It's Only Rock'n Roll
Show end: 11:48pm
The setlist indicated that we missed The Worst and Infamy. In fact, Charlie and Keith never were introduced. You could see the band come and go to/from the stadium and Ronnie, Charlie and Mick, particularly, gave big shrugs to the crowd as they left during the scare.
Shortly thereafter, the stadium lights came back on and bomb sniffing dogs were brought onto the stage. According to witnesses, the band was escorted out of the stadium. The band was seen getting into vans and being driven away from the stadium under police escort.
Security cleared out those sitting on the stage, those sitting in the first thirty rows on the field and those in the first ten rows in the stadium sections closest to the stage. Dogs were seen sniffing on the stage, in those aforementioned areas of seats and backstage.
In an official press release, Carol Wood, Assistant Vice President for University Relations states, “a bomb threat was phoned in at 8:56 p.m. to 911. The threat was specific to the stage area in Scott Stadium. Every action was taken to ensure the safety of those in attendance. The crowd of approximately 50,000 was cooperative and worked with the police and concert staff throughout the sweep, which lasted for about 45 minutes. Once the police declared the area safe, the concert resumed. The band said it would not cut the concert short, and completed the entire repertoire. The show finally concluded without further incident at about 12:15 a.m”.
The press release further states that the bomb threat will be under investigation by University of Virginia Police with the assistance of Charlottesville, Albemarle and State police, all of which were in attendance at Thursday night's concert and part of the Police Command Center.
The introductions got as far as Ronnie "Rembrandt" Wood, when Mick announced that there was a technical problem which the authorities said required a 10-minute break. Next thing we knew, there were bomb sniffing dogs combing the stage area and the first 30 or so rows of the floor were cleared. Finally, after an hour, the band returned and the show resumed.
Due to the, uh, intermission, Keith's miniset was scrapped. The second set opener, Miss You, was a bit rough, but the rest of the set kicked serious ass. Highlights included Get off of My Cloud on the little stage and Rambler and Paint It Black in the warhorse section. They left nothing in the tank last night.
Getting in and out of Scott Stadium was a nightmare, however. If the University of Virginia wants to host events of this magnitude, it needs to have better surrounding roads.
The rest of the rundown of the show was quite good and fortunately no less eventful because of some excellent song selections. Totally different stage setups between the Indoor & Outdoor shows (I was at MCI Center on Monday). The is no mini version of the Outdoor stage with the balconies for indoor shows, so seeing it in its splendor is impressive to say the least. The show kicks off with the bigger bang film as usual but the fireworks that could be added make for some nice accents on parts of the film.
Opening with Start Me Up, Keith's guitar was lower in the mix than at MCI, so it didn't have the initial punch that it normally does. It took about 2 songs to get everything leveled out. Having said that the crowd was on their feet immediately and ready to go. Start Me Up moved into It's Only Rock & Roll which I was expecting towards the end but kept the energy high. During Shattered the house lights one the left side of the stadium started to turn on, so but the end of the song they were illuminating the entire stadium, this was clearly not part of the plan and Mick made reference to it by saying, "It's so nice I was able to see each & everyone of your faces, that was the house light song"
Tumbling Dice was great as usual, Mick nearly missed the 1st line because he was away from his mic, but made up for it an no one noticed. Rough Justice was spot on as it was Monday night, and the crowd's response was very good. Ruby Tuesday was a fantastic highlight. What a show stopper, strong vocal delivery and watching Keith wind the leads parts in and out is amazing to watch.
The true highlight was Sweet Virginia. There was a special show only shirt that was printed with a special navy blue one orange tongue logo replacing the Virginia V in the cavaliers logo and the back said Sweet Virginia loves the Rolling Stones and it had the show date on the bottom. They were sold out before the band came on stage. The song was stunning, all acoustic and the crowd sing along made it all the more special. Once the song ended Mick never took his guitar off and said you can do one more and started to play the chorus again, it threw the band a bit, but they quickly fell in line and it made for a very nice impromptu moment. Intro'd as "This song is from Exile on Main Street" is about the best thing you can hear at any show, All Down the Line followed as the 3rd song from Exile. The guitar mix was a little off & slightly muddy (the version on the Licks tour was cleaner) but that is really splitting hairs.
