It's Only Rock'n Roll
The Vue (warmup) : The Rolling Stones : 9:57pm - 12:00pm
Inside it was the perfect venue. Built for music. With acoustic materials in the roof. May be the first time I have seen the Stones in such a building. And great acoustics of course. Like with the other club shows in Europe, Stones fans came in from all parts of Europe and the rest of the world, but the main part of the crowd was of course Dutch.
The special T-shirt for the night was a van Gogh inspired Stones tongue on a T-shirt that was blue and yellow - would have sold great in Sweden as well. People could sit or stand any place, as the ticket was open, access any place on the floor or on un-numbered seats.
They recorded a few selected songs, those that needed some extra touch-up. That's why the set list is close to the ones at Olympia and Stockholm Cirkus. At least five cameras in the crowd plus a number by the stage. Hand of Fate was nailed well, as well as others. Ronnie was the king of the day, Mick had to say "are you finished now Ronnie" at the band presentations, as usual, when Ronnie took his bows all over the stage.
Mick picked up tons of roses, as well as a couple of written messages from a girl on the VIP area. Phone numbers to be exchanged. And Keith thought it was a good room - he said he wanted to wrap it up and take it with him.
Charlie knew Mick would arrive with his microphone for the presentations, forcing him into saying a few words, so to defence himself frokm any speeches he drummed some great bits on his own until Mick gave up and passed on the stage to Keith.
After one of the songs Ronnie did some extra riffs, and they made a lot of fun about it. Mick went to put his arm around Ronnie's shoulder, as they faced Charlie, talking about it. Then Keith came along and put his arm around Mick. They all three stood there arm in arm talking about the song, facing Charlie, with the back to us, and you could hear a sweet gently "aaaah" going through the crowd as we all fell in love with that image of "our boys".
After "Thief In The Night" Keith said: Now we will play "Happy" when Ronnie has finished his coffee. And Mick said "Ronnie Wood on guitars and other things" during the presentations. Did I say Ronnie was good?
And the show itself? What can I say? May be onbe of the best club shows I have seen, and I have seen a few. Ronnie is playing the guitar like he has been listening to Jimi Hendrix lately, the start of Knocking, and also as he was feding the PA at the Ahoy the other night on JJF. Worried about you is always a highlight, and during "That's How Strong My Love Is" Mick did not even use the short break in the middle of the song to drink or rest - he moved back, puled down his head, used the towel as a refreshing unit for two short strokes, and then he was back for another crazy worse of what he called a slow soul track, more like a fantastic freak-out Mick highlight with the best possible energy delivery. How strong can it be?
No Honky Tonk tonight. We have to find out how often that happens. Not often. Pierre was sitting in on the organ for Thief In The Night as on the BtB tour. And I never felt the need for moving an inch tonight. Just two hours of pure joy. This is what I like!
The US needed 5 years to free Europe, they needed a few months to free Iraq. But the Stones needed
only two hours to achieve 19 amazing victories in Utrecht tonight! Vredenburg was ON FIRE. This was
the best clubshow I've ever seen, the best sound I ever heard and the best crowd I ever witnessed. I'm
still shaking and think it will last forever. And please! Don't try to cure me.
Vredenburg should be closed now forever. Not any band or artist in the world should get permission to play this temple again. From now on Vredenburg is a museum, a holy church of rock 'n roll, a forever lasting monument of four saints called the Rolling Stones!!
I only saw the last numbers of the opening act but I heard that the sound was good in Vredenburg! The Stones took the stage just before 10 as usual. Jumping Jack Flash was just nuts!!! This show was extremely loud volume wise. Lisa Fisher was in a good shape and I shouted that loud to her that she waved and I even received a kiss from her hands. The setlist was a bit different to the club show in Sweden. I really liked Dance pt 2 and the high point of the nights came with No Expectations for me and not to forget Saint Of Me... A very good shape with Ron who really kicked ass in starting some number again. The Stones should have followed Ron and playing one more minute of some songs but YCAGWYW...
