It's Only Rock'n Roll
The Rolling Stones : 10:55pm - 12:20am
The Stones performed a private show in front of some 700 people connected to Deutche Bank tonight. It was a set of 14 songs, starting with "Start Me Up" and ending with "Satisfaction". Also they did songs such as "Ruby Tuesday" and "It's All Over Now". This was a private arrangement. You will not read anything about this show in the press. However, IORR was there, and this is the whole story...
Deutche Bank is having their meetings for top level management and selected VIP clients annual in Barcelona. The meetings are business oriented like a conference. Then like any other business conference there is a gala dinner, where everybody gather for a grand dinner. In the past Deutche Bank have been using Barcelona and the surrounding area several times, also the venue they used this time, the museum, and in the past they have had performers like Kylie Minogue.
The entertainment part of the dinner was kept secret. Nobody new. And to be honest quite a few of the attendees cared as much for the business and the social part as for whoever would be performing. The conference was held at the Arts Hotel in Barcelona, and the attendees were told to gather in the lobby at 8pm for the arrangement, the dinner.
Buses trasported the guests the few km drive uphill to the Olympic Montjuice park, where the museum is, right below and in front of the Olympic Stadium, where the Stones performed just a few weeks ago. As they arrived posters was held on display saying "Dinner". No signs of Deutche Bank or "Stones". All of this was very private and secret indeed.
As they arrived, two security people were checking their silver guitar shaped wristbands telling they were allowed into this private arrangement, and then they walked the red carpet up for welcome drinks. The whole arrangement was decorated in black and discrete red. Black as sort of secret and discrete, red as sort of VIP.
The dinner was set for the Sala Oval of the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya - "MNAC". This is a large theatre with a floor and an upstars balcony style seating area that can take may be 500 people. Nobody ever used the seated area. The bank just used the floor of the hall, where 60-70 round tables seating 11 people each was all set for the gala dinner.
As the dinner was finishing close to 11pm, the guests were told to leave their seats, some tables were moved slightly away from the stage, black curtains were dropped to hide the tables, and this was now soon to become a rock show for some 700 bank people that were lucky to be connected the right way for this arrangement.
The lighting and show set up was very different for this show. With a historic and old building like this one you might think they would do it like the Brixton or Olympia theathre shows, but this was not so. It was more like a show with "Pet Shop Boys". Neon style lights, still very nicely and decorating, fitting in with the black style of the rest, also as many were still dressed a bit black business style, but as you can see from the pictures, some left the tie behind at the hotel.
The show started shortly before 11pm. The Stones performed for 1 hour 25 minutes. Keith planned to do "Happy" as his first song, but he changed last minute into "You Got The Silver".
Some 50 or so fans was outside the side doors, hoping that the bank people had mercy on them but with no luck. Half a dozed high heel Swedish models were allowed in thhrough the same back doors because they were "the gift from the Stones to the bank", as Mick said when they were introduced during the show.
The museum security people was the nicest people of the evening, as they opened one of the side doors so that the fans outside actually could hear what was performed. They also took mobile phones from the fans into the venue, and made brief recordings during "I'll Go Crazy", as you can see available on the net now.
Was it a great show? For sure. Any Stones show is great. But they missed the most important part. The fans. The show cost Deutche Bank four million Euro or so but it probably cost more in loss of goodwill, may be for the bank, may be for the Stones. Most fans don't like these kinds of private shows, as you can see from the IORR Tell Me reports about the Barcelona show and private shows in general.
Kickoff with SMU. What a sound!! The room was great, something real extraordinary. After all, it's a hall in a museum. What a venue to see the Stones in! Immediately I felt like I was at a club show. The entire audience went nuts from the start. Let me say one thing about this matter (a show for bankers), as it has been discussed on all the boards. This crowd was a real Stones loving crowd. Think about this. The guy pulling it together must love them, and of all the 100.000+ employees only a handful could join, as could a limited number of clients. So even they had to network their way into this show. I tell you, everybody who was there was there for the Stones. And the Stones felt it. They gave all they got. And let me tell you another thing, at probably every Stones show there are just as many bankers in the audience, but nobody notices. Why? Nobody cares, you're just there for the Stones.
