It's Only Rock'n Roll
With some of the paint by numbers sets I viewed in Europe that made me yawn and the less than stellar performance I witnessed in Baltimore over the winter on the eve of their Superbowl show, I entered this stadium with very low expectations on my 3rd show this tour/31st overall. Have the Stones ever opened with “Paint It Black?” They did tonight!!
Who could imagine a set list this good? “Sway” and “Sweet Virginia back-to-back was a thrill. Mick was in amazing voice; the break did him good! The boys light the stage on fire with “Midnight Rambler.” “Under My Thumb,” as they say in Boston, was a “wicked pissah.” Amazing! “Streets of Love,” a song you wouldn’t think would translate well in a stadium, became a crowd pleasing sing-song and one of the night’s highlights.
“Rough Justice sounded great when I saw it in Philly and Baltimore, but it was flubbed on the B-stage. “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg!” Never heard that one in 25 years of shows! Keith sounded amazing on “You Got the Silver,” though he relied pretty heavily on the teleprompter. “Give a hand for the band, they really worked hard on that one,” he said. He had a great rapport with the crowd, who cheered loudly for him. “I had a rough year. I needed that.” The place went wild. Back to the teleprompter for “Little T&A.” It was as if a skeleton was doing some Keith karaoke in a Boston bar! It’s been over a decade since I heard T&A live and Keef nailed it! Definitely a top-10 show of all time. Long live the Rolling Stones!!!!
The Best 22.50 I have ever spent. I almost passed on this one because I got caught up in the bad hype and some stale setlists. This is my 11th show of ABB ,soooooooooo glad I went. I moved from Section 141 over to section 112 row 8, Ronnie's side, right at the end of the ramp. Great seats People slowly slid into this section as the night wore on I think they were all freeloaders like myself. . I did not see many scalpers and I would say the place was over 90% full. It was the Original Huge stage of the ABB tour.
I was close enough to see the setlist and I was amazed at what I saw, I thought it was the practice list my Sister Marianne is going to be pissed she passed on this one. Paint it Black as an Opener? I believe it was the first time ever, correct if I am wrong. Nice version not my favorite song but what a great way to change it up. Sound was a little low at first and by the third song it was worked up. I thought Ronnie played really well, Keith , Little T&A was Awesome I am not just saying this because it was a huge surprise it really sounded punky and raw and the crowd responded nicely. You got the Silver, Ronnie played Acoustic and Keith played nothing just sang. I also think this is a first, in 99 I think he played Guitar on this song and I can't ever remember a time when Keith sang without an Instrument. (again correct me if I am wrong).
Sweet Virginia they F%&*$#G nailed it and I could not believe how many people actually new this song it was a dam good sing Along. Mick mentioned how this was the 5th time in Boston in a year and thanked the crowd for coming to see them again. I think he meant it because of the setlist and the energy he mustered up as the show went on. Lisa not featured much tonight but was steady as all the back up was.
Under my Thumb great version and excellent transition from the Big Stage to the Small stage. Jumping Jack first time I ever saw this on the B-Stage another great Change. Other Highlights : Sway: Awesome, Aint to Proud to Beg: I love this No Matter What and the crowd really got into it. Rambler: Kicked ASS Monkey man NICEEEEEEEE.
Biggest Highlights of the night NO Miss You, Shattered or She's so Cold Trash These for Ever. I have not been too Fond of the Sympathy version being played on this tour but I really liked it tonight. I think Gimme Shelter would have been great in that slot tonight, that's my Only complaint of the night. Satisfaction sounded great a real Raunchy version, almost I swear like the version from MSG 69 when someone post it see if you hear it the same way I did, the best I have ever heard.
Sum it all up , Great sound from my seat anyway, Great energy from the Boys and the crowd. It just goes to Show when they put their minds to it they can pull off a great show in a stadium with an somewhat Obscure setlist which flowed very nicely. I swore I was never going to another Stadium show again but after tonight I will be booking some flights. I hope Halifax gets more surprises than we had. IF you were on the fence about going to any shows let me give you some advice get your ASS in gear ASAP.