Overall a very good show and it was great to be able to be that close and to see the whole stage and all the happening onstage. However, the crowd seemed very hot, there were way too much people on the ground floor. Ans some people in the balcony were sitting during many parts of the show....I mean, let's rock Vredenburg and Utrecht, a very nice city and this concert, well, I will NEVER EVER forget this one.
The theatre was beautiful from the inside and when looking around a I saw so many friends who made it to come in so we were getting prepared for a great evening. Stones started at 10PM. After the introduction they walked on the stage and they looked and smiled around. Keith and Ronnie got their guitars and Keith started Jumpin Jack Flash; The show was on!!!! Vredenburg exploded! The next songs were identical as the Olympia show but the big difference was that Ronnie played so fucking great and he did it just two metres away from us. Hand Of Fate was perfect this time and after a killer version of No Expectations (really much better than in Paris, thank you Ronnie) Mick was screaming his lungs out on Worried About You. Saint Of Me was the first time this tour and the audience never wanted to end this song. This was by the way the 76th different song from this tour and they did now as many as different songs as they did during the entire BTB/No Security tour.
Then all the rare songs which they also did in Olympia such as Dance, Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, That's How Strong My Love Is and Going To A Go Go. Olympia was great but Ronnie made the difference tonight in Utrecht. Then the Keith songs: He said, Utrecht, you're on the map now and he wanted to wrap up the place and take it with him. Thief In The Night, never played during this tour and different song #77!. This was by the way the 6th different Keith song in Holland. Can't Turn You Loose and Can't You Hear Me Knocking were great and CYHMK ended just perfect, way better then the night before. Then we got the well known songs. Satisfaction was the encore which is rare for a club. Usually Keith joins Blondie, Lisa and Bernard but the stage was really to small so they all had to squeeze in to make a little space for Keith. Thank you Rolling Stones for putting Utrecht on the map!!!!
Bjornulf, Indeed no Honky Tonk Women. They also didn't do this one in Chicago (jan 22) and Paris (july 7)
Last night I 've been to the clubgig in Utrecht. Hearing Jagger singing was a deligt: the way he used his voice and his performance in the usually easy listening song "that's how strong my love is" was for me the highlight of the evening. After being a fan for over 25 years I thought I had seen everything of the Stones but I was totally overwhelmed. The absolute proof of "the singer not the song" !! There's only one Voice and one King and that's Jagger. I paid almost 1000 euro's for this show but is was worth every cent of it with songs like "no expectations" and "hand of fate". Too bad for a lot of Dutch fans that a lot of tickets were in foreign hands because, I suppose, the earlier knowledge of the fanclubsystem.
Doors were supposed to open at 6:45pm, but I guess they suddenly opened at 6 pm. Everything was VERY well organized, I was in the first group of about 100 fans to get inside. They used a system to let people in in blocks of hundred and that worked out great. Once inside, we were asked to sit down in a small hall, were we got another briefing (NO running, pushing or we would have to go outside and start lining up again). Then we slowly made our way through security where we were bodysearched, metal detector and were I met the security guy who almost threw me out of the Ahoy the night before, so I got an extra search (we're engaged now :lol ) I got through and found myself a nice little spot 2nd row at this (very) small extension of the stage. Met a couple of people I knew through the net only and, as I am still suffering from some injuries from my days in the Balkans, they made sure that my spot was secured so I could go to the lobby to sit, doing some stretching and so on. But a certain moment, I was in the lobby again when the opening band started, and, because it was pretty dark, I didn't risk to go down the steep steps, and stayed untill the lights went on again after those guys were done. (was it Vue, or something?) Anyway, from what I could see, the singer did a nice job cleaning the floor by rolling over the stage). People where so nice to let me though to my spot, that was safely guarded by a coalition of German, Dutch and American fans :D Then the long wait started.
