It's Only Rock'n Roll
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (warmup) : 7:00pm - 7:35pm Rolling Stones : 20:30pm - 22:30pm
Wow. I am finding words, albeit hard, to describe what I just saw. How can the band continue to ROCK like that, year after year? Wow. Fireworks, flames, LIGHTS, and an amazing moving stage. What a way to give ALL of the seats a great view! And Mick running full tilt at the end out to the B Stage to give that end of the stadium a little Satisfaction. Wow.
Best song of the night: Sympathy For the Devil. Nearly had seared eyelashes from the heat!!
Best comment: Mick, "I went out and shot an elk today. BUT I PUT IT BACK!"
A big thanks to all that brought this to Missoula.
Biggest disappointment - I really wanted to hear "Bitch". Best highlight - the rain that we'd heard about for days never materialized, and "Get Off My Cloud", a song rarely played on this tour. The sing-a-long was reminiscent of our mascot Monte stirring up the crowd into a frenzy. The crowd didn't want it to end, I actually thought we we're going to get a third encore which would have been unprecidented on this tour, but in the end we had to accept the fact that it was over. Thank you Stones for turning us on - and if we can handle a concert of this magnitude without incident - may this be the first of MANY shows for this venue (Bono, Steven & Joe, are you listening). Two shows in Regina almost seems unfair....mmmm, how far away is Regina.....
The entire group was definitely getting great enjoyment playing for the "small town" crowd, as they exchanged smiles and laughter mixing up their strong potion of rock, or honestly music. They are not just a rock band in my mind, but are experts at Blues, Reggae, Funk... A Stone's concert is so fun to attend because the songs feel new every time. The smoking rendition of "Midnight Rambler" at this show reinforced the idea the group can jam on the Blues, and make it come from their hearts whenever they play.
Keith's open-G tuning gives him so much freedom, and with years of playing, he makes magic out of songs like "Tumbling Dice," "All Down The Line," "Jumping Jack Flash," "Honky Tonk Woman," "Start Me Up," "Brown Sugar," and "You Can't Always Get What You Want." All of these tunes used his magical "five string" at the concert, and they are songs I am always ready to hear.
Mick, Keith, Ronnie, Charlie, and Darryl were all in top form, and the entourage of backing singers, horns, and Chuck Leavell on keyboards helped boost the level of the music to new heights. Ronnie played so many great solos, and his slide playing on "All Down The Line" made me yell "Ronnie Taylor," because it was unique to Taylor's style and Wood's simultaneously. Charlie's drumming never ceases to amaze me, and his Gretsch kit looks like the comfiest set of drums in the world. He is a power house, who along with his bandmates, continues to grow as a musician. Mick sang incredibly well, and he bounced all over the stage getting the crowd involved in the show.
Mick and Keith were quite funny and genuinely warm to the crowd, and at one point Keith mentioned "I've never been to Montana...This is a beautiful place...I might move here," or something like that, and then he said "I could talk all night, but we have a show to do..." He launched into "You Got The Silver," and Woody played acoustic guitar with a slide. Keith was guitarless on this song, but later grabbed up a Gibson for his searing "Little T&A." Mick was funny during the intros, and introduced Charlie as "Charlie-The-wang-bang-doodle-Watts!" Charlie declined to speak when Mick asked him if he'd like to say a few words!
After Keith's set, we were lucky to have the band roll up about ten rows away on the B-Stage, and it was great fun to see them so close! They interacted with the crowd so well, and both Keith and Woody threw picks to a few lucky members in the audience! The groups enjoyed themselves all through the night. The show sounded great, was fun to attend, and was once again a great reminder they'll always be my favorite band in the world! Hopefully the will roll into the beatiful town of Missoula again!
This was the first and most likely last time the Rolling Stones will play in the Big Sky country, and the show was much appreciated by the 20,000 plus in attendance. The field was small, all the seats were good, and the weather was perfect. The stadium is right up against the mountain, and as the Stones got ready to play the full moon rose over the mountain. The forecast called for rain, but the first drop fell less than a minute after the show ended, and the temperature stayed in the sixties throughout the show.