This was my first time in Boston. Actually the Gillette Stadium is not in Boston, but in Foxboro. I am very skillful in how to find free parking place all over the World. Until now I could find a free spot wherever I went in Europe or the USA within 1 hour walking distance to any Stadium. Foxboro was just a too big challenge for me. The 30-40 dollars parking I think is ridiculous. Eventually I managed to get spot for 10$ at a Hotel but took me a few hours. I thought Foxboro won't be my favorite place, but then came the concert and my feelings changed.
After the intro they started Paint It Black. What a great surprise. I don't think they ever started a concert with this song. Then Mick asked If I want to live with him. Of course I can't be sure if he really asked me in the middle of the 7th row, but certainly I would. (If he needs a nanny) The third song was Monkey Man. Oh my favorite song in the last few years. Mick was dancing like a Gibbon with tremendous energy through the whole song. Then came another treat: Sway. Although it was the second time I heard it, I was so happy to hear it again tonight.
After this first 4 songs I didn't even expect anything better than that, but surprises just kept coming. The 5th was Sweet Virginia and even though this and the 6th song was not a surprise, the 6th was a first time song for me: Streets Of Love. I heard stories about how well they played it in Europe, and I did not get disappointed. It was even better than on the album.
Then came another wonderful surprise: Ain't Too Proud To Beg . This was also a second time song for me (I heard it in Oakland i 2002) but I just love that song so much. Mick just rolled with energy and I was in Heaven. It was followed by Midnight Rambler my all time favorite. Then came Tumbling Dice and it was time for Keith to sing. After his usual gestures he did not pick up any guitar, instead Blondie did. It was good sign that something unusual might happen and came one of the many surprises tonight: You Got The Silver. Keith just sang it and i can't describe how good it was. This was my 34th show in my life and still got a song I never heard live before.
But wait, after he picked up a guitar he started another song I have never heard before live:Little T & A. Oh thank you so much. And they didn't stop their. Chuck started to play something I couldn't recognize. The band joined and I thought it gonna turn to Miss You, but it didn't. After about 15 second came the main riff of Under My Thumb. The fourth song I have never heard before. The stage moved, and Mick sang the song into the right direction, the direction I was standing. (Eventually they figured out something because the sound was awesome even during the time they played on the little stage. I remember on the Licks tour it was terrible.)
They Played Rough Justice, Jumpin Jack Flash, Honky Tonk Woman there. After they came back they played Sympathy. I enjoyed Keith solo very much, and so did Mick as well I guess because he missed the "pleased to meet You" after the solo and came only with "Hope you guessed my name". And I don't know if Lisa also liked Keith solo as much as i did, but at the end of the song she asked Keith to come to her and she gave a kiss to him.
They finished the concert with Start Me up, I Can't Get No Satisfaction and encore Brown Sugar. For a long time my favorite show in my life was Berlin 1990 then came the Wiltern 2002, then Vredenburg in 2003, then this year in LA Forum I again revised and called that show the best in my life. I can not do that anymore and can't compare awesome wonderful shows with each other, but tonight was definitely one of the best show I ever attended.
There can be no question that when the Stones are on --- they are on.
Boston seems to have become
a second home for the glitter twins . . . and they treated Gillette Stadium
to quite a homecoming!
With Mick in character on every song - and clearly refreshed from some r & r -- it was full throttle from the opening chords of Paint It Black!. Opening nights are always special, Boston is always special . . . but this night was memorable. Every song was a statement --- with a 1, 2, 3, opening salvo of PIB, Live with Me and then MONKEY MAN. The first "breath" was SWAY and then it was Mick on guitar and harmonica with the intro "Let's See If I Can Remember This One" -- into Sweet Virginia . . . complete with audience sing along.
The rhythm section had it working with the lead into "Under My Thumb" which is dead on as the seque into the moving stage.
Oh -- did I mention "Aint To Proud to Beg" and of course . . . when in Boston . . . "Midnight Rambler". Mick thanked the crowd for the support of five shows in Boston - and pointed out that the Stones had Opened "Gillette Stadium" in 02'.
Keith shared, it had been "A hell of a year", and when he says "It's good to be here . . . he can mean it" ... amen. Yeah I've seen them too many times to count since 78' -- but this one was at the top.
It was a phenomenal show.
Some comments, in bulleted form:
All in all, a phenomenal show. I hope that all that were there feel the same. (If they don't, its sad to say that they may have become so critical of the boys that they just can't enjoy them anymore, no matter what or how they play). I'm still a bit green, so it's all great to me.