The Stones were scheduled to start at 9:30, but we had to wait untill 10 before we heard the announcement. Meanwhile, a guy from security came buy to ask us not to try to grab Mick's legs when he was coming to the front, and I have to say that this INCREDIBLE crowd was able to leave Mick with his trousers on for the whole show :) And, we were soooooo close, I'm 1.90 meters, but I had to look up to see Mick's face when he came over to our spot, his feet only inches away! AND THE REST IS HISTORY!!! All the energy that was apparently carefully held back during previous shows, now erupted! From the opening riff of JJF to the moment where Ronnie placed his guitar, that was still producing sound, on the stage at the end of "Satisfaction", we went through the BEST performance ever!!!! I am not going into detail on every song, just some (personal) highlights in a concert that gave us 18.5 hightlights (BS had an opening you won't hear on any official record :) ).
Hand of fate...Djeez!!!! No Expectations ....BEAUTIFULL, first tears on my cheeks! Worried about You..... Troathproblems? Who? certainly not Sir Mick!!!!!! He was really going to the limit!!!!! Saint Of Me... Nice surprise, brought extremely well and ended in a great sing a long from the crowd! IORR, again, crowd singing louder than Mick. Dance..... you had to hear it yourself. That's How Strong My love Is....unreal, touching; Mick opened his heart to us. Going To A Gogo.... We were at a Gogo!!!!! Crowd still wild, jumping, handclapping, singing along. Thief In The Night... Keith leaning on his guitar, singing for us from the bottom of his heart! (he said before how great the venue was and that he wanted to fold it up and taking it with him :) ). Happy... YES, we AND the boys, were happy and it showed on all faces. Can't You Hear Me Knocking.... This version will go in the history books!!!!!!! Bobby, Mick, RONNIE kicking MT back to the sixties!!!!!! Start me Up : Crowd jumping, singing, the boys grinning having a great time, Mick pouring water over the first rows.... Tumbling Dice....great! A messy start of BS, and then, after the encore (Satisfaction), it was over :( ..
Greatest moment of the night (and I stole this sentence from Bjornulf on IORR, but he puts it so great!!!!) :QUOTE: After one song where Ronnie had given another brilliant performance, Mick went to put his arm around Ronnie's shoulder, as they faced Charlie, talking about it. Then Keith came along and put his arm around Mick. They all three stood there arm in arm talking about the song, facing Charlie, with the back to us, and you could hear a sweet gently "aaaah" going through the crowd as we all fell in love with that image of "our boys". UNQUOTE
Can't write no more.....
Some people I met during other shows left early because they couldn't take it anymore. They were too tired after waiting for the ahoy and now for Vredenburg, but me and my friend pulled on through. There were too many people in front of Vredenburg in the morning and I already knew they would not get a ticket. We all had numbers and I already had number 79. Their were some exciting moments as some people tried to get in before others who had numbers. I swear that I was ready to really knock some of them down if they got a ticket and I didn't. So I was just very happy that in the end the right people got the tickets. I was so pleased to get a ticket that I was almost crying. This was going to be a f***ing great show. I went home to take a shower and ate some decent food and drove back straight away.
At 7 o' clock they opened the doors and I already knew that everybody would get a great seat, because there are no bad seats in Vredenburg. The room looks so nice and the acoustics are fantastic. The opening band were on stage very soon. I thought they gave all they got and I was pleased. That guitar player looked like Brian Jones so much as I've said before. While they played, Keith was watching them from the back and I bet he thought the same thing. They played a 45 minutes set and then went of stage. It took another hour before the Stones were introduced. There was so much energy in the crowd, even more then in previous Dutch shows, so I knew the crowd was up for it once again.
They did a tight version of Jumpin' Jack Flash, and man it was an opener allright. Wow, what an energy. Is the roof going to hold? Live with me was stunning, but then they played Hand of Fate. I almost lost it, while they played this one. I only dreamed about this and in reality it was even more beautiful. The crowd went nuts. No Expectations was so peacefull with wonderfull playing from Ronnie. No need to say more about this lovely song. We all knew Mick is a cool guy, but he was never as cool as in tonight's version of Worried about You. Keith was playing some beautiful riffs on this one. Then a surprise, Saint of Me. Nice to hear this tune again. Great singing along as Mick played with the crowd again. It's Only Rock And Roll was very tight and you know what happens when they play this song. Dance was unreal, so f***ing cool. Great riffing from Keith and Ronnie and Mick gave everything.