The Ray Charles tribute is truly awe inspiring the call & response vocals between Lisa & Mick are stunning. Mix in Keith's lead parts and you have something very special, hopefully when the live disc comes out it will include this, if not it would be a tragedy.
Next was the Bomb Threat (see above). Band returns to the stage to Miss You. which was a bit awkward at first and it really didn't come together till the band got near the second stage. The disappointing thing was at this point I realized that they were not gonna have Keith pay his set, and I feared that they were going to start shaving the show down to make curfew. Fortunately that didn't happen.
On No Not You Again got the band back in the groove and on their game, In the chorus Mick sang "Fuckin' up my life" every time. Get Off My Cloud was something I didn't expect but came off great, the whole crowd was singing along and it lifted the bad vibes away that were still looming in the air. Returning to the main stage to Honky Tonk Woman never disappoints.
Then the rain started not hard but annoying. Had their not been a delay, the show would have been finished at this point and we'd have beat the rain, lucky for us the band played on. Sympathy For The Devil outside is great because of all the pyro and fire and extra stuff they can add to make it more impressive. Keith handled all the solos and was incredible adding stuff, changing it up in spots a well played song. Following a song about the devil, why not Paint It Black. The was on par with Ruby Tuesday, but it was more rockin' than the original recorded version, the live version sounds more like it could have been included on Beggars Banquet and the more rockin' 70's LP's as opposed to the wiry 60's original.
Midnight Rambler was truly a surprise, but as the show closed in on midnight it sorta made sense. The rain kicked up a but for just long enough to get your poncho out and then it stopped. the band never faltered and rolled through the song, it was a bit shaky but it was ok and went more on feel then perfection. Brown Sugar and Jumping Jack Flash closed out the main show before the band left the stage and we weren't sure what was going to happen.
They did come back for the biggest sing-a-long of You Can't Always Get What You Want. The whole crowd was into it and delivering the lines unprompted. Ending there would have been fine but the band laid into a dirty, raw version of Satisfaction and the song kept rolling on and on, with Keith & Ronnie adding extra parts to the song and the back up singers turning it into almost a revival number. It was a great way to close a night that could have very easily ended in disappointment. If you can get ticket to see more than 1 show please do yourself a favor and go it is still one of the best things you will ever see. That are the best and there really isn't a good second.
What followed was a classic moment in Rolling Stones history as they did a phenomenally sensitive version of 'Ruby Tuesday' followed by 'Sweet Virginia', which is a song they NEVER play from 'Exiles on Main Street' and the crowd responded so well Mick gave them an extra singalong verse:
Following this was an incredible tribute to Ray Charles, 'In the Night Time, It's the Right Time' which featured the amazing vocals of Lisa, one of the backup singers, hip to hip with Mick! At this point Mick announced 'Sorry ladies and gentlemen but we have to take a ten minute intermission due to a technical glitch. It's not my fault'. They would not retake the stage for 45 minutes while the A1 through A6 sections ($350 seats) were completely emptied and bomb sniffing dogs plus the Charlottesville Bomb Squad searched every inch of the stage and front row areas. They also made the people in the rows immediately next to Mick's catwalk leave.
This break lasted for 45 minutes until the Stones returned and Mick said 'The police made us do it, so we did it.' Then they launched into 'Miss You' on the mobile B stage that slowly made its way from the Main stage to about 75 yards out into the crowd where they also played 'Oh No, Not You Again' (from new album) 'Hey You, Get Off of My Cloud' and 'Honky Tonk Women' (which they played while the B stage made its way back to the main stage).
Once back on stage they ran through their classics to end the night in great syle: 'Sympathy For the Devil' (huge 30 foot flames from the top of the fifth story stage that we could feel powerfully hot on our entire bodies), 'Paint It Black', 'Midnight Rambler ' (a little sloppy towards the end), and the encores of 'Jumping Jack Flash', 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' and an incomparable version of 'Satisfaction' with Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards trading solos until Keith took over and walked out about 30 feet onto the walkway, kneeled down and laid down one of his most blistering solos ever.
I waved at Mick, Keith, Ronnie and Charlie as they walked down the sidewalk towards their limos and they waved back, but only because I was in the midst of about a dozen college girls, some of whose shirts may have 'slipped up' as Mick walked by...
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Thanks to Bernd M for news links!