It's Only Rock'n Roll
Counting Crows (warmup) : 8:00pm - 8:55pm The Rolling Stones : 9:40pm - 11:50pm
Rehearsals approx. 4:45pm - 5:30pm: Bitch, Saint Of Me, Angie, I Just
Want To Make Love To You, You Don't Have To Mean It. Doors opened at 5:45pm.
The stage was placed on the wide side of the stadium. And it was dark at show
With the last lights of the day fading the stones started their performance about a quarter to ten. The sound was a little bit blurry, but that is the fault of the tin roof. Later on as I moved close to the B-Stage it was quite better. The performance was great and the first highlight was a very jazzy extended version of Can't you hear me knocking with a tremendous sax-solo.
Keith performed his songs ín a very morbid way, unfortunately there was no Happy. SFTD was the best performance ever. The red lights and the fireblasts and a very diabolic Mick... awesome great! Afterwards a powerful B-Stage performance with Mick jumping around like a teenager while playing Midnight Rambler just like they did in the seventies.
Then the great Miss Fisher had her fun almost undressing Mick while singing Gimme Shelter. The final four "classic" stones songs rocked the stadium to the end of a wonderful night at Vienna. Great performance, great set list but the sound on the airfield in Wr. Neustadt 5 years ago was much, much better.
At first we were afraid that this night is going to be the first wet show this year. But the rainy day changed into a warm night with an almost perfect set (as you can see above). I hope boys really enjoyed the show as we did because the standard 2 hour limit was exceeded. This was a complete Keith's night. He received an enormous ovation and his performance was perfect. He did a great job in Brown Sugar and the last greatest hits set was complete his (this night Satisfaction was very hard..) Anyway, for me this tour is much better that BtB stadium shows, boys are really enjoying the music and Ronnnie and Keith parts are more balanced. Another surprise for me was how hard the show was. Some songs were really hard rockin'.
The absolute highligt of the show was obviously double set YCAGWYW followed by amazing CYHMK (I am so glad they keep it in after Berlin). The B-stage set was a miracle, great version of I just wanna make love and especially Rambler with very, very long final part. During the middle part of concert Ronnie was a king. He played almost 100% of solos in this part and he has proved again how great guitarist he is. Especially CYHMK solo is absolutely amazing. I love to be in his part of stage because see him play is really worth of it.
Regarding Keith's playing which was discussed many times here, my opinion is that he is very relaxed this tour and he's having a good time on stage. Once more, the Vienna night was his night. Tonight's version of BTMMR was thunderous and very hard rockin' - another highlight. Just for me, the sound in the in front of the stage section was very clear, maybe sometimes too loud. Even the B stage set was OK. Last but not least, Shelter with Lisa is an amazing song.
I would like to also thank Stones for inviting such great opening acts for this tour. The Counting Crows were the best Stones warm up I have ever seen, they did nice 1 hour set with their greatest hits and a marvelous version of Friend of the Devil.
See you soon in Leipzig and Prague !
At point 8.00 the Counting Crows started their show. The sound was not too good, but their songs worked. The highlight was "Friend Of The Devil", a Grateful Dead/Bob Dylan song that can only be described with the word "beautiful"!!!
At about 9.15 the crowd got really hot, started clapping hands and the LaOla kept the audience busy for some minutes.
Finally, at 9.43 Keith played the intro-riff of Brown Sugar (That's what I call an opener!!). The first three songs were great as always and Mick got the fans on his side immediately. Angie is just the song to play in a stadium!! Nice acoustic guitars from Keith and Ronnie and thousands of lighters in the audience made Angie to a real summer night's dream!!
YCAGWYW and CYHMK were very special (like Ludik Moteyka reviewed) and after a powerful Tumblin Dice Mick introduced the band. After he had introduced Charlie he put a hat on Charlie's head. Charlie looked very strange ... ;-) A funny gag, the audience was enthusiastic ...
Then Keith's two-song-set followed - Thru&Thru, which is a typical Keith-ballad, was OK and Before They Make ... was the best version I ever heard of the Stones. Ronnie did a pretty good job on this song!! Although at the end of the song there were some problems ... A fan must have thrown something on Keith or the micro didn't work properly, Keith looked a bit confused for some seconds.