Everybody Needs Somebody To Love was just a great intro for the very best live performance I've ever seen from Mick. That's How Strong My love is was unreal, beautiful, fanf***ingtastic and HEAVEN!!! Never in my sweet short live did I see something like this. Mick Jagger, the greatest frontman in history of Rock N' Roll, gave us his very best tonight. I thought this never ended. The crowd went completely wild!!! Going To A Gogo! Yes that's all I'm going to tell you about this one, because I'm still taking my breath here.
Keith did a lovely version of Thief In The Night. My friend was smoking a joint, I had a beer and we loved it. Keith just held his guitar but he was not playing it. He was just singing to the crowd. Keith made me happy when he and Ronnie gave us fantastic riffs during Happy. Ronnie on fire! They did a double ending on I Can't Turn You Loose. The crowd was so loud. Can't You Hear Me Knocking. Bobby and Mick both gave great solo's on sax and harp but this was only until Ronnie started his solo. Ronnie was all over the crowd as he was riffing his ass off. Keith was just laughing toward Ronnie, he loved it as much as we did. Ronnie played tight and this solo will never be forgotten. In Holland Mick is the one who really gets pleased during Start Me Up. The crowd seemes to sing louder and louder every time. You can see the amazement in Mick's eyes. Somehow the Dutch crowd loves this song.
Tonight they stones reminded me how great Tumbling Dice really is. That rhythm guitar from Keith, the lyrics and the whole feeling is just nothing more than pure Rock N' Roll. Thank you so much! A mess up during the intro of Brown Sugar, but man, what an energy!!! Satisfaction was once again a pleaser as the Stones played their final chords in Vredenburg last night. This song never seems to bore me. It's just full of excitement. The crowd was screaming, yelling and moving as the stones took a great bow. They love the Dutch crowd and the Dutch crowd loves the Stones. Energy and Rock N' Roll were key words. Me and my friend didn't talk afterwards. There was no need to talk about anything as we both reached heaven's door.
After the 2 great shows in Bercy and Ahoy, for me there was still a little seed of hope to get into Vredenburg. Yesterday morning I drove from Rotterdam to Amsterdam, got very stressed about the traffic and found the Amstel Hotel. Unbelievable, but I got my golden ticket to the club show!! I think this was my best ever lucky weekend (in Ahoy Keith touched my hand).
This is a real orgasm for a real fan who has never had the opportunity to attend a club show. I cannot describe the feeling to hold the right voucher in one hand and the according wristband on my other hand.
Together with a friend of mine (and I nicknamed him Glimmer Tim) we drove to Utrecht and we queued early in the afternoon. The highlight was Mick arriving in the white limo, opening his window and waving hello to us.
A while later we entered the very beautiful and cosy venue. And than I knew I was not dreaming. Standing on the fourth row on Keith’s side and very close to Mick’s little frontstage, I realised that this show was going to be my greatest Stones experience!!
And my intuition was very right. This was the best show I’ve ever seen, heard and felt. Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie were in superb condition and gave the best of themselves. Mick was amazing and had enough energy to sing the first rows to the back of the room. Keith licked the most stoned riffs out of his guitars. Ronnie stole the show his funny way and by wearing his red “multi talented” T-shirt he proved it too. And then Charlie, he was cooler and better than ever!!
The setlist was the greatest, the band was the greatest and the crowd was the greatest. Also the venue was unique and the sound perfect. If other fans say this is maybe the greatest club show ever, then I can only say that it really kicked ass, especially mine!! They played some of my favourites, including CYHMK and Saint Of Me, and surprised me with Hand Of Fate, That’s How Strong My Love Is and Worried About You. All the others were real presents.
I touched Mick’s hand also and now I realise this show will probably be a once-in-a-lifetime-experience, but you know: you only need one to feel this way!!
After the show I really felt like a Keef in the night.
The Stones had to come out that staircase on stage right and Charlie went right up to his drum kit, everything could be seen, no big entrance, they just walked in and started. Some of the camera guys had the setlist and we had a look at it before, couldn't see everything, but we knew that SOM was going to be played for the first time, I loved that.
