsuitable mixture of hard rockers (AC DC fans) and Stones just didn�t fit at all! While AC DC was performing, several Stones fans even sat down in the Front of Stage area (me, too) and while the Stones performed hardly any AC DC fan raised his/her hands and clapped. So from this point of view the concert was NO FUN AT ALL. The Security guards had the instruction not to let more than 1800 people enter the Front of Stage area which is a joke for such a huge place. People from approximately the tenth row on had so much space that they could have theoretically done a breakdance without touching anyone. I really don�t know who of the Stones management made this ridiculous Front of Stage concept. Sometimes I felt a bit silly clapping hands and dancing while hardly anyone around me was into the Stones performance. I�m not sure what the mood of the audience was like in the rest of the interior, but during the B-Stage set I had the impression that the crowd was much more making party than the Front of Stage crowd.

I guess the mood problem occured due to these facts:

-the audience was exhausted from the long AC DC performance and also from the Cranberries.

-there was a divided musical taste among the audience. Those hard rockers didn�t really like the huge variety of a Stones setlist, the not so strong guitars of Keith and Ronnie and the much less agressively sounding songs.

-the front of stage area is always very important for the audience�s mood. In this case there came hardly any impulse from the first rows and anyway besides there front of stage area was not filled enough.

Let�s go on with the songs: (By the way, the sound was excellent front of stage, no comparison to the unbalanced sound of the Munich Olympic Stadium where I had seats)

Brown Sugar-----Superb! However the wind instruments didn�t come through very well. That was a problem which continued throughout the whole show, but it wasn�t that bad. In Munich it sounded much better.

You Got Me Rocking-----Also nice, apart from the solo which sounded a bit messed up.

Start Me Up-----Keith started with the first part of the riff, then waited a few seconds in the hope that the audience would go wild, but nothing happened in particular not among the Front of Stage audience.

Don�t Stop-----Very well played, this song is indeed becoming a really great live song. Whenver I listen to this tune it cheers me up! Although the song sounds so simple it�s rightly a firm part of the setlist.

I�m not sure if it was after this song when Mick said:�Oberhausen! Do you wanna finally move your ass?� (Or something like that, of course he said this in german)

Bitch-----This is also a great live tune, however tonight it didn�t come over so well due to the wind instrument problems that I mentioned above.

Angie-----Absolutely fantastic version of the song! Especially Mick, but also the rest of the band put so much effort in it, in particular because they realized that the audience was so hard to satisfy. I loved this version as much as the one on �Stripped�.

YCAGWYW-----I couldn�t believe my ears that the crowd was suddenly singing along. It wasn�t a very loud singing, but suddenly I felt that the people began having fun. And tonight this tune was played excellent as well, comparable to the Flashpoint version. Great!

Rock Me Baby-----This song was the crowd burner. When all people realized that Angus and this other guitarist had joined the Stones on stage all hands were raised. This moment was the evidence for me that the poor mood was due to all the sleepy AC DC fans who all of a sudden became invigorated again. Actually I didn�t like the songs very much, but at least it was fun seeing the guys on stage having fun with their guitar jam and also seeing the crowd jumping around. Pure action all around! J

Tumbling Dice-----Good, but nothing special as always.

Thru and Thru-----One of the highlights for me. Keith was so eager to play it perfect and he did! I loved the calm that Keith radiates. Seeing him as the stabilizing element in front of a crowd which just didn�t want to have a great time.

I loved Charlie�s drums, he kicked it so hard! Very nice job Keith & Charlie!

Before They Make Me Run-----This one was also done very nice. Keith didn�t mumble or �swallow� any part of the lyrics. He was very concentrated on playing rather than on doing cool moves.

Sympathy For The Devil-----Yet another hightlight! In terms of effects and in terms of play. You could feel the heat of the flames in your face and at this stage people got a bit more vivid. Mick hit the stage with a funny sparkling jacket and Keith played his soli �in the flames of the videoscreen�. So damn great!

The B-Stage set was a bit disappointing, because I had the feeling that the sound was too low and believe me that the whole B-Stage feeling is gone when a bunch of indifferent looking people is standing in front of the B-stage or even think it�s more important chatting with each other. I could have strangled all these ignorants!!

Apart from this they actually did a pretty good version of IORR, but LARS and Midnight Rambler used to sound better on previews shows/tours. I can�t really explain what was wrong with the B-stage songs. From where I stood the sound was toooooo clean and sounded a bit like a soundboard recording. A lack of live feeling. And Keith didn�t get it right on Midnight Rambler.

