It's Only Rock'n Roll
Show time: 9:10 p.m. – 11:05 p.m.
Virtually everyone stood throughout the entire show, and no one in the 100 section sat down (apart from during Keith’s set), which was a pleasant change from the apathetic crowds that have turned up for the West Coast swing. It certainly would have been easy for the crowd, all bundled up against the cold weather, to demand to be entertained, and it initially looked as if this was going to be another humdrum show. The sound was way low for “Start Me Up,” while the best thing about “It’s Only Rock’n Roll” is that it is not “You Got Me Rocking.”
Mick has been quite the comedian on this tour. This time, he made a rather saucy observation about Thanksgiving, declaring, “Imagine if the Pilgrim Fathers had killed a cat instead of a turkey, we’d all be eating pussy today.” Maybe this joke came over on the Mayflower, but I thought it was funny. As usual, Mick earned some brownie points by noting a victory by the Denver Broncos. During the intros, he had an inflatable turkey wheeled out for Ronnie’s benefit.
For my money, the show really got airborne with “Ruby Tuesday.” Keith’s acoustic was high in the mix, and Mick put some extra thought into the lyrics. The fans loved it. “Midnight Rambler” got off to an unusual start, with Mick’s usually lengthy harp intro cut off early as the band launched into the song. From then on, with the exception of Keith’s increasingly tiresome two-pack, the audience was bellowing and hollering.
Which is not to say the Stones always reciprocated the enthusiasm: Brown Sugar and Jumpin’ Jack Flash seemed particularly truncated. Maybe their hearts were into it, but the Stones’ bodies just couldn’t muster up the energy. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” was another audience-participation triumph. Mick was still leading the crowd in some post-song “Yeah!” chanting when Keith fired up “Satisfaction.” Once again, it’s a song they seem reluctant to end, especially Charlie, who banged away on the new coda. After the group bows, Mick ran up to the front of the stage, dragging Charlie along as the two took a final twirl. Maybe they were thanking us for driving them to new heights, or cursing us for making them work when they just wanted to coast.
I personally missed You Got Me Rockin', but that is o.k., since we got Ruby Tuesday and a great Midnight Rambler. I get the idea at times, that they could virtually do any song in their vast catalog and pull it off if not flawlessly, effortlessly with the spirit of the song intact.
I also saw the Salt Lake show and my impression of Keith's set from that show, and this show was the same. His vocals were quite good. He's our Keith, and I think he sounded great, for Keith. No drop outs of the vocals, no bobs away from the microphone. He was focused and clear. He carried it. I always look forward to his segment and he doesn't always carry it, but tonight he did.
I also spoke to a number of twenty somethings that went to the show, all the first time seeing the Stones. They were blown away. Impressed with these 60 somethings and the intense energy they put out. Observing the banter and playfulness between the band members, they were also quite pleased with the performance.
Mick led Charlie back to the front of the stage for one last bow, and quickly ditched Charlie soon thereafter in a playful move. It looked like Charlie knew he was had, being the last Stone to leave the stage.
It is also fun to watch the reactions of the crowd after the shows. The west coast, west, Colorado, midwest, people leave with big smiles on their faces, whooping it up, yelling "who, who", and generally revved up and revitalized. It is a rock 'n' roll tent revival.
Right from the start the sound wasn't quite right. The mix of the sound board was muddy and done poorly. Woody, who usually is so fun to watch and listen too hardly moved during much of the show. His wonderful slide guitar playing was almost non-existent. Several times he started to move into the chorus of a song early before the rest of the band. Keef, (looking like a human piece of beef jerky, and acting extremely tired), messed up the beginning of numerous songs with very sloppy playing. Both of their lead solo playing during the night was uninspired. Charlie (as always) was RIGHT ON the entire night. Mick's voice was in great shape, and at times he made an effort to whip the crowd up into a frenzy, (although the Pepsi Center crowd was very adoring of the Stones and responded to anything he did). But hearing Mick repeat the same line to songs three and four times because he forgot the words made me feel cheated, (especially after the price of tickets this tour).