JJF started out loud, the sound must have been very good behind us, but for the first few rows the vocals were very deep down in the mix, as we only got them from the PA over and behind us, but we got Keith' guitar and Darryl's bass right from their speakers, which was something else, and really great it was.
Couldn't see Charlie's face, because it was behind a cymbal, but I could tell he was playing hard tonight, hitting the drums like he wanted to save his life. Mick was all over the place.
The camera man got frightened, because everybody was dancing in our area for the first few minutes. Even the two security guys protecting him couldn't help a lot, so he made a quick exit after 30 seconds or so. He couldn't hold his camera still at all, everything moved. I could have told him that before. ;-)
Oe of the security guys stayed because he lost some bits of his headphones during the first few seconds and crawled around on the floor in the dark to find it. Poor him, but we didn't help him at all.
Live with me next, Keith picking up Daryll's riff and Bernard and Mick together at Bernard's microphone later in the song, singing or better shouting to each other. Great. Keith did come over to the front from time to time, but stayed in the back a lot, next to the drums or his amp.
Then Hand of Fate, ok, so they shorten club setlists as well. Again a semi-karaoke version of Mick's vocals, again looking at the monitor screen a lot for the vocals. The guitars knew their stuff by now, much more licks traded than in Paris and Stockholm. Maybe Mick does remember the vocals by heart at the Astoria. ;-) Strong performance, though, I just loved the guitars.
Then No Expectations. Mick got his acoustic guitar on cable, not on the wireless signal. He had to stop walking out onto the right wing through the song once, because the cable was not long enough. Ronnie got his slide guitar on the stool and tried to fight the bugger. Gave a funny harsh look to Mick and took up the fight. Keith came over to see over Ronnie's shoulder during the song. Ronnie won the fight this time, although it looks like a hard guitar to be played. The singing was extraordinary on this song, as was the slide. Best version on this tour, easily.
Then Worried About you. The crowd picked up the song and it went on and on and on, a real cowd pleaser and MIck seemed rather pleased when it was finally over. The falsetto showed that Mick'S voice is back in form again. They should release this version, if they think of releasing any of the versions they did during the tour.
Then SOM, first time this tour, a song for the dutch fans who are famous for singing and singing we all did. I really cried my heart out during the chorus. Just great to have this song back and maybe they bring it back some more time during the tour. As usually, the crowd went on after the band finished, Ronnie wanted to restart the song but didn't suceed with the other band members. Mick was giving him a strange look.
IORR next. I could have done without it, but again the crowd chanted the chorus out loud. Mick was all over the place, holding the microphone over our heads to catch us singing.
They played Dance again. I missed that song in Stockholm a lot, so I was glad I had it back. Mick went for his kettle drum too early, had to do another verse, so he went back to the mike to sing it. When the rhythm middle bit started, Mick picked up his drum a bit late and did not play really long. I prefer the Krone version of this song, much more interaction in the middle bit, much longer.
ENSTL next, good as always, although too much Blues Brothers for me. Mick in command on stage the horns grooving nice solo by Tim Ries. Ronnie tried to start the song again, but again no-one followed him. MIck seemed annoyed about it, so Keith came up, put one arm around MIck, the other around Ronnie, and they all looked at Charlie and were friends again. One of the most beautiful moments I have even seen of them on stage.
THSMLI was another power song, not as powerful as in Krone, but not far away. Mick commanded the band, his voice, the audience and at last this song gt a double ending, right in the tradition of Otis. If you ever see Mick doing it, just watch him, listen what he does with his voice, from singing to shouting, from loud to very quiet, then exploding again and again and again. Look at his face, his body movements, his hands. He LIVES that song. Shame he's not black. ;-)
Going to a Go-go was ok, but as I said before in other reviews, it's a cover version and I would have loved to see some other song in its place. The audience did like it though, it's a simple groove that gets you going.
During introductions Lisa came up from behind, taking Mick by surprise, Bobby Keyes got a long ovation that seemed to surprise him.