Gimme Shelter-----Amazing as always! I love it when Mick sings �It�s just a shot away, it�s just a shot away� and the people sing along, too. Lisa Fisher then did a fantastic solo, the best I�ve heard to date. Better than the one on the No Security live album which was my favorite until that day. The atmosphere during this song is always very special and somehow mystical and calm when the upper spotlights act like searchlights which look for enemy airplanes in the sky. Cooool!!! The duet between Mick and Lisa was outstanding as always.

HTW-----Great! This song is a must for any concert.

SFM----- Also well done by the band.

Satisfaction----Confetti, party, and the infamous riff made the people dancing and singing along. I even saw many AC DC fans clapping hands, probably this song comes closer to the hard tunes of AC DC. But someone please explain me why Keith uses such a kitschy guitar. I haven�t ever seen him using this model on previous tours. Nevertheless Satisfaction got the crowd rocking in comparsion to the latter 1,5 hours.

When the confetti was pumped out a wind blew several loads of confetti in Mick�s face so that he had to stop singing for a second or two. Very funny J

JJF-----Just great!

What a day! A fuckin� great concert which made one of my friends also a Stones fan J It�s just astonishing how much energy the boys put on stage. In Particular Mick rocked the house like a maniac! I haven�t ever seen him in such a powerful state! Although I don�t like to see the Stones doing field concerts, this one was certainly a great show!

A short advise for the Stones management: (Although I know it will never be heard) ;-)

Please don�t use AC DC as support band!!!!!!!! That�s a crowd killer! Two Warm-Up bands -of which one even plays twice the time the other does - are simply too much!! And after listening to AC DC your ears are waste! So damn loud!

Rock Me All Night Long Baby �
Review by Peter Lacres, Belgium

Oberhausen is my first and luckily not my last Rolling Stones concert of the European Licks Tour. And before I even write a word, this concert was another great show.

The band was really hot last night with no big surprises in the set list. I must say that I�ve spoken to different Stones friends who were surprised to hear that you�ve 2 different field tickets for many concerts in Europe. I find it really sad that an Australian purchased his tickets through the internet, went very early to the venue and wasn�t aware that he couldn�t go to the very front of the stage. I�m sure that this spoiled his evening although he saw the Stones, The Cranberries and ACDC.

I�m not going to write a lot on the Cranberries because they played their hits on a big stage with no special effects. What was the result? Not many people around myself were excited. ACDC on the other site were good. They put on a nice show with special effects and the audience were screaming and jumping around, especially when Angus was running to the small stage just after he did his sort of a strip act on the main stage. I�m looking forward to see him doing that same thing in Hockenheim!

Over to the greatest rock �n roll band around.

Keith was incredible last night taking center stage on many occasions. The art of ancient weaving was in full swing.. The crowd was into it as much as any of the older stuff. Other highlights were an incredible 10 minute midnight rambler on the small stage but I think that they shouldn�t play Like A Rolling Stone anymore because let�s be honest, they can play a lot of their own songs such as Mixed Emotions or She Was Hot. A lot of Stones friends around myself have the same opinion. The Stones should play more recent work from the 80�s and also 90�s.

The highlights from a personal point of view were Rock Me Baby when Angus and Malcolm Young from AC/DC were next to Ron and Mick. The guitars were AWESOME! Mick danced along and Angus played some very mean licks off to the left side of the stage. The four guitarists gathered around in the front at the end with Keith�s back to the crowd and the other three facing the crowd. This was indeed a smashing version. I never heard Thru & Thru live but I heard it at last yesterday! Keith nailed the vocals - now I've got the FUCKING BLUES indeed! The jam at the end was wicked and I would like to congratulate Charlie for his excellent playing on the one.

Keep on rocking folks�

Review Joyce (aka Rubycatgirl)

...thnx to the IORR Travel Guide we had pretty good how to drive to the venue!

I wanted to let you know that we where in the middle of fight during the end of Don't Stop and Bitch. It was on the right side in front of the stage, just behind the FOS fences. It could explain why Bitch wasn't exactly as tight as it should be. I'm sure the Stones noticed something happened. During a couple of minutes there was an open spot just within a packed crowd. It was I think twenty meters from main stage. It could explain why Keith wasn't fully concentrated. I think he's kinda sensitive about these things, In his 'speech' he said are you all OK now and after Thru & Thru I thought I heard him say 'you shouldn't make a mess'...

Well, after all is said and done I'm off for ten more time I hope I can enjoy them more!

