It's Only Rock'n Roll
The Hives (warmup) : - 8:25pm The Rolling Stones : 9:15pm - 11:20pm
Just like in Brisbane 2nd show earlier this year in Australia, Keith picked "If You Got Me Rocking" when the set list and the rest of the band was ready for "You Got Me Rocking". Ronnie missed his guitar for that song, got his pedal, and then the right guitar in a hurry. But "You Got Me Rocking" was next, so we got both, and nobody cared about the order, except Ronnie got a busy moment changing guitars...
Mick said they would do an album theme, but he wasn't sure what album it was; may be "Let It Bleed"? No, it was "Exile On Main Street". And he did already have the guitar and harmonica ready for Sweet Virginia. But Chuck rushed into the song before Mick was ready. "Hold on, Chuck", Mick shouted. Chuck just kept on with his intro. "Hold on, Hold on Chuck", Mick said, stopped the song, got his harmonica sorted out, they did a new start, and we got the greatest opening of "Sweet Virginia" featuring Mick on harmonica.
These are all minor still funny technicalities. It was a great show with many new songs compared to the stadium show two nights ago, some say the best in a long, long while.
And by the way, again, there were these real big cameras in the back of the venue, three of them, plus many other smaller ones. Again, this was recorded for the soon to be finished DVD.
The show itself was unbelievable. Much like the stadium show The Hives were an incredibly good opening act (go see them if you can!!) and really did get us ready for the Greatest Rock n Roll band in the world.
The Globe Arena, a beautiful and very modern venue with great sound, got a great setlist tonight. For me it was a Fleet Center, Boston and MSG NYC September revival as they had an Exile night which Mick wrongly first introduced as Let It Bleed. To make a long story short, this was the best arena show so far. After the best stadium show I am really now thinking that the Cirkus on Tuesday could maybe top previous club shows as Stockholm seems to be the perfect city for Stones gigs.
Keith started IYCRM right after the opening song (should have been song 3 after YGMR) so Ronnie didn't have a guitar during the first verse of the song, hard to describe how hilarious it was when Ronnie played the air guitar while he was waiting for his WAH WAH and real guitar.
Chuck started Sweet Virginia too early (seems like Keith had inspired him) and Mick's harmonica wasn't ready so Mick did something I had never seen him do before. He made Chuck stop the song and restart until he got the harmonica out of its case. There is a first time for everything apparently.
Finally Miss You was back on the big stage (after Milan) and although many people seem to dislike this song I still love it and was thrilled to hear it again.
Now Cirkus on Tuesday... can't wait.
The hot weather and nice boat trip Mick and Keith had yesterday probably helped their mood and I'm really looking forward to se them at the Circus.
Highlights include "When The Wipes Come Down" that I already heared during the rehearsels and "Loving Cup". After that Mick informed us that they just figured out the feature album was "Let It Bleed", later he said Exile - Mick made a little mistake. Ronnie's stinging lead on "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" was great. Keith gave us "Thru and Thru" as well as a tight version of "Before They Make Me Run". B-Stage featured an intense version of IORR and they finished with a solid "Brown Sugar". One encore of course was "Satisfaction".
Very tight show that started with "Street Fighting Man" with the Ron's guitar that didn't work properly. Another nice thing was the fact that Mick didn't had his harmonica right at the beginning of Sweet Virginia.
Keep on rolling. For all those NOT in Stockholm, you can't imagine how much the Swedish press is following our guys, they're worse than the British tabloids.
Hard to know where to start... The opening act (the Hives) were OK, save for too much image, fairly boring songs and too much silly chatter with the audience from the singer. At least they were really enthusiastic, and with a decent sound for an opening act.
The Stones opened really well -- Street Fighting Man was a surprise opener. On If You Can't Rock Me -- which further fueled my hopes for a different setlist -- they missed Ronnies guitar and wah-wah which he ran and put on the stage himself before churning into heavy soloing. Sadly, the sound was quite bad at this point in the set. (Bloody hockey freaks who designed the hall -- you could hear the Stones had a good mix and volume level, but the stupid globe shaped, badly damped "arena" makes the sound bounce around from wall to wall, which matters even close to the stage).
I should mention that I really dug their stripped down setting during the early phase of the gig, with only Chuck Leavell as extra musician on the first couple of numbers. You Got Me Rockin' rocked well, and a first highlight came with the funky Monkey Man, showing us that both Keith and Ronnie were in top shape this time. And when that legendary picture of the black man with the three balls in his mouth, along with the words "Exile On Main St.", appeared on the big screen behind the stage, Mick lied and told us they'd be playing something from Let It Bleed... Then he turned into a parade of four awesome Exile numbers, of which I dug Rocks Off the most (wonderful swirly bridge part, and a nicely loose intro a la '72). Very nice song choices indeed!