Then Keith: Thief in the night I hoped for the day before and now I got it. Pierre at the keyboards again, he had to hand out the guitar to Keith first and then rush over, so it took a little while and Keith looked around, but the song was again beautiful this time. Our friend Gary R. was in the audience and I sure know he knows that I thought of him during that song. ;-)
Ronnie had a coffee and Keith waited for him to drink it before starting "Happy", Ronnie rushed to his guitar and Keith said "That's what friends are for". He also wanted to wrap up he place and take it wit him, because he liked it so much. Happy was done fast and very loud, very good slide by Ronnie's lap steel.
Earlier on Ronnie had shown Keith the "No Smoking" projections in the room and pointed out to him that it was a no smoking area. But both Keith and Ronnie did smoke, as did the audience. Keith had a large one, rolled by himself or somebody else, a rather large one and you could tell that later on in the show.
Mick came back up the staircase and shouted Can't turn you loose on his way up, even before the band had started and off we went. This time a double ending only, not a triple one, but it is a fun song to have, everyone seems to enjoy himself on stage. Mick again all over the place. There was that coloured beautiful woman in the VIP area stage right, don't know if it was L'Wren, she talked to him and he talked back, she threw him a piece of paper which didn't arrive where it should have gone and they seemed to have fun chatting during the song. I wonder what happened after the show.
Then CYHMK, Ronnie again in top form, longer than the night before. Keith not doing too much during hte solos, Bobby in great form with Keith and Ronnie stading next to him, Ronnie by this time sporting his "Multi-Talented" t-shirt. Mick's solo also was quite long and it fitted perfectly. Ronnie again played his Woodpecker guitar, much more suitable for this song, at least that's what I think
SMU, again Ronnie with a good solo. The audience knew by now that the show was coming to an end, so they delivered some extra singing.
Tumbling Dice followed and again I could have done without it, but I enjoyed it.
Then Brown Sugar. Keith completely blew the intro, Mick started to sing when Keith was still trying to do the intro of the song. Keith stopped, tried to pick up the song again, failed, tried again. It sounded like it was played backwards. Somebody should introduce Keith to this song or stop putting that much ganja into Keith's really big home made cigarettes. They go through it in the end, but only just. What a great messup it was.
Satisfaction was the encore and we sang through it, but I thought it was a poor choice of song for a club show. I definitely could have done without it, as it was my last song on this tour. Another price we had to pay for the videotaping or filming of the show. It was great version, nevertheless, but it left me on a bit of a sour note.
Then final bows and the audience giving them a big hand, seeing them off through the staircase and that was it......
We arrived in Utrecht around 3 pm and it was all Stones Stones Stones. The fans were all around the place, mostly happy (the ones with tix), some hoping on another ticket drop and some in despair realising all hope was gone. Vredenburg by the way looked like Fort Knox, but with the usual saturday market around the block normal life was also going on. With our wristbands we lined up in front of the entrance. Shortly after 5 pm Jagger arrived in a strechted limo. He had to wait a little and to enjoy us all he opened the window, waved and gave us a big smile. Shortly after the others arrived in 2 vans.
At 5.30 the queue got a bit nervous, many people stood up and it became clear to me that with numbers 268 and 269 on our hands we roughly had some 100 people in front of us. At 6.15 or so the doors opened but that didn't mean we were inside. A first group of 100 people were allowed to enter. After that we had 12 people in front of us, so I had been right. After what seemed to take forever the 2nd group was allowed to enter the next stage. John Mulder, managing director of Mojo, set out the rules for thr evening: no pushing on the stairs and no cameras. He didn't mention recorders btw. After his speech we were searched with detectors. My bottle of water was taken out of my bag (so John why were the VIPS allowed to bring in their bottles?!?) and they wished me a happy evening. Entering another door some security bitch did the whole procedure again, but after that I got in the "grote zaal".
I noticed the seats on the first 3 rows were taken but the floor was mostly free. We decided to go to the left side and found a nice spot to sit. Opening act The Vue took the stage at 20.15 or so but was nothing to get up for. Slowly Vredenburg got packed and at 9.30 the 1800 inside were ready to rock 'n roll. We had to wait until shortly before 10 until Keith hit the stage and opened up with JJF, the place was immediately on fire! Live With Me, Hand Of Fate and No Expectations brought us to Worried About You which was pure magic. That's How Strong My Love Is was my personal favorite of the first part of the show. Jagger really nailed this one, I've never ever seen him better!! Can't You Hear Me Knocking was another masterpiece. All the criticism on Ron Wood was washed away with his solo. Earlier on Wood was amazed with the huge no smoking signs on the walls, didn't kept him from smoking though and during the 2nd hour of the show the signs was gone.