The concert was attended by fans of all ages, from little kids through old gray-haired people who were re-doing the sixties because they had been there the first time (and thus forgot them).
The show lasted two hours. The opening act was not particularly good but were politely if unenthusiastically received. I had never heard of them but that doesn't mean much as they are a younger band with a following among much younger people than myself.
Keith Richards was in a great mood and good form. He went over and stood/kneeled along the fence at the side of the stage and interacted with the fans during one number. Mick did the same. The energy level was good thoughout. The moving stage for the short set was a great touch, as was Mick running the length of the field at the end of the show, with a video cameraman and some other tekkie struggling mightily to keep up with him. These guys might be in their sixties, but they are athletes and consummate performers.
I'm very glad I went. The show was outstanding. Thanks to the Rolling Stones for a great time. It was worth every cent, every second of the nearly 700 mile round-trip I drove to see it.
As a Missoula native and product, as well as a veteran of Stones concerts in this corner of America, I bring some perspective to these matters. It's been a long journey to get to this show. This was my eleventh, the first being in Seattle in 1972, and I've seen every American tour since, except 1978 (when they didn't play Seattle or elsewhere in the Northwest). I have just gotten used to making plans with friends in Seattle (about 600 miles from Helena) to see the show out there. Any fantasy that the Stones would ever play in Montana, let alone my home town, gradually faded from my mind years ago. So when rumors began circulating in June that they were eyeing a date at Washington-Grizzly Stadium, people here were electrified, and the whole state waited anxiously for the announcement and for tickets to go on sale. They were snapped up within minutes. Living a hundred miles from Missoula, I have been at some remove from the center of the building anticipation, but my brothers there have told me that the buzz was becoming deafening.
This show was my first in an outdoor setting, the first with my wife (her sixth show, God bless her) and all my college and high school aged kids attending, my daughter's first show, and of course, my first in Montana. Even though we were in the cheap seats, about as far from the stage as we could be, the sound was wonderful, better than I've ever experienced them indoors. Mick's vocals were very clear, the guitars were crisp and prominent, and Charlie was "right there." The weather was perfect. After some rain in the forecast, we got a mild evening with an occasional gentle breeze to remind us we were outdoors. The moon was up over Mount Sentinel, adjacent to the stadium, as the show began. "Jumping Jack Flash" got the crowd on its feet, and we stayed on them for the entire show. The video screen is great for those of us far away, catching not only the performers but audience members having a great time. (Did I see our Governor Brian Schweitzer up there for a couple of seconds? I think I did!)
The only song I had never heard them play before was "Streets of Love," and you folks out there in Stones Land are right about that one. It is a great live ballad, which Mick and the band build to considerable effect. Ronnie had the solo, one of the first of many fine guitar breaks for him during the evening. I can see why they want to keep this tour going; the songs on "A Bigger Bang" are very strong, and they have never played better. I think I heard them play "Little T & A" back in "81, but not since. And even though I heard "You Got the Silver" in Salt Lake City in '99, it is a gem and is most welcome. Ronnie has as much to do with this one as Keith, playing a georgous acoustic guitar part (is that slide?) which starkly frames Keith's heartfelt singing. Keith paced around Ronnie during his guitar break on that one. My wife was disappointed that Lisa Fischer's singing was not featured, as she was until recently on "The Night Time Is the Right Time," but she looked and sounded great, and worked hard up there. The one song I was hoping to hear was "Midnight Rambler," and I got my wish. We get Mick's harp playing with that one, as well as the ever shifting rhythm and dynamics that makes for a stellar live performance every time. Keith seeming fairly animated from my distant perch, smiling and moving to both sides of the stage fairly often. He did a nice job playing to the crowd on the left during "Tumbling Dice."
During the introductions, Mick asked Charlie if he wanted to say a few words, but he graciously declined. Ronnie changed during the concert from black leather to his new "Cassius Clay" jersey, which he apparently picked up in Louisville recently. Maybe he'll be wearing a University of Montana Grizzlies shirt next. From the B stage, the band brought "Get Off of My Cloud" back into the set list, which is a song I really flipped for at the tender age of 13, and cemented my "relationship" with these guys. It is a great B stage number; Mick had us singing the "Hey!" "You!" bits with gusto. By the time they launched into "Sympathy for the Devil," with orange-yellow flames shooting out of the top of the stage and the yellow moon overhead, and Mick in his red sequined hat and coat, we were totally in thrall.