My full review can be found on Shidoobee with Stonesdoug.

No more expectations in 2003!!!!
Review by Reinhart Kotzsch

First of all: This was the worst place for a Rolling-Stones-concert since Sch�ttdorf in Summer of 1995. What a lousy rip-off for all the people who paid a lot of Euros for tickets. Since 1982 I have visited every tour and attended 12 shows before, so I have seen the Stones at different locations and in different conditions � sometimes they were good, sometimes they were "the greatest rock�n roll band in the world" � such as in Berlin, Weissensee 1990 at both shows or in 1998 at Waldbuehne, Berlin on 10th, 9, 1998. Another impressive concert was the final show of "Bridges" in Cologne 1999. On to the "Licks Tour" they promised a strict focus on all the music they have done through all the 40 years. Every night they would put rare songs into the set. Apart from the club-shows here and there I could not see that much of this promise had been fulfilled. So my expectations in Oberhausen were rather low. In contrast to the stadium gigs of the last tours, I could not enter the front-of-stage-area as a early bird unfortunately. In order to safe money, this time I had to watch the screen and therefore I concentrated much more on the music.

On to the set: My opinion is, that every single song was played in a typical experienced way, but apart from "Rock Me Baby" � together with AC/CD�s Angus Young � the whole set offered nothing of this special stuff they promised for "Licks 2003". Their all-time standards were played even in a similar way like 1998/1999. Somebody, who saw the Stones the very first time got an impressive collection of greatest hits for sure, but many, many people in the crowd have seen the Stones more or less many times before. Where the hell were all those special treasures of Stones records for all of us long-term fans? Was it "Start Me Up", "ANGIE" or "YCAGWYW" or "BITCH" or "SATISFACTION". Even on B-stage happened the same thing: Who waited for "Monkey Man" got "it�s only rock�n roll", who waited for "Mannish Boy" had to listen "midnight rambler" - once more again. Sorry, but this set in Oberhausen was rather boring � not more not less.

On to the the quality of the songs: As mentioned above the Stones and guest musicians performed the whole program well experienced, but only with only a few real high-lights. My opinion: Especially Keith did his best, with "THRU AND THRU" he made a further good contribution, that the concert was still enjoyable. And his guitar work was pure energy. Thank you Keith. Looking forward to what is going on with the Stones next 40 years.

Review by Johannes Delmere

Oberhausen is not very far away from where I live, just about 50 km down the road. This time it would be a special show for me, as we were taking our 9 year old daughter Vanessa and her granny, together with granny's husband. So it was more of a family show. As there is no way for a nine-year old to be in the FoS section, I had bought seats through the fanclub, another hat and another 40 Licks. When AC/DC were added earlier in the year, I thought what a nice coincidence, because our daughter would see the same singer at her first proper rock concert than I did 29 years ago, although he was still with Geordie then and they were support act to Deep Purple in 1974.

On the day, Axel, Nico and Gerd came down from Berlin to stay with us, Axel's friend Friedel came with his son and we had to pick a friend of mine up as well, so it was three cars on their way to Oberhausen. Traffic was ok until about 1 km to the motorway exit. The queue started there and the cars got separated. Gerd had to drive right, we made it straight ahead. We stayed in touch via phone, but just missed getting them into our parking lot as well, so Gerd had to park somewhere in the Centro, the shopping mall nearby.

The field was awful. Some steel factory had been there for 100 years and had been torn down a couple of years ago, one of the buildings still standing. You might have seen the pics from the webcam and it wasn't as inviting as it looked. People had to stand on the rubble and Steve Kemelfield, who was selling those magnetic flashing tongues on the field said, that the whole ground was magnetic, as some of the tongues had fallen down and stuck through the ground because of the magnetism.

The seats we got were not very good, although they came from the fanclub contingent: The b-stage was barely visible, because the sound tent was in between us and the b-stage. The seats were also very far away from the stage, more than 50 m, I reckon. The place was huge, large tents for food and drinks in the back, no real access to toilets and lots of people there. The sun was out and it was a rather nice day.

Then Cranberries came up on stage at 6.15, but as I said before, I am not into them that much. I thought they were playing the same set as always, but if you look at their webiste, you can see the different setlists, I never noticed that they played something that different, to be honest. Maybe I have to see them with their own fans fronting their own show, but I doubt that I will do that.

After the Cranberries, their line-up was taken from the stage to give a view to AC/DC's gear, which had been on there, just in front of the Stones' gear. It looked huge and enourmous, i. e. very loud.