The final 4 songs, Start Me Up, Tumbling Dice, Brown Sugar (did Keith start with Happy again?) and Satisfaction ended a perfect night. I left the building with a fantastic feeling, I doubt I will ever see a better show, it was pure magic!!
I was standing together with some other Dutch friends from me (André, Ben and saw some Belgian people from a distance ( Hé Vince-glad you made it). Also nice to meet Johanna from England. It was a pleasure!!!
About the show, there’s already much said about it but for me it was the greatest rock’n roll show ever!!!! I can not compare with other club shows but they played almost without mistakes and they were all just f***ing great. Ronnie (multi-talented) was awesome, Keith rocked great and Charlie was just ‘boom boom’.
Mick’s voice sounded never better!!! Highlight for me was ‘that’s how strong…. I could cry so beautiful it was sung. I’m sure this version has a good chance for the upcoming DVD!!! The first three songs just rocked off the house and ‘Saint of me’ was just one great party and sing along. And hearing songs like start me up, brown sugar and even satisfaction in such a great and small venue is still a whole different experience and feeling then in a stadium. It just blows your head away. Only I had hoped for ‘Sympathy for the devil’ as encore, but ycagwyw.
Can’t you hear me knocking now was played stunningly great, and they now played the great final (like they normally always do) but was missing in Ahoy (it was there abrupt ended by Ronnie so I thought some there where out of tune or Ronnie could not remember the ending anymore, but according to my friend Chris – Mick indicated already twice to Ronnie that he had to end his solo, so he did it but probably a little bit frustrated and did not play the usually end). Other highlights for me were ‘worried about you’ and ‘dance’. Especially the first one is going through your whole body, certainly the two verses in falsetto and when he’s screaming ‘baby’. The whole show was just one great long ORGASM. There is not one bootleg that can give this great feeling and power of this evening. I will never forget it.
We arrived at about 3 O' Clock in Utrecht, as we all had decided to take it easy. At the Olympia show we waited in line for about 6 hours, to find out people who came 1 hour before the doors went open were standing in front of us! Being in front is mostly a case of luck, as the security is one major factor. We met up with about 20 people whom we all knew through Dirty Work and through other concerts, had a bite in Utrecht city, and went to the Vredenburg venue about 17.30 hour. We met many, many people we knew by name through internet, and a certain Hendrik Mulder proved very busy with having me meet many IORR and Rocks Off contributors who wanted to get acquainted with "The Critic Prince of Sarcasm" (literally the words of you know who!). It was nice to show that in real life I can be a nice person as well! Anyway, I have never seen such an easy crowd. Nobody was standing, pushing or arguing -everybody was just relaxing and waiting patiently for the doors to open.
At about 6.30 the doors opened and the crowd went into the corridors in a relaxed manner. We had to wait for another half-hour, and then groups of about 150 people were let in. Some tour director told us the rules for the concert: no running, no pushing, no arguing, no nothing. If you did, you were going to be thrown out. The security was strict as hell. I never ever have been strip-searched so thoroughly -even my laces were checked two times! I entered the hall in the second group of 150, and felt relieved it was possible to achieve my desired spot on the floor: the floor section exists of two part: an inner pit right in front of the stage, and a levered ridge of about half a meter above the pit. This means that I was standing about 4 meters in front of Keith, but nobody in front of me and I was able to see the deck of the stage. A perfect spot!
During the opener The Vue Keith and Jo wood were standing for about 5 minutes on the stairway to the dressing rooms. Keith made some str to worry about the show.... But, at the first tones Jumping Jack Flash it was clear: this concert was going to be special!