Their version of "Night Time" was a pleasant surprise and one of the highlights. The stage and lighting scheme was the smallest I've ever seen for the Stones. The computer generated graphics on the Single Big Screen except for "It's Only Rock & Roll" were unimaginative and were much better during the past several tours. Don't get me wrong, All the local Papers, Television, and Radio personalities LOVED the show, (it makes me wonder just how many actual Stones shows they've really seen). But I felt as a true blue love em' forever Stones fan, (with over 250 albums, cd's, bootlegs, etc.), that SOMEONE had to come out and really state the actual facts about last nights show. It makes me wonder if the people who paid $600 each for their seats by the stage felt like they got their moneys worth or not....I sure didn't and I only paid $200 per seat for mine...(yeah I know the days of paying $18.00 to see the Stones and 3 other bands are long gone, but you make up your own minds after you see them this tour).
i saw thunder tonight - it blew me away in all areas - the lights - the sound - the connectedness - the set list - the musicianship - the stones worked very hard for us tonight - i appreciated it very much - to set the mood - first off the denver broncos won in overtime - mick mentioned that and it added to the energy from denver to the stones - then thanksgiving is a special holiday - a time for family and the rolling stones - and finally - i saw the american music awards performance - and i think we got the opposite and equal reaction - which means i think mick and company made up for some lost time so to speak.
i don't care why we got such a great show - i was just happy that we did - i had trouble interpreting all of the music because of how incredible it was - the volume was up and they grooved - they worked it - the stones continue to get better with age - i had a 16th row seat on the floor just 7 seats off center - it was a great seat - the small stage concept was cool - as they passed the section of people around me ronnie smelled the smell and tried to bring some smoke up to his face - he was cool - just a little personal touch courtesy of ronnie.
i really liked the new songs - oh no not you again is my fave on the new album so i was glad to get to hear it - i gotta tell ya they just blew the place down - of the twelve times i have seen them i have to think this was the best i have seen as a whole and yet i wonder how one can even compare - there seems to have been magic at every show.
special little things that you see after seeing them a few times - lisa was fantastic on night time - holy crap can she sing or what - it put chills down my back just like when she did gimme shelter in the past - i also appreciate being bought and paid for by mick - he knew he had a crowd to work and work us he did - i just can't even put into words what they did - i thought i had seen a special show and in reading the previous reviews i was glad to see we had seen a show that was in one opinion the best in weeks and i read every review so i have to think i got a special thanksgiving gift - it don't matter - i love it every time - it is an honorable event - it is the rolling stones - i like the humanness - they are not Gods so to speak - they are humans that play music for a living - they just happen to do it better than any group of people ever have or ever will - they are the greatest don't you know.
charlie is cool - when he came out from behind the drums for the introductions i couldn't believe it - and then at the end of the show mick snuck him back out when every one else was gone - but the part i liked the best was when ronnie and keith were acting like they were kissing and charlie got all embarrassed and walked away from the other three - it was a cool point in time to see him smile as he looked back at those two yahoos - micks voice is fantastic - better than ever - keith is so humble - he loves his music and he loves the people - with ronnie and keith tonight the guitar wars were upon us - it was incomprehensibly great - i wish i could have heard what ronnie said when mick pushed the turkey out at him - mick enjoyed the big turkey - i think mick has a touch of orneryness in him - just a touch - i could go on and on - i had a great evening - i feel blessed - and again - my thanks goes to the rolling stones - "the greatest rock and roll band in the world"
But much of it is intentional. Sure, Keith Richards has played Tumbling Dice a million times before, but that didn't stop him from pushing the chords and notes around a bit, keeping it interesting for himself and the fans. And as he did last tour, Ron Wood continued to amaze; he is long past the days when he could be considered second guitarist to Richards.
Charlie Watts, however, remains the not-so-secret weapon. So many bands take extra percussion or a second drummer on tour. Not the Stones; it was nothing but pure Charlie up there, blasting through Sympathy for the Devil, a surprisingly powerful Ruby Tuesday and absolutely annihilating Midnight Rambler.
Highlights for me were: Ruby Tuesday, Night Time (is the Right Time) and a smoking Get Off My Cloud. The B stage was a nice surprise, too. When the stage moved I suddenly was upgraded to 3rd row seats!! Being that close to the boys was worth every penny I paid.
Lastly, I have to ask for a mercy killing of the Keith Richards two song set. It was painful to watch and I felt embarrassed for him. He forgot the words to Slipping Away at one point. Keith's playing was often sloppy throughout the night. Mick was in great form. His voice sounded excellent and his energy was high. Charlie Watts was strong and steady. Ron Wood stepped up a bit to pick up the slack whenever Keith was flailing, which was often.
Overall, I thought it was a good show for my first Stones show. I will definitely go again, with hopes of more surprises in the setlist.
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