AC/DC came out at around 7.30 pm and did their greatest hits set for about 90 minutes (including an encore). I know some of their songs, but do not own any of their albums. I never have seen them before, although they were supposed to play some festivals I was at in the 70's, but never appeared on stage to reason unknown to me. So after all, here they were. Vanessa had fun, we had some fun, watching Angus was interesting, but he did all the tricks he always does ( I was told) and stripped as well. He can play a mean guitar, and Malcolm is a VERY good rhythm player, but their sound is more or less the same on any song, not a lot of choice of different styles. Brian Johnson does fit in, after all he is with them for more than 20 years now, but you can easily tell that it is Angus' band and Brian is just the singer. During solos he stood on the stage and watched, doing nothing or just moving to the music.

AC/DC could bring out their bell and the canons as well, as they were nearly co-headlining, although it was clear that it was a Stones show. A lot of people came to the front of the field to see them and it was rather crowded down there.

When the Stones came out I knew this was more of a piece of work than a show. Lots of posing on the first two songs for the photographers and no special moves or tricks, everything a bit sloppy, not up to the highest gear yet. You could tell that they wanted to do a show, but just a show on their itinary, no intention to make it something more than just a show, make it something special. Maybe I felt like that because I was in the seats and not in the front row, maybe I didn't like the choice of songs. Maybe I was spoilt after Cirkus Krone. When they did Angie in the "Slow" slot, I felt cheated, because we had that song so many times before on other tours and I would have loved to see something more darin. But after all: It was a stadium show and so the crowd had to be pleased. I still loved seeing them and I loved to see my little girl dancing and singing in her seat and enjoying it, but still it did not feel right. Bitch I had seen better most of the times, more up to the point with the rhythm and the riff. Start me up was nearly not played, as Keith started Brown Sugar again, too many things just not going the way the Stones wanted, but it seemed like they didn't want to work on it getting better, just let the show roll on....

I had hoped that we got another Rock me Baby with Angus and Malcolm (and I hope to get that again in Leipzig and Hockenheim this weekend), and we got it. I was on fire during that song, but it was interesting to see the crowd's reaciton. Angus and Malcolm weren't introduced, they just turned up on stage and only the first couple of rows noticed, as I could tell from the risen arms and applause only in front of stage. When the song started, more and more people actually looked on stage and noticed that something was going on and only halfway through the songs everyone in the field had taken notice, that there were more people than expected on stage.

Lots of shuffling guitar licks around and around, again Ronnie and Mick tried to get Malcolm to the front, they tried even harder than in Enmore, which I saw on the video. But he is a rhythm guitarist, no way that he would take a solo. The song was really well and everybody really worked hard to make it a good song, one of the two highlights of the show. I would have loved the show to go on in that spirit, but Tumbling Dice was done in the same way as the rest of the show, so my hopes for a turn to the better went into the bin.

But I didn't have Keith on my agenda. When he started Thru and Thru, crips clear guitar sound, vocals absolutely to the point, it was like heaven. I hadn't heard this song done live before, just on a couple of recordings of the tour, but I have the feeling, this was the best rendition I have heard of the song. The rest joined in just at the right moments, Charlie on drums and Ron on guitar. Perfect.

My hopes went, though, when they did LARS on the b-stage. We had that for the 4th time on a european tour now and it's not even their own song. Maybe they reckon it is a hit of theirs, because they released it as a single. They did this in every place in Germany in 1995, mostly in 1998 and even in 1999. I understood them doing it in Milan, but why in Germany again. For me it's just a cover and I would like to have some Stones content on the b-stage or at least a blues number like Mannish Boy. Even Midnight Rambler after LARS wasn't the greatest version I had ever witnessed, it nearly fell to pieces in the middle bit, before Jagger goes "Wow" and "Oh Yeah".

People had started to leave during Keith' set, never to return to their seats. Seems like the AC/DC fans were leaving. You could also tell that some of the people on the pitch started to leave after the b-stage set.

The warhorses set worked, they played better than in the first half of the show and I was a bit more satisfied with the set then. Confetti this time was only one cannon at the main stage, the rest were at the b-stage, but confetti seems to avoid me this tour, the wind always blows it in the other direction, although Vanessa, who went absolutely crazy during IORR, as it is the song she likes most, grabbed two pieces. Of course they are on her wall now and she doesn't want to trade them ;-)

All in all it was a show a bit under par, with two absolute high points in Rock Me Baby and Thru and Thru but also a low or me during Angie and LARS. I know they could have done better, but maybe they just didn't know why they were playing Oberhausen, it's not a big name on their map, although it's in the center of the Ruhrgebiet with 6 million people living around the area, so they did not really care to do more than was necessary. And the space were they played cannot be recommended for future shows, as it is just a building site.