I never have seen the Stones perform with so much eager, energy and thrive. Jumping Jack Flash rocked like I never haven seen it rock, with a much longer ending than normal, a bit like the ending of Street Fighting Man from Brussels: faster, faster and faster, with Charlie doing four on the floor with his snare!. Live with Me sounded so much better than at the Olympia, raw, energetic, and a brilliant sax solo by Bobby. The first proof of a historic night was Hand of Fate: at the Olympia this song litterally crashed within a minute, but now it was fast and mean, with two perfect Wood solo's, a Mr. Jagger who could remember the lyrics, and most important: Keith remembering the chord changes! Even the C -G turn around at "I should have known it was a one-horse town" were played by Darryl and Keith -something not easy to do! At the Olympia Ronnie had difficulties to stop his head from crashing into his lap steel, now he played the most beautiful and haunting slide I have ever heard of this man. This was literally bringing tears in my eyes!
Worried About You is a song I could hear for the rest of my life on any Stones concert. I do think that the version at the Olympia was slightly better, mainly due to an improvising Jagger, who his to fill up some mistakes. Now the song went perfect, taking some of the brilliance (for me) away. Saint of Me was excellent. For the entire concert the crowd completely out of his mind, blowing the roof of off the building, and Saint is the perfect vehicle for having crowd participation. The song ended, but the crowd went one and one, and Ronnie started to jam with us -the first time Jagger would correct him! IORR rocked harder than ever, and again Ronnie continued with the rhythm guitar, making Jagger say "are you finished now Ronnie?". Jagger and Ron started to talk and laugh, Keith put his arms around Mick, and Charlie started smiling; a most beautiful sight to watch!
Dance was excellent, and track -this concert was for Stones die-hards! I do think that the Olympia version was slightly better, but this could also be because there it was the first time I heard it being played live. Everybody Needs still doesn't work for me, it is too much like a cheap Vegas band. The high point of the evening was That's How Strong My Love is, no doubt about it. But, at the intro Charlie couldn't find the right beat, somewhat distracting Mick. He went a little early to the "take it down slow" part, but delivered such a beautiful vocal performance -this man is not from this earth! I do think however, if I had to choose a version for a feature release, it would be the Olympia version. Going To A Go Go was a lot better than at the Olympia, it really had that 1981 swing.
Thief In The Night was a disappointment for me. This crowd was eagerly waiting for anything special, and Nearness would have been a perfect choice. Instead, we got a little lame version of Thief. Happy was excellent, with a prominent role for Ronnie. I Can't Turn You Loose poses the same problem for me as ENSTL, it's too much Vegas style, with a too big reliance on the horns.
Can't You Hear Me Knocking started out strong, and proved to be the best version I have heard so far. A long -very long- sax by Bobby, who given more and more time to wail away. Ronnie's solo was good, but a bit too much fiddling with the tremolo for my taste. Jagger's harp was breathtaking, with long low phrases. Simply beautiful. Start Me Up was rocking harder than I have ever seen, but with Tumbling Dice it became clear they had given it all. The band started to sound sloppy. Brown Sugar was the worst ever version: Keith started the intro in C, and after that was clearly completely lost. He turned to jagger, gave him a sign the verse would start, and Jagger immediately began to sing -two bars too early! It took them after the solo before it started to fall together again. Satisfaction was lame, and I don't understand why they would play it other than for reasons of filming it.
So, was this show better than Olympia? Absolutely. Some songs were played musically better at the Olympia, but to me, the sheer excitement of the crowd, the energy and especially the joy of the band was so much better at Vredenburg than at the Olympia. I have never been at a show were the band and the crowd were so much one in enjoyment of the atmosphere, in the awareness of a historical night. This night was one to never forget, and I can only fully agree with a reporter's comment that "if you were at this show, you never need to go to any Stones show anymore".
Ps. Jagger picked up a girl from the crowd, about 5 meters away from me. It was a beautiful South- American looking girl, and Mick was staring at her for a couple of songs. He then mouths "gimme your phone number" to her, and two songs later she throws her number at him. He picks it up quickly, goes to the back of the amps, and about three minutes later the girl is picked out of the audience by two guys with headphones.....
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It's Only Rock'n Roll 2003 -
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