The next tune, Sympathy, tore the whole stadium down!! A stunning version and the fire-show on stage ... incredible!! Maybe, all in all, the highlight of the concert!!
But, in my opinion, the boys are best on the B-Stage, the three songs there were so powerful and inspired. Even in a stadium you get the feeling of a club show!! They should play more songs on the B-stage, I think it's just a unique experience for both the band and the audience!!
The last five hits (yes, Satisfaction rocked really hard, thanks Mr. Richards!!) were the deserving end of an evening of pure RnR. The Stones proved again that they are still the greatest, and I wanna stress it, THE GREATEST ROCK BAND IN THE WORLD, even after all those years ...
And there's one thing I wanna say at the end: It's NOT only Rock'n'Roll ....
Hard Rock in Vienna
This was my first show on the tour, so unlike the lucky bastards, who did the Munich Grand Slam, I can only compare it to B2B shows. Also this was the first time in my entire stones career that I had minimal info on what was gonna happen, did not really listen to boots, had not seen the set, and due to the diverse setlist schedule, I did not have an inkling of what songs to expect at all. No doubt I was a tourist... but I liked it! Being a tourist, I headed straight to the wrong side of the stage. Good news- the Ronnie side has even better view on the Keef side, especially from the next- to-the catwalk position. I'd say that the Keef sound was also more dominant there, but it might be just this tour, but I had a feeling that I hear Keef's amps better, maybe just cause I saw them better. the licks set
At first sight the stage set seemed to be surprisingly economic. I remember Mick saying that the Stones used to have backdrops, rather than sets before he brought Mark Fisher in the picture. When I saw the cast images during the first section of the show, I thought, well a backdrop again, though a nice one. Not a tiny little one, just a bit functional, especially when compared to the baroque of B2B. (btw, my personal favourite is the organic high tech of Voodoo Longe) Anyway, as a tourist I did not miss it, and as a Stones freak I regarded it, as well as the lack of inflatables as sliding the focus a little bit back to music. intro No flashfires or hurricane, but the intro theme is blustering better than ever, I could have counted my heartbeats. However, some little development on the creative side would be welcome. There had been many, ellington, fanfare for the common man, continental drift, the cobra lights, allah akbar, but the groaning noise remains the same. No problem, the tourist likes it, and i was eager to hear it for years.
Brown Sugar / Start Me Up /YGMR
As a matter of fact, each and every song sounds better when played at the beginning! (The best ever JJF version I heard was London 99) End of the show versions are usually meant to be cathartic, which they are, but musically I prefer the songs at the beginning. Also a very good idea to roll the hard rock section to the start. The setlist - I mean the sequence- is very well built, a lot of songs moved to a better position.
Tourist or not, I really missed the new songs. Hope the greatest hits concept was only choosen for the anniversary.One of the highlights of the show for me.
Well done,maybe the guitar/brass ratio could be improved even further .
Angie /You cant always get
Angie was very nice, with Mick actually extending his voice beyound the stripped version. The sparkling video was a bit dippy. YCAGWYW was the gem point for me. Saing along -everything-words are not needed. personally and not only as a tourist, I would welcome more soft, or at least loose numbers . Usually the new songs include at least one ballad, or they play some old stuff like Paint It Black or some country flowers. It was more of a hard rock show this time, maybe as a consequence of the pants thrown in Germany:)
Can't you hear me knocking/Tumbling Dice
A very good concept to choose one of the musical highlights of the stones career for jamming instead of a 12" Miss you. I though they shoud replace Bobby for Josh Redman before I heard this. No, Josh could not play this one. Well done Bobby, you did it. It proved to me, that Bobby is still one level higher than Chuck or Darryl-not only plays great, but wants to play even better. Not a craftsman, an artist. Mick joined with a fairly good harp solo, peer to his fellow musicians. Apart from Mick, the biggest surprise for me was Charlie, all along the concert. He plays like hell, controls every beat preciselly, and RUBBISH he does not enjoy it! Keith came up with very well balanced riffs, and his little cuts swept the stage clear for what was meant to be a fantastic solo.... As for Ronnie. Don't knock me, I have to tell you-Ronnies solo is balancing on a very thin line between "feeling" and "falling apart". Not just this one, honestly. I like the guy, no need for Mick Tylor to come back, just I keep my fingers crossed that there was really coffee in that little mug. Tumbling Dice sounded good in the middle section too. The earlier the better.
