It's Only Rock'n Roll
Show time: 9:20pm - 11:25pm
This was the knife sharp Keith Richards show. He owned the show from start to finish. More soon...
22-feb-2003 - 11:55pm
The warm-up band Jet played from 8:05pm to 8:50pm. I had plans for seing their entire performance tonight, as I had given up on them last night, due to the terrible acoustics. But then I decided their Enmore performance was the one I wanted to have as a memory, so I left them playing the duo acoustic bit in the opening, and went to chat with friends instead. Also, the real reason why I left my seat was that everybody around me were talking while Jet was on. Having an acoustic duo with everybody talking around me is not really my kind of thing...
Being in the catering areas of the arena 10 minutes before the Stones are on is really nerve-wrecking. In one way I don't want to take my seat early. In another way I don't want to end up missing the first minutes of the opening song because I am just running late... But I was in my seat by 9:10, and ready as always. Ten minutes or so later Keith took stage.
The sound was crisp and clear. Keith's guitar just cut into the venue like a sharp knife. "Street Fighting Man" is the opening song that makes it clear who Keith Richards is, THE guitar player.
Don't Stop was great fun and a very good version. Mick was up front playing his guitar, while Ronnie and Keith were back-to-back just behind him, making their own guitar pair.
Again "You Can't Always Can't What You Want" was the one that make the crowd sing and dance, like with the previous SuperDome shows two days ago.
Then the "Exile" set - "Sweet Virginia" was so sweet, "All Down The Line" was so fast, and "Tumbling Dice" had finally found it's place in the set, with it's companion songs.
Mick was running through the introductions like he had a train to catch. Keith tried to dress up with his green and blue jacket and shirt, but had to take stage all the time to join in with the presentations.
Then it was Keith on his own. The Worst. Great song. But it was over all to soon. Keith had been throwing picks all through the show. But now he had decided this pick was for a special fan. He walked up front stage, leaned down, and handed over his pick gently to the girl in front of me. I know how it feels like, because I have been handed a pick by Keith myself. He don't just throw it at you; some times he hands it over to you, and close your hand, as he is giving you the look that is saying this is for you only. The girl, whom I just had shoke hands with before the show, was so touched by Keith and the moment, I don't think she got into the next song until it was half way through. Indeed Keith is touching us all...
Happy was next. Then it went dark, and Mick was back on "Sympathy". "Midnight Rambler" was great from start to finish. I knew it meant we could not have "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" tonight, but we can't have both.
The rest was just rock'n'roll. Mick had been wearing his blue tongue "Sydney" shirt through the 2nd half of the show, but the Sydney crowd was still shy. As they arrived on the small stage, security had to demand the fans to come closer to the B-stage, so that we could have the real club feel. Normally there is a rush...
By the time "Jumping Jack Flash" was on as the encore, people were all over the place. Security tried to sort out where people were supposed to be, but it was packed everywhere.
It was Keith on lead all through this show, but for sure Ronnie did his parts too. Also, in a couple of rare moments, like during Don't Stop, Mick did actually make eye contact with us, as he noticed the "California" "Stones" license place held up in the front row. They all loved it, and so did we.
23-feb-2003 - 12:50am
As soon as Keef stepped on stage in his black leather jacket with the riff to Street fighting man the sell out crowd went crazy. Start me up followed and then an explosive If you can't rock me.
Don't stop featured some great guitar posing by Mick, whilst Keef was dancing away.
You Can't always get what you want caught Mick off guard and he got some of the lyrics mixed. Everybody on stage had a laugh.
Featured album was Exile. Sweet Virginia featured some great harmonica work by Mick. Then onto a real rocky version of All down the line.
Next up was Keef. Flicking a cigarette butt to one side he was ready for The Worst, Ronnie wasn't and needed a little extra time to set things up.',. From the Worst to Happy' said Keef. As usual this number really rocked.
A smouldering version of Sympathy for the Devil and then straight into Midnight Rambler. Charlie provided the crashing beat to this in his own impeccable way.
Gimme Shelter up next. Lovely Lisa [tight black dress, silver stilletoes, new shorter hair style, and sexier than ever] stole this one. What a voice. Ronnie was clearly impressed and had been flirting all evening with her, making phallic gestures with his guitar.
Honky Tonk Women next. Keef as cool as a cucumber on this one.
Next Satisfaction and the dome has reached fever pitch. Keef in his black T shirt with white skull and crossbones looks like a swashbuckling pirate. Mick is amazing working the audience like a dancer in a strip club.
The walk down to the small stage is next. Charlie walks along the platform like he is out for a Sunday morning stroll, and seems to be oblivious to the outstretched hands. The rest of the guys appear to be trying to shake hands with everybody in Sydney!
3 numbers on the centre stage: IORR, like a Rolling Stone and Brown Sugar. The guys are fully energised and are taking no prisoners. The audience are loving every moment as the Stones give us an almost sureal performance that defies both time and logic.
Back for the encore to the main stage for Jumping Jack Flash. Mick is still dancing away like a 21 year old, shirt compelely unbuttoned to reveal an incredible physique. Keef is in his element and is wielding that Fender like an axe. What a powerfull perfomance.