After the show, my wife and her car had no problems to get out of the parking lot, but we (I changed to Gerd to show him the way out), were stuck. We went for a hamburger and something to drink and sat there for some time before we made our way out, arriving at my place at 3 am.

Review by Sabine Draksl

That was the greatest Rolling Stones-show I ever experienced (it was the sixth)! I don't really care about every single sound of the guitars or whether there had been a wrong note like the "sound-analysts" do. I think the total impression is important and i tell you it was fantastic and nearly unbelievable. Cranberries and AC/DC made us good mood, but when the Stones jumped on the stage and started with "Brown Sugar" everybody went crazy.

Rock Me Baby mit Angus and Malcom was perfect fun and for me it was the highlight of the show.

Keith with Thru and Thru and full moon over the place made me shiver. But top of it all was when the boys moved over the catwalk to the B-stage. First Mick and then Ronnie touched my hands and looked at me (!). Already at that moment i thought, i was the luckiest girl in the world. But then, and i felt like losing consciousness, KEITH stopped near me, got down on his knees, gave me both hands and whilst he walked away he threw some kisses in my direction! A child on christmaseve cannot be happier than me at that special moment. After that i was completly exhausted ... Then they came back, and again, Mick stopped exactly in front of me, dancing wildly. I shouted his name and he looked down on me and then he touched my hands again!! All the people around me couldn't believe my luck. Days after the event, i am still speechless and cannot calm down. I will never forget those minutes in my whole life. I am 40 years old, but during all that I behaved like a teenager. Keith drives me crazy, i love how he moves, playing the guitar in for him typical offhanded way and smiling all the time. "Keith Richards is Rock'n'Roll" said Marianne Faithful once. How damn right she is ....!

Now I definitly need cards for Amsterdam or Hannover, once in a few years is not enough. But i think i will never have a better evening than on Friday, 13th in Oberhausen. Maybe i should leave it .... But i can't help it, i have to see them again!!

Review by Bernie

I was there! It was terrific! It was my first Stones concert but it definitely won't be the last. I will get some more front-of-stages for Amsterdam, Hamburg, Hannover, .... When the guys jumped on the stage at a quarter to ten the crowd went crazy. Brown Sugar was the best song to start with. No one really cared about all the dust around. Everybody near me had great fun watching and joining this fantastic party. The first part of the concert was of unbelievable quality. I wanted them to play YCAGWYW and they did. This song always makes me shiver, but we didn't really get a pause. Mick told us that "we're going to do some blues" and then the highlight of the evening started. They played Rock Me Baby and suddenly Angus and Malcom of AC/DC came from backstage and the crowd went wild. It seemed like they didn't want to finish this song. Again and again the four guitars got along. It was incredible and fantastic. Thank you for that!

Another highlight lay ahead. Keith gave us Thru and Thru and it was just the right moment, because now it was nearly dark and he had this full moon shining. It was romantic and the crowd was quiet compared with the wild show before. I thought it couldn't get better, but I missed. Sympathy was smashing and they warmed us up although we didn't really need it. We were hot already. And then it happend. On there way to the small stage all three of them, first Mick, then Ronnie and last Keith stopped and touched this beautiful blonde girl in front of me. Keith was the one who stayed longest. He even sent her some kisses and smiled at her. She, by the way, she's mine, Keith :-), was smiling all over her face. I know that it was just what she always had been dreaming of.

But it came even better. On there way back from B-Stage, where they made a good show with IORR, Bobs Rolling Stone and Midnight Rambler, Mick stopped again in front of us and he just couldn't ignore her blonde hair. He gave up and touched her again. Then my favorite came. Gimme Shelter sung by Mick and Lisa was presented perfectly. The rest of the Show was still good, but from my point of view we had the highlights before. After the show I stood there and had to realize that it was over. The darkness around me and the crowd moving homewards made me thoughtful. Is this Europe Tour the last tour? I hope not. There is no reason for me why those young guys shouldn't come for another visit in two, four, six years. I hope they will come again and as I said, it wasn't my last Stones festival.

Please send your reviews to [email protected]. Thanks!

News links

Thanks to Thomas Lemke, Johannes Tuemmers and everyone else for Oberhausen/Cologne links!
Thanks to Franz-Josef Kn�chel for photo of Angus!

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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