It's Only Rock'n Roll
Still no “She So Cold” tonight – but I gladly forgot about it when “Sway” and “Worried About You” were rolled out in the 5th & 6th slots. The remainder of the show was pretty textbook. The band sounded very tight and Mr. Leavell was on, as usual, in front of a very appreciative audience in his home state. Keith had a couple of false starts on “Honky Tonk” and “Brown Sugar.”
All in all, it was a great evening. After the show I reflected back to fond memories of my first show at Alpine Valley (Steel Wheels 1989). I remember how I was certain that it would be my only Stones concert. I was seventeen then and it’s an honor to still be seeing the Stones at thirty-three and having enjoyed all the great tours in between. I think another Stones European summer vacation is in my sights.
They truly looked like they were enjoying their time and made a couple of references to the October Atlanta show. Once again, during the intos, Mick allowed Chuck Leavell ( a Macon, GA boy) to come down and take center stage fo a bow.
The crowd was into it, but definitely looked more yuppie than last time, and nothing got an absolute OVERWHELMING ovation, til SATISFACTION.... for instance....when the stage moved to the back of the floor for MISS YOU... last October, the pop was HUGE!!!! This time, it seem tempered. Atlanta is a fickle crowd, they never seem to really go banana for most anyone.... Springsteen, U2, Kiss Metallica, Toby Keith.... this is just a strange city.
The setlist varied quite a bit from October as well. It sucked we didn't get a PAINT IT BLACK with the awesome job Ron Wood did on the guitar/sitar thingy, but we got a MIDNIGHT RAMBLER!!!! And a SWAY!!!
Before SWAY, Mick sad: "Here is a song we don't play very much at all. But I know it is going to be just perfect."
In October... the MVP of the show was Ron Wood... tonight, the MVP had to be Mick. He was in top form! No references to the Super Bowl were made at all.
GO SEE THESE GUYS!!! They rock harder than most anyone else these days!!!
PS. SOUNDCHECK: Rocks Off, Sway.
They opened with Jumping Jack Flash, and it really got the crowd going. Keith and Darryl had a long face off midway through the song, playing really close to each other. It’s Only Rock and Roll followed next, a little too quickly it seems, as it caught Mick off guard as he was getting a drink of water. He let them play the first verse instrumental, and then started singing the song on the second go round. Mick also came to our side and lifted his shirt, flashing us all. Shocking! He also localized the song by saying “Buckhead” referring to an upscale section of town here in Atlanta. There was also great video on the screen, mixing elements from their early music videos. Oh No, Not You Again was next, and the Stones seem to really enjoy playing this one. At the end, you really got the feeling that Keith and Ronnie did not want to stop. At the end of the song, Mick gave a special shout out to all of us in the back, which was nice of him. Sway was next, a really great version. Once again, Keith seemed like a coiled spring, holding back a lot more than he’s playing, just waiting for the right time to be unleashed.
Worried About You was the next one up. Mick sitting down at the keyboard and yelling behind him, “This is in C, right?” Mick seems to really enjoy performing this one, and the two slow builds really give this song a lot of theatricality. It was probably the highlight of the night. Tumbling Dice followed. This is a warhorse that I’m a bit tired of, but the audience liked it a lot. It’s a crowd pleaser, that’s for sure. Midnight Rambler came up next, and this is where they really cut loose. It’s impossible to imagine them doing a bad version of this song. Keith played a long section while squatting down and holding the guitar very close to the ground. Finally, Atlanta got to hear Night Time Is The Right Time, and it lived up to its reputation. This is the one where all the couples dance, and of course Lisa is great, and Mick tries to top her after she sings. It’s great to see them push each other to be better. A great tune. At the end, it actually seemed like Mick kept it going for one more verse beyond the ending, something he rarely does.
The band intros were next, and local boy made good Chuck Leavell gets a nice round of applause, with Mick pronouncing his hometown as “May-CON.” It was cute. Keith gets a nice round of applause, and he mentions that it’s good to be back so soon, and asked how the New Year has been treating us. He then played “This Place Is Empty”, which was my cue to take a bathroom break. Keith followed with a really good sounding “Happy” This was the first time in the show that I noticed that Ronnie’s guitar was just a little raggedyer than normal, and the song ended strangely, with Ronnie doing flourishes on the slide with no sound ringing out afterwards.
Miss You begins the ride to the b-stage, and it’s a wonder that they don’t bump into each other on that little tiny slice that they travel on. Mick and Keith came dangerously close to running into each other for a moment. At the end of the song, the jumbotron caught a picture of someone using his or her cell phone. Whether this was a subliminal Sprint advertisement, I don’t know, but it amused me. Rough Justice was next, and warmly received. This is a great song and makes you wish they had played more stuff from A Bigger Bang. At the end of the song, someone threw what looked like a stuffed animal on stage. Mick grabbed it and threw it right at Charlie, landing it in his lap and visibly startling him. Charlie tossed it over the front of his drums and away they went with Get Off Of My Cloud. It sounded a bit strange at first, as if they were doing a new version of it, but it didn’t take long for them to settle in, and the crowd loved it, really moving and singing along. One of the best crowd responses of the night.
Honky Tonk Women is played as they ride back to the main stage. Keith must have changed guitars, because his was totally turned down at the beginning, which is a shame because that riff IS the song. Despite the rough opening they settled down again fairly quickly, and the audience was back into it as well. At the end, Mick again thanks those of us at the top and at the back. That’s really nice of him, I’m glad he’s thinking of us!
Sympathy For The Devil was next, The crowd really got into it, singing the “hoo hoo’s” right away. Mick picked up on the vibe, and the whole band seems to be enjoying this one. It’s such a drum and bass heavy song, and I think this one is really where Darryl makes the biggest impression, because his bubbly jazz-like riffs make the song a roiling sea for Keith and Ronnie to bounce and bob along on. Start Me Up was next, and the crowd loved it again. This is another warhorse that I can do without, but it is truly amazing how the Stones can play this one and make it seem as though it’s still fresh to them. It was a good version, and the crowd loved it. If they were pumped for Start Me Up, Satisfaction kicked it up even higher. It seemed that everyone was dancing, and the clapping along at the end was as loud clapping as I’ve ever heard at a concert. It was as if for a few minutes the crowd actually became an extension of the drums. It was also interesting to see Mick and Charlie communicate with each other near the end of the song in order to end it right.
The encore started with You Can’t Always Get What You Want, a fitting song for me because I was again denied hearing She’s So Cold live. Keith played much of the song with his back to the audience and one foot up on Charlie’s drum riser. Again, Ronnie’s guitar work was just weird and a little bit off, like he was having trouble hitting some of the notes. The crowd really loved singing along, and at the end Mick complimented them by saying “You sang that beautifully!” Brown Sugar was the last song of the night, starting awkwardly as Keith does the opening riff in the wrong key, pauses an uncomfortable moment, then plays it again in a different key. The Stones also played some video on the screens of a topless woman humping world landmarks. The crowd ate it up like… well, like brown sugar.
The fireworks pop and the streamers stream down, and the Rolling Stones take their bows and head off into the Atlanta night, bound for places unknown. It was great to have them here again, and we hope that they’ll come back soon!
Please send your show reviews and comments by e-mail to:
The reviews will show up here soon! Thanks!