It's Only Rock'n Roll
Feeder (warmup) : 7:30pm - 8:10pm Rolling Stones : 9:10pm - 11:15pm Singalong bow : 11:15pm - 11:20pm
After the accident with Keith so many people were sceptical about the Rolling Stones European Tour. Well, it must be said… no dissappoinment at all after the first show in Milano. It was a hot day, at some point a screen at the San Siro showed 42 degrees Celcius… we met with some people of the IORR forum at the Smooth bar before to talk and have some beers. Thanks Carlo for organizing this… When I went in around 19.30 it was still hot, 39 degrees Celcius… The audience was great, as one can expect from an Italian crowd.
Feeder opened the show and then around 21.10 the Rolling Stones started their European leg of the Bigger Bang Tour. The opening song Jumping Jack Flash got the crowd very wild as did the next one It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll. Third song was Oh No Not You Again, hard and well received.
First surprise of the evening was Let’s Spend The Night Together. And more surprises were to come. We got three new songs on this opening night. Streets Of Love got a very well reception of the audience, the song was used in a commercial here and the crowd went crazy and sang all along. Probably the biggest surprise of the evening was As Tears Go By, but then in the Italian version (Con Le Mie La Crime). Nothing to say, the crowd went mad…
We got Tumbling Dice, a rocking hard Midnight Rambler, the Ray Charles cover Night Time (Is The Right Time)… followed by the band introduction. The two Keith songs were Before They Make Me Run and Slipping Away. And he was in great shape, running around the stage, laughing, and playing well. Then on with Miss You, with the stage moving to the B-Stage. Rough Justice followed, and it was already visible on the setlist at Charlie’s kit. Finally, Under My Thumb was played on the B-Stage.
Back with Honky Tonk Women, Sympathy For The Devil and the rest of the warhorses Start Me Up and Brown Sugar. After the regular show they had to show the Italian goals in the Worldcup Final on the screen, and the crowd went very loud. The encores were You Can’t Always Get What You Want and Satisfaction. The final encore showed the two Italian football players Materazzi and Del Piero on stage. The band went out with huge applause and fireworks. If someone had any doubts about the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world, they are back and alive and kicking.
Despite all the rumors about Keith’s decreasing musical memory after the accident and Ronnie’s renewed alcohol habits, the Rolling Stones really did deliver yesterday night. The leit motiv of the whole evening has been the celebration for Italy’s victory of the World Cup 2006, and a Stones gig is indeed a worthy way to celebrate.
The local government of Milan has set a ridiculous volume limit to the sound system, and so the crowd could barely hear the first numbers played by the Stones. That’s really absurd, because when people like Vasco Rossi or Ligabue (who are Italian so – called “rockers”) play at San Siro, they really pump the volume very high. It’s very hard for me to understand the reasons why the Stones are obliged to keep the volume so low every time they play in san Siro. This volume issue has really affected the very first part of the show, because the crowd was really surprised and puzzled about being barely able to hear the guitars and Mick’s voice.
The show took off after “Let’s Spend The Night Together”: “Con Le Mie Lacrime” has been a pleasure to hear, and “Midnight Rambler” has been simply overwhelming. From that time on, the boys really had complete control of the crowd and the magic of a Rolling Stones Show was definitely there again.
I won’t bother giving a review of the show song by song. To be concise, I must say that the real hero of the night has been Mick Jagger: he’s been simply unbelievable, and really carried the show. A friend of mine, who’s an U2 hardcore fan, told me after the show that she thought that Bono is the top on stage, but she realized that Mick Jagger really belongs to another league.
Charlie was steady as ever, and Ronnie sincerely didn’t look and sound so good. Keith was very good, he’s completely recovered, I suppose. Too bad, I insist, that they imposed a volume limit to the band: reading the reviews of the American leg of the tour, I was expecting to hear the guitars very loud in the face, and instead I got a sound equal to the (very bad) one at the Licks Tour at best.
It was great to see Materazzi’s goal at the final against France, as well as all the penalties scored by the Italians, on the big screen just before the encore (“You Can’t Always Get What You Want”!), and after Materazzi and Del Piero coming on stage with the boys.
The Rolling Stones celebrating Italy’s victory of the World Cup: what an unforgettable night!
We were a few frenchies in Milano, braving 60 000 squadra azzura fans ! Yes, if someone dindn't know who won the world cup before the show, he surely know it at the end.
The Rolling Stones didn't make a mistake in choosing Milano to begin the ABB european tour, that was the place to start. It was the Vesuve in eruption, from the first minute until the last one !