The stage was relatively large for the hall, but we've seen them claim space before (Beacon, Paradiso, all extended stages). There was a long catwalk halfway into the hall, which Mick frequented a lot. Anyway, from the start you could see the band was positively influenced by the audience, which caused for a show of extraordinary high level. I may not be the most critical fan, but hardly anything went wrong, the guitars were loud and clear, solos long and tight, and best of all, they had fun on stage. Keith a lot on Ronnie's side and vice versa (!), Darryl came to Chuck/backing vocals, Bernard and Lisa coming out of their section for 2 songs... they all were really into it.
Mick made quite some jokes about bankers, which were received very well. 'thank you for having us here, and the best part is, it's coming out of your bonuses!' and a reference to a Woody Allen movie 'I'm an investment banker. What's that? I invest other peoples money until it runs out'.
Highlights of the evening were YGMR, which was an extended version with lots of solos and weaving. It's All Over Now, I think they played it on the main stage for the first time, which is good for the performance of that song. You Got the Silver, with a fabulous Ronnie, and a very tight Sympathy with all the necessary elements.
The band also gave a present to the bank, by inviting plenty of pretty women to give the audience that little raunchy extras a Rock and Roll show needs:)
I was lucky to be in, and it's a pity that not more selfproclaimed real fans could be there. But the Stones got paid to deliver, and they delivered indeed!
The entire set up was something really special. The venue was quite simply stunning, with its beautiful views over Barcelona out on the terrace to the spectacular roof of the oval shaped room in the heart of the museum where the concert itself took place.
The lighting was simple but very effective. Coloured strips came out over the heads of the audience and combined with the jetty into the middle of the crowd had the effect of making the whole experience very inclusive. Minutes before the show started there was an announcement telling people to leave there seats as the concert was about to start, to be honest I don't think the crowd needed any encouragement.
There has been much criticism of the concept of this show and the indeed the audience. However, I can say first hand that the crowd were really into it and the band responded with a tight and high energy set. I spoken to many in the bar afterwards and each and everyone of them was on a genuine high and all the talk was of The Rolling Stones and not interest rates or hedge funds.
Many had not seen the Stones before but many thought it was the greatest live music show they had ever seen. I really feel for the hardcore that wanted to be there, am I with you, I just rolled the dice and got lucky, but please spare a thought for those in attendance who have only just discovered the greatest possible pleasure that we already share, seeing The Rolling Stones live! The theme for the conference was passion and all the money in the world can't buy you that.
My greatest pleasure of the whole event was being witness to the mass baptism of new Stones fans! I had a very similar experience at the Isle of Wight and there spent most of my time enjoying watching the crowd that were really getting stuck in to enjoying themselves! Both audiences could definitely teach the average Stones Arena or Stadium crowd a thing or two.
While myself and my gambling friend weren't treated to the the luxury of a set list anything like as differentiated as Roseland that was never going to happen and I have no doubt the show was more enjoyable for all because of it. Let's face it few find the Stones through "Worried About You" or "Dead Flowers". Fans are baptised by the War Horses and stay for varied catalogue.
I drop of by the museum by 19:30 just to find the "Welcome to Guantanamo Bay" poster and the Rattlesnacke sign ! Some nice guy around there told me that Charlie just walked in ! Things were looking good. After a while we could spot Tim Ries going in and out many times giving away passes to his friends. Catalan drummer on his Time Ries project and 3 friends were alowed in. I should try this one ! A group of gorgeous blondies also made it.
As the time of the show was approaching all the VIPS came in the front side of the museum. Most of them didn't care about the Stones. There was another chance to try to enter but sevurity was really tight.
At the end we standed outside the Museum begging for an open door so we could hear something ! There was only one decent person that night, he was a Museum worker who took our mobile phones to take some pictures of the show !
We could see the band leaving the building. It surprised me the way Darryl was treated. He was in the same van with Bernard, Lisa, Blondie ...
Mick and Charlie travelled in their own Mercedes. Keith in a VW van, looked tired to me. Ronnie said hello !
I couldn't get no Satisfaction !
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Photos by IORR.