Thru And Thru sounded better than the studio version thanks to the organ and saxophone (unlike many fans, I do think this is a "song", and a good one even if it's a bit slow and odd, plus Keef sang it better than ever). Before They Make Me Run didn't kick the studio version, but I still regard it as Keith's number two after Happy. By the way, after Thru And Thru, Ronnie gave Keith an ironic smile that appeared to hint back at the previous gig's "incident". Same thing with Chuck Leavell's wink towards Mick when he remembered to introduce him, unlike last time.
Can't You Hear Me Knocking was without a doubt a highlight (I was delighted to hear it since I had seen it dropped from so many European sets). Keith's riff wasn't as ultra-cool as on Sticky Fingers, but the solo part tore the socks off of me. Bobby Keyes was just as good as in '71, Mick played the harmonica, and Ronnie gave an incrediby impressive rendition of Mick Taylor's godlike solo (he pulled many licks straight off of Taylor, but also threw in a lot of new improvisation). Really nice electric piano as well. By the way, Keith broke his pick and funked up the riff at one place... then turned to Ronnie, smiled, threw the pick away, pulled a new one from the mic stand, and thereby elegantly wasted another few seconds of riffing. I luv it!
I was impressed by how intimate the small off-shore stage made it all, even if the sound was horrible if you didn't stand close to it. Great idea to do Brown Sugar over there! I guess Satisfaction was considered as an encore, but it was too obviously planned and close in time to the previous number to feel like one (not that I enjoy artists who walk off the stage ten times when the audience knows that at least nine of those were planned months ago...).
To give you my overall impression of this concert -- it was a bloody amazingly well performed and entertaining gig, with an awesome setlist and all of the musicians in great shape. After all, all the sloppiness is part of the Stones sound. Even if Ronnie as usual felt completely insignificant on a couple of occasions, he also had a bunch of big moments (Monkey Man, the solos in Tumbling Dice and CYHMK, etc.). Mick gave everything (though I did miss Midnight Rambler), and Charlie appeared like he's been doing the last forty years (though he did smack the tom-toms especially funky on a few occasions).
Despite all this, I can't help thinking that they should play it even a bit more like back during the Taylor years, with less people on stage and less pompous, more "live arranged" songs. The total rush I felt during (now don't laugh) Aerosmith in the same globe arena in 1999 never really came to me as much this time, even though I got to see my biggest idols at only three meters distance. But the Stones probably won't get any better than this in the future.
Some low points:
...and I missed:
On a side note, I managed to get in with a camera in my underpants... if the pictures (of the Stones, that is!!!) turned out to be decent, they might appear here some day.
The Stone started with Street Fighting Man. The following songs were high-quality-versions. Obviously, the Stones liked this indoor-concert. The whole set was amazing and it is not possible to compare this concert to the "Stadion-show" two days ago. What to say about the concert? The Stones gave us a great version of "Miss You" and they did "Exile On Main St." songs: "Sweet Virginia", "Loving Cup", "Rocks Of", "Tubmbling Dice". Nothing to say about this songs, great, great, great.
And everybody in Stockholm was waiting for "Can´t You Hear Me Knocking" and they did - as expected - "Can´t you Hear Me Knocking". This song does not need Mick Taylor - Ron Wood is the perfect man for this song and he proofed that this song is still living..
Keith Richards played "Thru And Thru" and "Before the make me run". Obviously, Keith Richards was in love with these two songs.
At the end of the concert, the Stones climbed the center stage. It is not possible to compare the center-stage-version of Brown Sugar with the Stadion-Brown-Sugar-version. Three great rock songs - great played - on the center-stage.
Finally the Stones played "Satisfaction". Nothing special - but beautiful. The Globe-Stockholm-show was satisfaction for everyone. We got what we need and what we had waited for. This time the frontpage of Svenska Dagbladet is to be reserved for the Stones.
A lot of surprises, like "Sweet Virginia", "Lovin Cup" and many more. The B-stage was a lot effectiv tonight, with classics such as "IORR" and "Brown Sugar". One of my favourite songs "Rocks Off" where performed well.
Ronnie played air-guitar on the half "If You Can't Rock Me" before he got his guitar back. Does anyone know where the guitar were? "Start Me Up" was much more heavier then on Stadion.
Sad Sad Sad, they didn't play Sympathy For The Devil or Gimme Shelter, that would just have made the night. But the concert was great!!!
And don't forget the great crowd this evening. Expressen gave the concert 5/5 and Aftonbladet 4/5, great evening with the greatest guys, Mick where fantastic this night!
Thank You STONES! Love You Guys!
Thanks to Carl Lönndahl and Jarkko Väisänen for news links!
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.
It's Only Rock'n Roll 2003 -
© The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe