It's Only Rock'n Roll
Airbourne (Warmup) : 7:30pm - 8:15pm Rolling Stones : 9:00pm - 10:55pm
The set was so great that I almost lost focus on the other task of the night but by the time that Keith had finished TPIE I had regained my composure. I then turned to my girlfriend Jorja and told her that I need a love to keep me happy and if she would marry me that would be assured. She was stunned, I didn't hear the reply because by that stage Keith was striking up the first chords and I was on my feet. "She said Yeah".
I reckon Rod Laver Arena with 13000 seats is just right. It felt like a much smaller venue than this, especially when the B stage thing happened. My seat was right next to the B stage - perfect. Up so close to the guys is a bit scary, but unforgettable. The crowd was not "sedate" at any stage (as some reports from Sydney suggested) - just about everyone was up on their feet rocking the whole time, as far as I could see. At the end, there was even a buzz that there might be a second encore, but no. When the band was introduced, there was a significant amount of love in the house, especially when Ronnie, Charlie and Keith were called forward. Very intimate.
I've never heard Ronnie play better - I prefer his Faces-style great ragged solos than the polished CYHMK-style of the 40 Licks tour (as impressive as that was). When he wasn't soloing, his sound melted into Keith's. But you could clearly hear the two different guitar sounds this time around. Keith and Charlie were as great as ever and Mick worked the crowd beautifully. Mick was in especially good voice. I haven't seen Charlie hit the drums harder - he looked very fit. Keith mostly played his big white Gibson - the sound was ringing and unmistakable.
Here in Melbourne we got a better song list than Sydney, IMO - She's So Cold, Sway, Worried About You and Ain't To Proud To Beg replaced You Got Me Rocking, Dead Flowers, Angie and It's Only Rock And Roll. The set order was really well put together too. Highlights for me (apart from the whole occasion and seeing the band close up at the B stage):
Satisfaction - those chords do it for me every time
Let's Spend The Night Together - after waiting years, fantastic
She's So Cold - ditto. What a rocking trio to kick things off!
Sway - just superb
Worried About You - great vocals and dynamics
Tumblin' Dice - Keith's riffing
Night Time Is The Right Time - Lisa Fischer excels
Happy - Keith was apparently in heaven for this one
Get Off My Cloud - B stage punk rock
Honky Tonk Woman - B stage raunch
Paint It Black - Keith's delicate guitar intro leading into Charlie's heavy drums
Start Me Up - unbelievably good version. Much better sitting at this end of the setlist than its 40 Licks spot near the beginning. Fantastic.
JJ Flash - like Satisfaction, those chords do something special to me
Brown Sugar - Mick screwed-up the vocal intro, but eventually everything came back into line. Bobby Keys surfaced to do his solo.
I would have loved to hear All Down the Line, Midnight Rambler and Gimme Shelter, but you can't have everything. Out of the 21 songs, 9 were new to me in a live show - not bad. In fact all 21 songs were strong.
Overall, it was a great party atmosphere, great sound, great spontaneous playing. I think everyone left happy.
p.s. still Swaying and did they botch the start to Brown Sugar(don't care)
Now having said all that ............. Ain't To Proud To Beg was SENSATIONAL, as was Honky Tonk Woman, You Can't Always Get, Start Me Up, Brown Sugar and JJF..... which is why we go to hear the Stones. The surprise of the night was Satisfaction as the show starter (Would there be a better show starter??) and the innovation of the night (we've all seen pyros, lights and slideshows before) was the B stage.
They came, they saw, they conquered.....and they were well worth the wait and the dollars.
The band were so on, and this was THE greatest crowd i have rocked with. Pretty much EVERY dude was up all night. and NO-ONE sat down at all during Keefs set, it was amazing to see everyone standing during TPIE. sorry to say it corgi baby, but this was even better than Sydney.
Brown Sugar was a total train wreck, Micks ear piece was playing up and he came in at the wrong time twice, the band kept drudging along. It was great to watch, Mick sauntered over to Chuck to get back in time. A lesser band would have stopped and restarted, but not our boys.
Oh yer the sound - ALL GUITARS !!! and Bobby was back. and i ended up on the big screen ! I saw the cameraman working the crowd, as he hit me i looked right down the lens and was shaking my groove thang .. next sec everyone around me is yelling and shrieking, I was on the freaking screen, full tight heads hot .. going off my nut. wooot !
For most of the night all the crowd, aged from 10 to 70 plus were on their feet. It was great to hear Ray Charle's "Night Time is the Right Time" performed alongside the hits and new material. A great set list.
For the younger members of the audience, real musicians playing real instruments, a revelation to the many top 40 following teens that rocked with the stones tonight.
Great show guys and gal. Some comments for if and when you ever tour downunder again
But come back even if you do none of the above
When I arrived at my seat, it was 2 seats away from the B stage. The other shows I have attended - San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, OK City, I was never this close. This changed my entire game plan - no bathroom break during Miss You! At 9 pm, the lights went down and you could see KR's silhouette on the stage. The stage seemed big and squeezed into the arena. Expecting JJF, Keith blasted out the riff to Satisfaction - good and loud. The lights came up and the band exploded onto the stage, Mick ran out from between the keyboards and Charlieís drums. This huge wave on energy electrified the entire arena. It was the STONES LIVE in Melbourne! They looked relaxed and rested. LSTNT was next and Mick said hello to Melbourne. She's So Cold followed and while is started rough, it was grand. One of my personal favorites, and Ronnie did great guitar work here. ONNYA was right on, Mick sings it like he knows the story well.