But this enthusiasm had a bad effect, on the pitch (fos) the poor sound was very difficult to hear and the guitars completely swanp in the beguining. The first time we clearely heard guitars was on "Con le mie lacrime".
I think the Stones made a very good performance, there were in the show, Keith was smiling like a child with his new toy. "Street of love" was quite difficult with some sound problem and approximation, Mick alone in front turned his head several times trying to get some order. For the rest it was really great, a long "Midnight rambler" version, a very good Bstage set with "Under my thumb" etc ....
Thanks to the Stones (the best R'n'R band) , Thanks to the Italian crowd (the best in europe), and many thanks to Roberto and all his friends who hosted me the best way I could hope !
The answer, in short: The Stones have done far better than they did tonight – both on the American leg of the current tour and on numerous occasions during the last world tour, to name just their last two worldwide efforts. Tuesday’s opening show at Milano’s San Siro soccer stadium wasn’t really bad or even ridiculous. But one of the reasons you still go back to see those guys is that there is always a chance to witness a great Rolling Stones concert. This wasn’t one of them.
Rather it was a ragged affair. Even though the band seemed in good spirits and Keith looked as genial as ever, their set lacked focus. One of the strong points of the Stones’ tours from 1989 onwards has been their decision not to meddle too much with the material. This is exactly why tonight’s performance didn’t convince. At least it didn’t succeed on the level one grew to expect from them.
Some of the songs were hastily played as if the band wanted to get rid of them: Honky Tonk Women, YCAGWYW, Miss You, Sympathy and, sadly, all the new songs they played that night. Some other tracks started off great – Tumbling Dice, say, or Midnight Rambler –, but then the band seemed to lose interest. Others never got off the ground, especially Let’s Spend the Night Together or the Ray Charles number.
It was telling that the band tried to please the crowd by repeatedly alluding to Italy’s world championship win. This went as far as showing Italy’s final penalty shootout on the video screen before the encores and letting two members of the Italian soccer team join the band on stage after Satisfaction. The fact that these two moments got a bigger reaction from the crowd than any songs the band played that night should make them think twice about repeating the stunt in, say, Germany.
Still, the show had its surprises. Mick sang As Tears Go By entirely – and beautifully - in Italian. Under My Thumb sounded convincing, and it was surprising to hear some of the overplayed favourites coming over quite fresh, notably Brown Sugar and even Start Me Up. The most beautiful moment of the night belonged to Keith, though. His fragile rendition of Before They Make Me Run was the emotional highlight of the show, a genuine heartfelt performance. One couldn’t stop wondering whether the chorus line about wanting to walk before having to run wasn’t alluding to the fact that this tour might be their last after all. Whether the Stones’ opening performance was just a warm-up or the beginning of the final cooldown remains to be seen. We have seen too many shows by the Stones that were not really convincing followed by performances which really were. But this has always been their problem – having to stand up to their greatest songs and gigs. No other band has faced that challenge so many times – and won.
We arrived at San Siro at 1:45 p.m.. There were already lots of people there. Spent some time at the heinecken bar and met some nice fans there. At 3:30 p.m. we went to the entrance of prato 1-2. The organisation there was pure chaos. We managed it somehow to get in in a relatively short time by climbing over the barriers. Once we got in and after buying some merchandise we went to prato 1 and recognized that we were on Keith's side. There was no possibilty to get on Ronnie's side. After long and hard discussions we found a very friendly and helpfull italian guy of the staff who took us two to Ronnie's side. Thank you very much again. We found a great place just in the middle between the main and the B-Stage just two rows in front of the "Catwalk".
After that it was waiting, waiting, waiting...... Then the boys hit the stage.
The sound wasn't horrible at all because there was no sound at all until the last chords of Oh No, not you again. Then they turned up the volume after loud and numerous shouts of the crowd "vo-lu-me".
Streets Of Love was great and very much appreciated by the audience. Con Le Mie Lacrime a once in a life time experience. An italian guy next to us said "grande - en italiano - mamma mia (clutching his hands to his face)". Couldn't agree more.
Keith set was Keith set. Nothing more to be said and this is not meant negative. Under my Thumb great to hear that after years again. The beginning was a total mess but it turned out great.
The whole show was a mess, but that doesn't mean it was great, an experience we won't miss. If you want something perfect go and buy a cd or dvd, don't go to one of the shows. But if you don't go to the shows you'll miss something that you'll regret for the rest of your life... THE GREATEST ROCK'N'ROLL BAND IN THE WORLD. ... and... Thanks to one of the greatest audiences we have so far experienced. Thank you Italy at San Siro. Thank you Boys for a human, not perfect european opener. Can't wait for Munich, and the whole of the UK. Hopefully more to follow. You're to unique to stop.
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