I also hope that those that are attending remaining shows on this leg of the tour enjoy their shows as much as I enjoyed this one.
I’m sitting here at work still pumped up from last night’s show. This is my third show of the ABB Tour, all in Boston. Opening night at Fenway was great and all the excitement an opening nite brings. January at the Garden was incredible with Rocks Off & Memory Motel making their way into the set list. The third times a charm as Mick & the boys really came up with a set list to excite even the most ardent naysayers.
Paint It Black was a great opener & got the crowd pump up right away. Great choice. Live With Me was a pleasant surprise for me & Monkey Man was just outstanding. The band nailed it & Mick ran the stage as only he can. Sway was incredible. This was the first time for me live. I have always just loved that song. I’m thinking at this point, wow, four songs into the show, and the set list is already incredible.
I’m figuring they would play something more classic next for the casual fans, but holy crap, Mick on harmonica as they begin Sweet Virginia. This was a definite tour highlight. The band was having fun, but still playing for keeps. After the song ended, Mick had the crowd sing the chorus again.
Streets of Love was next, and I thought was great. The crowd responded very positive. Before the complaints that they are not playing enough from ABB start up again, in the 3 shows I’ve seen, they have done 6 songs from ABB. That’s pretty good.
Next was Ain’t To Proud To Beg, which Keith & Ronnie were crunching notes like their lives depended on it. Somebody in the Stones camp must be reading the message board and reviewing the previous shows as 7 songs into the show, not a single repeat from any of the Boston shows. This is too good to be true.
Next Mick on harmonica again and Midnight Rambler brings more screaming from the fans. In my head I do a quick calc – 3 songs from Let It Bleed! To me the highlight of this song (and maybe the entire show) was at one point Mick was playing harmonica and he turned to face Keith who was riffing away, Keith then broke into this wide smile on his face. This was the Mick & Keith I remember from my youth.
Tumbling Dice was next and was an absolute killer. I used to hate how Mick sang this as a reggae song before, but this was true to the Exile version.
It was now time for Keith to sing. He made his usual banter, thanking the crowd etc and the crowd responded with a tremendous ovation, Keith said “Thanks I really needed that”, and the crowd one again went wild. Keith then again said thanks and then said with a big assed grin “This time I really mean it”. When he started You Got The Silver, I got chills. I never heard that live before. This made 4 songs from Let It Bleed. I started to wonder if I was caught in some kind of cool time warp as 7 of the 10 songs to this point were from the 1969-1971 time period. Many consider this the ultimate period of the Stones.
Little T&A pick up the tempo and was a lot of fun. I had floor seats and I figured by the location I would be near the B-Stage, but not only was I near it, I was in the first row. (The Rock gods were smiling on me). So you can only imagine my excitement when the stage started on its path toward me. To be that close to the boys was more than I could have ever hoped for. Keith and Ronnie were having a good time tossing out pics and posing for the crowd. Most of the security people near the B-stage were young (late teens/early twenties) and they were enjoying the show with the crowd. One in particular was so excited he was able to get some good close-ups with his camera. Another was singing and shouting to the songs. Interesting seeing Rough Justice & Jumping Jack Flash done here, I enjoyed it. Under My Thumb was also very cool.
They finished up with their classic hits, but they played them with fever. Satisfaction in particular was more edgy and toward the end of the song Mick went in front of Keith and was pumping his fist as Keith was playing his ass off. Both Ronnie & Keith were spot on. Ronnie did many of the solos early on, and he was great. The band seemed really excited to be playing. Also Bobby Keys was great. If you had any doubts about the band, don’t. You will not be disappointed.
But what a show this was at Gillette stadium! The opening roster of songs, which had obviously had a shakeup since the Stones last passed this way, was simply amazing. It's the first time they opened with Paint It Black in forty-four years. As an opening block of songs, I don't know if I've ever witnessed a better group than: Paint It Black, Live With Me, Monkey Man, Sway and Sweet Virginia. I couldn't have picked them better myself. After Sweet Virginia ended, Mick came back out front and had the audience sing along with another verse of the song. Lots of fun to hear 44,000 fans happily singing, "You've got to scrape the shit right off your shoes!" This led right into the new ballad Streets of Love which meshed well.
The version of Midnight Rambler that they played reminded me of the one from Ya-Ya’s, which is my highest compliment. With Mick on harp, it was slow and bluesy to start, then they rocked nice and fast, then slow again and then it wrapped up great. Not rushed, just perfect. Wow. I still remember seeing them do Rambler on the B stage one time and loving it, but this time was better. I loved Keith singing (without his guitar!) You Got the Silver. He said, "Ronnie about shit himself over that one." They pulled it off though.
Great version of Under My Thumb. Never thought I'd hear them do Jack Flash and Honky Tonk on the B stage, but it worked. Here is the list of first time live songs for me tonight: Ain't Too Proud to Beg, Streets of Love, Sway, Sweet Virginia and You Got the Silver. Sure, I expected their usual standard You Can't Always Get What You Want and would have liked to see Gimme Shelter to round out the night. Even though the total number of songs was short in number, it was still an absolutely wonderful night. The fireworks and cannons of fire blasting off at the end made me glad that I went out and saw The Boys rock the house, once again, under a clear, crisp autumn sky.
My father joined me for a road trip to Boston. Tuesday night we went to Fenway Park and watched my Minnesota Twins beat the Sox...and then it was on to Foxboro one night later. My dad's first ever Stones show. My 29th. And to think ...he was a senior in high school back in '65, yet I'm only 32.
We were in the 9th row Ronnie's side about ten seats left of the catwalk. Perfect spot. With my binoculars I could not help but read most of the setlist on the plexiglass by Charlie's drums...As soon as I saw that paint it black was the first song I knew this show would be amazing !!!
About 9pm, the lights went down and we were off...brief fireworks popped from the top of the stage during the intro video. Keith strode to the front, still in darkness and started the first lines of Paint It Black. As the spotlight hit him, he motioned to Charlie to start the beat....incredible. Keith in a full length black trenchcoat that stayed on all night. First time ever that the Stones have led off a show with Paint it black !!!! The crowd loved it, the sound was clear and loud, but not overly loud...who cares. Very solid sound mix right from the start.
Live with Me at #2....nice. A lot of soul with this one and when Bobby hit the sax, the song really took a new groove...There was a lot of funk and soul groove throughout the show. After the song, Mick welcomed us and thanked Boston for supporting 5 shows on this tour. He said it was great to be back at Gillette after the 2002 show. Monkey Man made its tour debut and was hot as ever... Late in the song as Ronnie, Keith and Darryl jammed, Keith started leaning back each time he hit those long notes. Sway was next....Another first in that it was the first time in North America they played Sway in a stadium. My 3rd time to see it live and it was much improved over MSG and Ft Lauderdale. Ronnie was very solid and Mick carried the song well, despite being late on one verse.
Mick strapped on the acoustic and had a harp ready...and we were into Sweet Virginia !!!! What a way to open with 5 incredible songs. Mick came to the front edge and waved to someone in the front row as he strummed the guitar. Big smile from Mick at the end of the song and then he told the crowd to sing along...a little karaoke moment....went over well.
Next, the North American debut of Streets of Love.... much better than on the album. I liked it. Then it was time for a cover....Never can go wrong with Ain't Too Proud to Beg. 7 songs and we are spoiled !!!
Then it's time for Midnight Rambler.... The ultimate Stones song in concert. To see and hear the band work like this is always a highlight. At one point Ron lost his guitar to a broken string...he waited for a new one and just played air guitar and laughed. Keith got a kick out of that. When Ron finally got a new axe he just ripped in and went for it, despite the spot in the song...it worked. Keith and Charlie played the cat and mouse game on changing the tempo and breaks. Keith was antagonizing Charlie with those sly smiles and kissing gestures... then dropped to his knees and sped things back up...Awesome. Mick went nuts as usual on this one. Keith finally signaled him back to center stage so they could do the second big break. Keith leaned on Mick's shoulder and they both shot a smile. So cool. And then again as the final buildup came and Mick was ready for the last verse....I could see Keith, his back to the crowd, crouched down he peered over his shoulder and watched intently as Mick gave the sign to go. Like I said, Rambler shows this band work. I always love it.
