It's Only Rock'n Roll
The Rolling Stones : 9:15pm - 11:10pm
Mick's Hungarian comments were met with deafening silence on at least two occasions, forcing him to ask in English first, "Would you like to sing with us?" and later, "Are you having fun now?" The answer was a resounding "Yes!" on both occasions. Keith played it safe, observing, "I will not attempt Hungarian."
The show got off to a good start before we even entered the gates, with organizers handing out free bottles of water (though omitting to provide any waste bins). So we were fairly well prepared for another 40-degree sizzler.
The playback on this show will be interesting. On "Start me Up," it seemed to me that Mick started singing "You make a grown man cry" when he should have been singing a verse, and he tried to make the words fit the space, with awkward results.
I stood on Keith's side for the first time in ages, and got the full blast of his guitar on "You Got Me Rocking" - so much so that I almost forgot that I hate that song. Keith had a blast, and he seemed to want to play the same chords on the next one, "Rough Justice," which began in wobbly fashion after a brief delay in which he held his right arm in the air and mentally thumbed through his riff encyclopedia trying to remember which one to play.
"Ruby Tuesday" was a crowd-pleaser, fulfilling the Stones' ballad quotient for the night. It also seemed to begin a little haphazardly.
Once again, getting to the small stage was a breeze. For once, they dressed in nice bright colors, Mick in red, Keith in royal blue, and Ronnie in yellow. Charlie, described by Mick as "the whacker of Wembley, the beast of Budapest," may have been the victim of bad intelligence concerning his clothing choice. He usually dresses in the colors of the country's flag. But in this case, he was decked out in green like Kermit the Frog.
But let's start at the beginning. Hats off to the Hungarian authorities. Not only did they let the people into the stadium later (as they said due to extraordinary weather conditions in order not to make the fans wait too long) [42° Celsius in the shade..], they also handed out free water bottles, they didn't take away your water when you walked into the stadium (just took off the caps) you also got free ice cream on entering. They really did their best to make it easier for the fans to endure the incredible heat.
So far so good....
The opening act The Charlatans were quite ok, nothing to be remembered though. The Stones started a little after 9pm. The sound was good but what started out as bad show really got worse with every song (a few exceptions of course). I myself have seen around 40 Stones show, some incredibly good and some standard but never have I seen a worse one than today (which hurts because Budapest 95 was my second Stones show and one of the best I've seen...).
They started with Start Me Up and during the middle of the songs Mick decided not to wait for the band but rather start singing "You make a grown man cry" way to early - the band didn't follow him for about 30 seconds (which to me seemed like an endless time) and so the song was ruined. I don't know why Mick even has ear monitoring (this is DEFINITELY not the first time I've seen this happening).
Next up was You Got Me Rocking. No big mistakes but rather sloppily played.
THEN it started to get really bad. Keith tried to start Rough Justice, then stopped, then put his hand into the air and told the band to wait for him, then looked around like he didn't know where he was, who he was and what song was about to be played and then a few seconds later started a song that only VERY remotely sounded like Rough Justice. The band somehow managed to follow but not one second did the song really rock (like I've seen so many times before)
Next up was Ruby Tuesday. A song I love and was really happy about. As soon as Keith had started the intro Mick all of a sudden started singing the first verse, thus completely ruining the beautiful intro....
Then a standard setlist followed which I won't describe in detail. I kinda liked "I'll Go Crazy" even though Lisa's singing was once a lot better. I enjoyed You Got The Silver but have to say that Keith just singing without a guitar is not Keith and only Ronnie playing with a little backup from Blondie didn't really sound good to me...
All in all not ONE song really was tight and rocked (even Midnight Rambler which usually ALWAYS kicks butt this time was so badly played (guitar wise I mean, Mick's harmonica was awesome) that you couldn't make out those famous parts where it gets slower and then faster again, it just sounded like some band rehearsing the song...)
I have to say hats off to Mick Jagger who is still an awesome performer with a great rock voice and incredible spirit and knowledge how to entertain a crowd of thousands - BUT when a band plays sloppily like the Stones did today in Budapest, there is not much one can do to make it a good concert.
I have tickets for Brno and I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope that the show will be better - this is not how I want to remember MY Rolling Stones...
The setlist didn't have many surprises, I think at places they visit so rarely (comparing for example with London or Paris), they're expected to play lots of warhorses, so hits that everybody knows well. It ended up with only 18 songs, which made me a bit unhappy (last year in Vienna they did 21), but anyway, it was a unique experience I'll never forget, and if they happen to tour again in Europe (I'm sure they will), I won't miss the opportunity to see them again.
Maybe it was also the heat (although Mick seemed to feel better than in Bucharest) - the boys just played their set, they played it fast, they did not seem to enjoy it - in my personal opinion. So for myself I'm looking forward to Brno, hoping for a better show and (maybe?) some new songs... Come on boys, remember Vilvoorde!
As many may know a heatwave hit Hungary the other day and stayed during the show too. It would not Fade Away. We arrived at 8 during which time the warm up band completed their set. In the stadium it was +35 degrees, but it was somehow bearable. The stones finally hit the stage at 21:18 with a 'slow' but great Start Me Up. YGMR and RJ (whose first riffs were confused by Keith) were not too fast but they rocked as well as the other mainly old songs. We got excellent versions of YCAGWYW and MR. Mick was excellent as well as the rest of the band. Mick spoke a lot in Hungarian which went down well. B-stages performances rocked too esp. Satisfaction-great version. The warhorses were loud and rocked.
So, how can these guys over 60, above 35 degrees and beyond their 130 ABB shows do what they do with so much energy? It seemed as if they had been doing one of their first shows. Thanks guys, see you in Bruno!
(A) THE BAND MUSICALLY/ MY IMPRESSIONS SONG BY SONG:
( C ) IN GENERAL TERMS, WHAT I DESLIKED AS FOR BAND’S PERFORMANCE: In general terms? Actually, nothing... If i was taking three- four weak moments or three sloppy Keith’s intros on an entire Stones concert to heart, then i would have bad impressions even from 1981!
(D) AUDIENCE: Really enthousiastic, from the first to the last concert’s minute. Remarkable number of young people.
(E) SPECIAL EMOTIONAL MOMENTS (TO ME) Budapest gig was my girlfriend’s second Stones concert. She was in raptures! Now i’m sure: she is really a fan...
Thank you Budapest (BTW, what a city!). Thanks boys.
For me it was the 10th time i see the Rollling . About the songs the best played are Tumbling Dice- Midnight rambler - You got the silver ( zabrinskie point soundtrack a great italian film with a "magnifica" song wich also the first with keef solo voice ) and Ruby Tuesday too. All the concert goes ok with other classics and strong version as the very well and dark at voodoo time Paint it Black . I wonder about ear "waiting on a friend" or "dead flowers" or " beast of burden " but i have to wait for another tour and the fact is the rolling stones have many and many mervallous songs that everyone that came on IORR to give us his emotion have a set list i think about 40 songs if is enough ...........;
I find mick and ronnie ok - charlie is always ok - but keef seem a little older than in the 2006 ( i see him in milano-paris-vienna-munchen ) he have to drink and eat more lighter because only if keef is ok rolling are ok. The crowd not sing as he have always to do for me at a rolling concert , anyway another great night we the rolling another great gig around the Europe. So long to everybody come in the old Puskas to see the greatest rock'n roll band of the world. Some great picture of mine in Budapest.
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Photos by IORR.