The "warhorses" were executed with aplomb and intensity, and crowd gave as good as it got from the band. Just as the they took their bows and left the stage, a very light rain began to fall. It told us gently that we were outdoors, but didn't dampen our spirits. As we hiked the mile or so down the Clark Fork River Trail to our cars, we could hear people crossing the Van Buren foot bridge chanting "Woo! Woo!" ala "Sympathy." The echo on the bridge was very good.
A big thank you to everyone at the University of Montana, particularly UM Productions, who rose to the challenge and made this show happen. They had never hosted anything approaching this magnitude before; the stadium had only been used as a concert venue twice in its twenty year history. Thanks to the City of Missoula for all your work to get people safely to and from the concert. Thanks to my friends and family who shared all of this with me, particularly my fellow Missoulian and Stones veteran Dave, who was with me back in 1972 and attended this show as well. Thank you, Bjornulf, for this great site. And finally, thank you Mick, Keith, Ron, and Charlie, for finally finding us in the interior of the country and bringing it all back home.
I was as excited as the first time I saw them in Seattle in '76. Beautiful night and the crowd was more than ready for the boys. People around me just couldn't believe they were actually seeing the Stones in person in MT!
Opened with JJF as in previous shows I saw last fall and spring. The energy from Mick was more noticeable. I think he wants to make sure the fans who have never seen the Stones get their money's worth. This is not your LA crowd, lots of people from smaller towns and this is a bid deal!
Set list was similar to other shows, although I missed Rain Fall Down. I was glad they did Midnight Rambler, one of their best jam songs with killer harmonica and guitar riffs. Rock and a Hard Place and Can't You Hear Me Knocking would have made my night, but maybe next show. By the end of the encore,Satisfaction, the crowd was still ready for more.
The band was so tight and smooth and they looked like they were really enjoying it. Good communication with the crowd and I think that was helped by them relaxing at a private ranch 20 miles out of town. Mick told the crowd he shot an elk, and the place they stayed is also a game farm where you can shoot your choice of game.
Overall, a truly memorable experience for everyone there. You know it was great when you can't wait to see the next show. For me, that is Boise, ID and maybe Dodger Stadium. I just don't want it to end.
The concert itself was excellent. I would say that of the now 13 shows I have seen on the A Bigger Bang tour, this was one of the better ones along with Denver, both Madison Square Garden shows in January, and both Twickenham shows. Twickenham I is still the best I have seen on this tour.
At this show, Mick was the most physically animated I have seen on this tour and possibly going back to Steel Wheels. Why I do not know. He was jumping, running, twirling even more than usual. The crowd really responded to him. Several times he mentioned Montana and this being the first show of the band in the state, etc.
The crowd was very into it. I looked around 360 degrees several times and from what I could tell, the entire mass of people both on the floor (pitch) and in the stands (tiers) stood for the entire show or near to that. This includes those sitting the furthest back and highest up away from the stage.
Keith looked more rugged than I have ever seen him. Long plain black jacket, wide red headband, and hair flopping in every direction. But he had the quote of the night, �this is new territory to me, and I�ve been around� (with emphasis on the last three words).
Ronnie had an excellent solo on All Down the Line, basically the same as the original but a bit slower and more choppy. Towards the end of the show, he wore a long tee shirt emblazoned with a large Cassius Clay (for anyone too young to know, that was the birth name of Muhammad Ali).
Charlie was as solid as ever.
Yes, the set list was dominated by the warhorses, but I expected that. My daughter Nicole (the �small god�) and I were calling and texting in the set list to Tongue Lady who posted it on Shidobee and from there it was picked up and posted on IORR.
The band was really playing hard and I see no reason why they should quit as long as they can keep playing at this level.
And for me, perhaps the best moment of the night came when I got right up against the railing (barrier) at the front of the B stage very close to the Sacred Plexiglass around Charlie.
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