Thru and Thru / Before They Make me run
I could not wait to hear Keef's section, as I heard You Dont Have To Mean it was rehearsed at the soundcheck. Hence I was a bit disappointed. I am not much into these two songs, and what's more, I would give the whole hard rock section to hear All About You live once. These songs are really pushing the limits of Keef's voice, even in the original versions. A brave choice I admit, and apart from little slips and cracks he did it.
Sympathy For The Devil
Nice video effects, updated sound arrangement, new rolls from, Charlie, new jagger poses, and the classic beggars falsetto is back in the end! That's what I call developmet! No satanic wardrobe, but Mick dressed up much better for this song than for the opening section. As for the whole band, I accept the economical stage but a costume designer should be definitelly fired or hired. No leopardskins or fly shades, flashyjacket, or Edwardian buttons now...just some sunday lawn mowing garmnents out of the box, circa 1981 tour.
Contrary to the jazzy predecessors, the entrance music is somewhere between house music and an outtake from Goddess in the Doorway. I just wanna make sounded great even from that distance. Pity it's so far, but it's just high time for listening music. A brilliant Rambler. Very nice red lights. At some points I really wanted Jagger to whip that stage with his belt...
By the end of B2B I thought I was tired of GS. NO! Excellent, very well timed in the show (in fact it was too heavy piece to be in the warmup section) Lisa and the guys did a beautyful intro while the band walked back from the B stage. Also Lisa made some changes tin her solo, which sounded much more natural now. The backdrop featured very well designed video images. Think it was JFK's limo.
Honky Tonk Women / IORR / Satisfaction / JJ Flash
The greatest hits section was well choosen, HTW featured a nice manga cartoon,altough think I'd have preferred it without the pin. There was a bit mess at the beginnig of IORR, nobody, including the band was sure which song was it, until Mick came in. Liked the brass in Satisfaction, which in this case was just as good as an opening tune. JJ flash was a surprise encore. I just said to my friend it is so much better without the brass, whenthe brass came in. Nevermind, nice job. Bottomline- Less show elements, slightly more emphasys on music. A bit conservative setlist, but a very hot, uptempo show, with the band doing their best, for the grateful audience. Especially Charlie and Mick, but also the band as a whole displayed a surprisingly high level of energy and musical presence.
It was my first stonesconcert, and it was great!!! we stood very near to the b-stage,on "ronnies" side, and the feeling was great. Mick Jagger was standing in front of me...this feeling.....I couldn't believe!!
we were waiting quite long in the stadium, and then suddenly the countng crows appeared on the stage. their were good, but a little bit boring. Mr. Jones was great!
then the Counting Crows went off, and we were waiting again. and then suddenly the lights went off, and few minutes later the stones came on the stage with brown sugar! it was unbelievable! super.the whole show was fantastic.
The "presse" wrote, that the publicum was a little bit bored. SHIT! it was SUPER, and everyone had a great time. the people were dancing, singing along and shouting.....
so it was the best thing, the best show, the best time in my life, and i hope, that the stones will come to austria again.
The Counting Crows were pretty good and did a great job at warming up the people for the Stones. The boys came on stage really late (probably the latest start on this tour) and as always in Austria the crowd was in a great but reserved mood, typical for an Austrian crowd, I'm afraid to say. The setlist was good, we got CYHMK again and Angie, a nice change after a few Wild Horses during the last shows. Like in Berlin, a killer Sympathy For The Devil and a GREAT Street Fighting Man on the B Stage. All in all in a good show and it was great seeing them in my hometown. Hockenheim next :)
Thanks to Joelle Bonnet and Lorenz for news links!
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It's Only Rock'n Roll 2003 -
© The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe