It's Only Rock'n Roll
Warmup : Feeder
I treated friday like a holiday, almost like an encore to the World Cup. After lunch at KaDeWe and a good siesta, I met up with great friends, veterans of many a Stones-Show on the left-hand side of FOS. The scorching sun was well down by the time Feeder pulled off a solid, well-executed warm-up set. And then with no big gap in-between, The Rolling Stones exploded onto the scene with: JJF, whole-heartedly anticipated as an opener by yours truly. But things didn't sound right from the get-go; I heard no guitars whatsoever and it just seemed that things weren't going too well. The numbers that followed I thought were also somewhat bungled, throwaways with no groove whatsoever, the sound still muddled, a disappointing start to say-the-least.
It took a while before things would be sorted out, actually right up until they went into: Sway. I was still a bit pissed-off with the beginning proceedings until this one popped up out of nowhere and I recognized what was happening and then had to keep telling myself: "Ok, for now the show's not really been that great, but HOLY SHIT they're playing `Sway´ and I almost can't believe it but am I gonna dig this one or what?!", and even though it probably wasn't that great a-version since maybe somwhere, Kansas last year it set the pace for everything to follow thereafter like a fantastic version of Tumbling Dice, or their wonderful little tribute to Ray Charles which was nothing short of phenomenal. After that it seemed like everything fell perfectly into place: Keith's two tracks, the shifting mini-stage which literally shuddered before it took off, on thru to the torch-blazing during Sympathy (like the crowd wasn't hot enough already!) right on down the final stretch.
As I reflect back on the night now a few hours later, the real fury which fed the fire came not just from the 4 but all thirteen musicians on stage who have known and performed with one another for pretty long now, and who feed off of each other so well and who in return feed off the adoring crowd too and vice-versa. There's been some trepidation, even scepticism recently (fueled by rumors) among the die-hards as to whether this band will be able to continue to tour as they have for the past almost 17 years. If they do, then we ought to be grateful for every chance we get to see and be with them. If not, then we must be extremenly thankful for the wonderful times we were able to spend not just the night, but our lives together!!
Jumpin Jack Flash: loud, hard, under pressure and the great moment for Ronnies sitar.
It's only Rock'n Roll: Similar to other songs at this concert (Paint It Black, Sway, Tumbling Dice) this sounds like an old motorcycle that stood a long time in the garden. In the beginning, they started very exactly, slow and moved the car faster and faster - nice was the primitive but holy solo.
Oh No Not You Again: Jagger's second personality. Let's Spend The Night Together: The sound was not the best and i had problems to differ the instruments.
Sway: The extraordinary slow rocker made the "real fans" crazy. Keith was god with the riffs of it.
Angie: I don't like it but Jagger said: "Das Lied handelt von einem deutschen Mädchen." We let him play the howling ballad.
Streets Of Love: I don't like it too, but they went the song to a real great instrumental experience. Ronnie was great at it.
Tumbling Dice: Now it was dark over Berlin and the fantastic orange light at tumbling dice and the harmony of this great song make the crowd fly. Here the concert was a fantastic event of history of rock'n roll.
Night Time Is The Right Time: This soul ballad was Lisa Fishers "right time". The sound makes here voice too high and noisy, so it was not very fine to hear what the sound crew made with the soundboard and Lisas Voice. But her breast's were a package of fun.
Introductions: They moved Charlie to the microphone, but he was absolutely not amused to speak and so we enjoyed his silent speak. Very warm applause for keith and somebody has a plastic palm tree. I thought I had seen a tear in Keith eyes. In this evening for me he was not in the best healthy form. He did a very fine ...
... Slipping Away (Keith) He was great on guitar but not sure with the words, but no problem, some germans use the Keith songs everytime to buy beer. I hate that people!!! These are the intimate moments of every Stones-Concert.
Before They Make Me Run: Slow, Hard, Exact, very professional number of Keith and Ronnies Art of Weaving. Ronnie was brilliant at this song.
Miss You: The moved to the B-Stage-Position but the train has little problems at the roll-off-process. So Keith and Ronnie had a little joke while the stage "hopped" some centimeters. Great to see Charlies red socks and his yellow t-shirt. Funny and moving to see this station of rock'n roll moving through the stadium while playing a funky (thank you daryll - by the way - he has his own merchandising at the bigger bang tour) miss you. Chuck Leavell throws many plektrums around.
Rough justice: Not the best number, but one of the most rocking and crashing numbers in the evening (Mick Jagger: "Berlin, Berlin...")
Start Me Up: A little "dangerous" on the B-Stage, because the crowd drifted off and was too early powerless after this great number. Daryll had fun and danced over the very little stage.
Honky Tonk Women: The way back and Charlie moved backwards. It was nicer than the way off!!
Sympathy For The Devil: One of the Highlights and similar to any 70's bootlegs, dark, bloody and the hell was open! We saw the raw stones-heart. Keith made his solo 10 meters from me. It was my holy moment.
Paint It Black: Charlie was the king. He had a fight with his "Schlagsteug" (Mick Jagger at Introduction)
Brown Sugar: Fine, Fast very very Good
Goodnight, but nobody believed it....
You Can't Always Get What You Want They enjoyed to change the tempo. I think I saw one person from the horn-section at the piano. (Tim Ries - editor note). Great lights at this songs. All is moving, the stadium fly away.
Satisfaction: Cracking number with a restart at the end and a little experiment of bluesy satisfaction. Final bow and pyrotechnic and now the lights are on - the dream is over.
The Stones-Concert with the most energy I remember and I saw the stones at 5 tours. (I'm one of young fans...) I hope "Gold rings on" the boys (Keith wished this us after his 2 songs and I want to see them 5 times more. Any euro I spent is at the right place. The Stones are the apostels of Rock'n Roll an Keith is his symphathic devil.
Please excuse my little english, but have some fun with my review. Thanks to all fans - you made the concert to a very warm (the weather was it too, i drunk 1,5 liters of coke after the gig in 5 minutes) and good embrasse for the Rolling Stones.
(I have no pictures, because I read the ticket, but thousands made funny little handy-jpegs and so iorr.org will get some of this (I hope).
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Thanks to Leonhard Webersinke for news links!