After 2 hours it's all over and we are all heading out into a heavy downpour of Sydney rain. Back to reality. Tomorrow back to the UK to see my 7 month old son Charlie, for the Rolling Stones they roll into Melbourne.Keep on rocking. See you all in Sweden.
Met up with the various crew in the foyer. Got to meet and talk to Bjornulf which I had really wanted to do. Such a cool guy. I'm so happy that everyone i meet seems so easy-going and friendly, haven't met one person who isn't happy to have a chat and a laugh.
Went in and found my seat as soon as I could. I was right to Keith's left and on the very last row - no-one behind. Could not see the screen. The sound wasn't great but was good enough. I haven't heard anything of Jet's studio stuff (they have one EP only which is rare and selling for ~$US29), but judging just by their sets the last few nights everyone should check them out. Very un-pretentious and no attitude which is refreshing.
The crowd was noticebly quiter tonight - no mexican waves, and took a long time to file in. Stones start and there is not a great response. For me the show felt like it was in two parts. The first part of the show the crowd was very quiet. Mick said as much when he commented something about us being "shy", and maybe we would not be so shy later on.
YCAGWYW got a similarly big ovation as it did two nights before.
Mick had introduced Keith as "the Salvation Army's favourite". When the roadie brought that slide thing for the worst, ronnie was doing big getsures as to say "What in the hell is this?", "How do I play this thing?" But he was great on it.
Place was very subdued until happy I thought, I guess it's hard to tell because I had such a bad seat, but generally i think that is true.
Slowly things started to change and the crowd felt more alive during an absolutely smoking Midnight Rambler. Mick was going back and forth to the drinks table to get tissues and blowing his nose. Must still be that cold. Maybe this is part of the reason for the smaller sets? Would be good if it was, because by next week he may be free of it. Ronnie was in animated conversation with daryl throughout the song, have no idea what he was on about. If I had to choose between CYHMK and Rambler I would choose the later everytime.
Next was Gimmie shelter. Keith did a weird thing and sat down on Charlie's platform (what do you call that thing? podium?) and stayed there until the first "just a shot a way"s. Very odd to see this but maybe the extra concentration helped because it was a great performance. This song finished so beautifully, I took it as being much more together than the previous show.
Satisfaction was a screamer. Don't know how but this just gets more solid and meaner everytime. Keith was wearing a skull and cross-bones tank top by now.
I was annoyed to see a guy in row 2 standing absolutely motionless, dead-pan expression on his face. I'm sure everyone has seen similar and you know the feeling. But on the other hand there were a few old guys right up at altitude with me who were standing and clapping and having the time of their lives.
Since from the opening Street Fighting Man, Keith took lead of the show, he was thundering his riffs right and left and had a lot of interaction with the crowd too. If the Stones kept the same standard of Thursday night, the public, unfortunately, did it too. Mick worked hard the whole night trying to get them back from their sleep, walking and dancing a lot on the two sides of the stage, but great part of the audience thought that, since they paid up to 350 AUD for a seat, they had to use it. A lot of people were seated even during Midnight Rambler and Satisfaction. What a difference with the European fans!
I considered Midnight Rambler the real high point of the concert. I still have on my mind the way Mick was singing the slow part of the song, close to Keith and Ronnie. Fantastic! I also enjoyed a lot the Exile set. In so many Stones gig through the years and through different continents, I never had Sweet Virginia live before.
Now we are heading to Melbourne, where we hope the crowd would be, using Mick's words, "not so shy".
Review by Marco Peper (Holland) Don't be shy! Jagger had to tell the audience to actually JOIN the show instead of only sitting and watching. It's no tv program. It's rock 'n roll! Inspite of the shy crowd the Stones were rocking. I agree with Bjornulf that this was Keith' show. In fact both Superdomes were Keith'.
And nice to notice that its all live and human when Mick messed up during You Can't Always Get What You Want, and the way he solved this 'problem', sooo professional.
To have both Rambler and Sympathy in some 15 minutes or more, is like living in the end sixties. Thanx guys. Sweet Virginia was really touching. All Down The Line was boiling and Tumbling Dice was - well what can I say? The should NEVER leave this one out!
So all together this was a fantastic week in Sydney. Three great shows! Many great friends from all over the planet. Lost my voice but found my spirit!
I was shakin' it front center. When my Keith walked to the microphone to sing me, rather...Sydney, 'The Worst'. As I sang along with him, the song came to an all too soon end. Keith walked over to me, bent on his knee, held out his arm, and I stood like a deer with the headlights in my eyes. I couldn't believe it! Keith kneeling, in front of me, eyes locked on my 'blank stare' as he extended his arm to me.... and in his hand -- his guitar pic. Gary/StonesMalf pushed my arm up, and before I knew it, Keith's hand was in mine, and he was delivering me his pic from The Worst. I took it, and he waited until my hand closed around his..... and then he released it to me. I was stunned, as I took his hand and took possession of it. And, with pic in hand, my head was lowered in stunned amazement -- and slight embarrassment -- as many came to pat me and congratulate me on the back, and within my hand.... yes, my Keith Pic! It was worth the 17 hour trip, baby! I love these guys, and I adore my Keith!
...I will never ever forget all the joy he brings to me and his fans!
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It's Only Rock'n Roll 2003 -
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