Mick introduced Sway as "obscure" but the crowd sure knew it. Incredible guitar here by Ronnie and Keith. The stage crew THEN moved a keyboard out front and Mick sat down at it. He introduced " Worried About You' - it was a rare moment where he appeared to be sitting in a small group, all 12000 of us. He took a deep breath, smiled, relaxed and slowly, with great joy, delivered a great song - adding his comments as he wanted to. When the band kicked in, he looked back and told them 'Come on - make it strong.' ATPTB was a great one, Charlieís drum kicked it off and everyone was on their feet for it. Tumbling Dice just flew by and everyone sang along. Miss Lisa came down and added her part to TNTITRT. Ronís and Keithís guitar work was extra bluesy and Mick polished off the song with some added comments. Brother Ray would have approved.
Following intros, Keith took over center stage. He was relaxed, almost too much so. He sparks up a cig - very prohibited here - and says a few things, then says 'enough with the jokes, but there are so many''. He delivers TPIE with his acoustic guitar sounding great. He then launches into Happy. He delivers amazing lyrics and guitar work. I sit down for the first time, knowing I will see them very close very soon.
The stage levitates and I see them migrating towards the B stage. The stage splashes down about 10 feet from me, Miss You is going a strong and here is the band right in front of me! These guys are working their asses off, and up close they are laughing and smiling. The next few minutes the music is a blur. Darryl is a rock and he really adds some funk to tonightís Rough Justice. They each stroll by, Ron and Keith flicking guitar picks into the crowd, then getting another one from the stand by Charlie. Charlie looks up and manages a smile, even though the guy next to me a using a flash camera. I can read the set list next to Charlie's drums. GOMC is lost on me as I watch these guys work, Keith wanders to the amp behind Charlie and leans against it while playing, smiling and says 'hey Iím relaxing here.' HTW - Keith starts, no Charlie, then Keith starts again. Mick high fives some hands near me. The stage lifts off, as the song takes off so do they back to the main stage. The fans around me wave goodbye and they wave back.
A short break and then they start Sympathy. Mick appears in a black top hat and cape which sparkle in the stage lights. He moves left to right then back again as he introduces himself. Keith does his best guitar work of the night here, and Ron adds in some searing licks. Keith steps up to begin PIB alone - he nails it perfectly - another gem I have never seen live before. Mick adds lyrics. But Ronnie steals this one with his white hot guitar work at the finish. SMU, JJF and it ends all too soon.
The encore of YCAGWYW has not always thrilled me, but it made a great singalong for the Aussies, who I noticed prefer to sit in their seats rather than stand. Ron Wood's guitar takes off at the end and he could have gone on much longer, he was on a roll with it. Brown Sugar has a rough start but no one cared, the streamers rain down on us, and we all sing 'yeah, yeah, yeah, whooo, how come you dance so good!' They take their bows and Mick says thanks. We thank you fellows...go see these guys, they fucking rock.
And I want to thank a kind fan from Japan whom I have never met before; she generously helped me with a ticket when she could not go to Melbourne for the show. I want to acknowledge her here - I am so grateful to you. You have a lifelong friend here. Proving to me again, that you truly get what you need.
Airbourne were fantastic and looked like a very young ACDC, so it was no surprise that Mick thanked them during the show. hope to see them very soon again, as they really rocked the venue.
"On with the show" as Keith so famously says........what can you say. I've been a Stones fan for over 10 years and only seen them a couple of times in London and Sydney, and tonight they hit top note. The setlist was a dream for me. Worried About You "don't worry, I'm not going to sing any songs about dead blondes", as Mick announced. Miss You, She's So Cold and Sway were all fantastic and a great treat. Mick was his energetic self and was fantastic throughout. Keith was Keith and had smiles and death stares throughout the show. Ronnie seemed to be having fun and his solo playing was clear, even though sometimes erratic. Lisa seemed to be all smiles and dancing and it was good to see Bobby back.
It was great to see them cock-up once or twice. On Brown sugar Mick started singing way before he should of, and he knew it .... it darted off to Chuuk and stood there by the piano whilst every other band member sorted themselves out. He had a wee chuckle to himself as well. Also on Start Me Up there was a f**k up on guitars and Mick was looking around at Ronnie and Keith to ask the question ...... "what's going on", and Ronnie just looked up and nodded towards Keith, as if to say ......."not my fault, blame Keith"
I thought Mick rushed through the introductions tonight. It's always a favourite section of mine, but there was no joking and mucking around as you see on the recent DVD's, which is always good to see.
I have no complaints about the Stones. We have to be the luckiest fans in the world, as they seem to be getting stronger and stronger. There seemed a lot of young people in the crowd tonight, which was a good sign
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