Tumbling Dice was raucous as always and Keith was now sporting talc powder stains on his long black coat. Keith looked the part in that jacket. Band intros had Mick ask Charlie if he wanted to talk...I could see Charlie say "No"...and smile. Keith gave a big gesture to Mick as the two joined hands on Keith's walk to the front. Keith was jovial. "hey, it's been a hell of a year..."..then tapping his head...."i really needed that".... "Great to be here...and now I really mean it"....
Having already read the setlist on the glass...I knew we were in for the treat of all treats....Keith mixing it up the way we've been dreaming of. You Got the Silver....and I see no stool for Keith. That was because Keith was simply going to sing. WOW !!! the playing was left for everyone else. This was so cool. Keith was the crooner. and as Ronnie played the simple lick in the middle of the song. Keith , in rhythm, did a classic arm jerk, double kick and shuffle...then popped the collar on the jacket...in Keith style. If that makes sense?....Had to be seen to be fully appreciated.
As if that gem was not enough.....Keith goes into Little T&A.... !!!! After what we've already seen in the first half of the show...and now this. !!! in a stadium ?!?!?!?! ...T&A was amazing. The crowd was into it and singing along...and the version was sweet...The horns were in. the groove was sick. A shining moment. The Stones are a groove band. This one proved it so well.
Even though I had read the setlist, I was a little fuzzy on what was next... Expecting Miss You to take the band to the b-stage, the fist few notes were hit by Chuck and Darryl. Sounded the same as what I heard last year. But then, we got the bass line and guitars for Under My Thumb. This capped it all off. Thumb as the band floats by us and towards the back. The Stones pretty much front loaded this show with 12 songs that knocked everybody on their asses. !!!! At the b-stage it was followed by Rough Justice and a dirty Jumpin Jack Flash. My cousin and his buddy were near the back of the stadium and they said it was incredible. I wish I was near the b-stage for that. After the song, Mick said, "Two maragaritas please !!!.." Must have been some ladies in front with Gillette margaritas. They were selling them on this brisk night !!!! Honky tonk brought them back to the front with the updated classic red inflatable tongue now hovering over the main stage.
Sympathy was next. Mick donned the red jacket and hat and climbed the bridge in front of the video screen. Great visual as he danced in front of the screen as it was in snakeskin red. This one had the fire bursts from the stage tops and all the flashpot and smoke theatrics. Keith was searing as well. Start Me Up had fireworks blast the front edge of the stage. And the retro video montage played on the screen.
Keith then drove a revving first riff into Satisfaction. Again, this is one that was played a bit slower and took a real funky groove. The song jammed and jammed...Eventually Mick was stretching it way out and as he was making his way back to the center...Keith smiled and motioned....."get over here"...to him. Mick came in and got down face to face with Keith...."git it. git it, git it, git it, git it...wooo...ooooh".... Just great to see.... It was fun watching Keith take charge at times...reining Mick back in to keep a song from going on endlessly. It happened several times. There was a blond who was shown on the video screen in the crowd, she pulled her jacket open to reveal red caution tape barely covering her breasts ! She got quite the cheer. nice. Mick was just really playing off the crowd and had boundless energy all night. Of course as the song closed, it was Charlie who would not let it end....rolling a long drum line .....and keeping it cooking for an extra minute.
A single encore of Brown Sugar brought it to an end. Mick sprinted down the catwalk to the back of the stadium to whip the crowd up one last time. 19 songs that filled a full two hours. Not something we've seen. Sometimes 20 and 21 songs only go 1 hour 50 minutes. This was an ultimate show !!! New orange ribbons unfurled all over the stage and steel structure, rather than confetti blowers. It was a great visual. The ribbons are huge....at least 70 to 80 feet long each, and 5 to 10 feet wide. Huge fireworks and flames blasted out as the band finished the song. A great finish to a raucous kickoff to the fall tour. They pledged to mix it up and they did. This night proved all over again, why they are the best. Boston got one to remember !!!
after Sweet Virginia, we felt like we were seeing the stones in the early 70's-could have left at this point and been satisfied.
the only reason me and my buddy go to see the stones is for those 2 or 3 deep album cuts they break out. tonight, we got like 9 of them. best stones show i have seen (only been seeing them since '89). this setlist will make me want to go to more stones shows. awesome night!!!!!!!!! still, the greatest rock and roll band in the world!!!!!
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