It's Only Rock'n Roll
The Rolling Stones : 9:00pm - 10:50am
IORR show comments:
Soaking wet show indeed with one big big thunderstorm hittting at 7pm and just dumping 15 mm (half an inch) of rain on the fans in 5-10 minutes. Then by a miracle as the Stones hit the stage at exactly 8:58pm the remaining after-rain suddenly stopped and all plastic and umbrellas were gone in a split second.
If Werchter was the warmup show this was the great real starter. Keith was the killer doing some great great guitar playing on SHE WAS HOT - Ronnie said thank you that was great great great playing to Keith as the song finished, while Mick was jumping around like there were no slippery wet surface on stage. Indeed there were. Everybody who walked over to the far end wing of the Keith side of the stage got blessed with Keith on his knees doing the Sympathy For The Devil guitar playing. During Painbt It Black the guy next to me said something in Dutch. I explained I did not undererstand. Then in English he said: They get better and better every year".
Everybody was singing along and dancing on Paint It Black. May be the best song of the show. Or may be it was "Can't You Hear Me Knocking", where Keith and Mick was thanking Ronnie for his great playing. The crowd was wet but very happy. Too bad they had to finish. A great show indeed.
We were having some drinks and food again, protection against the sun, and then the clouds came. But before a Dutch blues musician (ex-Skik, from Drenthe, close to the area where I grew up) took the stage and played some nice blues songs for half an hour with his band. It was getting darker and darker however. At 7.00 PM Van Morisson took the stage, starting with Please Don't Go, and then the rain started as well. Not just a shower, but really heavy heavy rain. People got completely soaked (see pics on my website). Heavy thunder and rain forced Van the Man to stop his show after three songs and the stage was cleared. It was announced that more rain was expected but that the Stones whatever happened, would play (of course).
Just before 9.00 PM it was getting dry and the Stones took the stage with a firing Start Me Up, followed by You Got Me Rocking. The band was in great shape, that was clear from the beginning. The sound was really good as well, at least at the point where we were standing. And no complaining about setlists, we even got two songs from Undercover... But first Rough Justice, the only Bigger Bang song. For me, they could play more titles of this album, but they decided to do only this one.
Then the surprises were coming: All Down The Line, very nice done, followed by the highlights She was Hot (premiere in Europe) and a great Sweet Virginia. During this song Mick asked the audience to sing along, and when the song finished he took the guitar and continued solo for another verse, with singing audience. Next one, Can't You Hear Me Knocking, the jam song of the show, replacing Midnight Rambler, very well done. Then the cover I'll Go Crazy (James Brown), really good, highlight with Lisa Fisher. Next song was Tumbling Dice, not my favorite song, but well performed.
Band introductions were done, followed by Keith' set. He was very talkative, but a bit unclear. His set were only rockers this time, Wanna Hold You and Happy. On with the show with IORR and the move to the B-stage, this song works well in this position. On the B-stage we got (like in Werchter) It's All Over Now and Satifaction. The two real old ones, but both with great versions. Back to the main stage with Honky Tonk Women, and a few changes compared to Werchter. Sympathy was back in the old position after the B-stage, again with lots of red lights and fire. The show was concluded with Paint It Black and Brown Sugar, both played very well. One encore, Jumping Jack Flash, finished this - again - great concert of one of the greatest bands in the world.
In Rough Justice Keith took the first solopart. All Down the line was a nice surprise, as was She was hot, although the end was the usual mess. Sweet Virginia got Mick on acoustic. Ronnie and Keith played electric all night. At the end of the song Mick asked the crowd to sing and he started another round of the chorus, just him and his acoustic guitar. Very nice. Can't You Hear Me Knocking was the highlight for me. Very well played. Ronnie's solo was beautiful. His guitarsound (a Strat) was much better than during the Licks tour. Less distorted, just a clean natural sound. After the song finished Keith gave Ronnie a hug. Nice moment.
I'll Go Crazy was great. Mick is so good on this, as was Lisa. Keith went straight on with Dice. I Wanna Hold You was much better now than at Werchter. Keith sang the right 1st verse and at the end of the song we got to witness the WEAVIN! Ronnie and Keith playing great sololines against each other. Truely beautiful. The intro of Happy was a bit rusty, but Keith's singing was perfect. The key of the song was B again (on Licks he dropped it to A) and his high pitched voice came across clearly. I noticed how Ronnie gave Keith the cue for the 2nd solopart. Ronnie was sharp tonight. Keith was good. He still had some trouble with Brown Sugar though. The 1st bars of the intro were ok, but It took awhile (until the solo of Bobby) before he nailed the 2nd part (the D# part). Anyway, never mind. The end of the show was as usual with the familiar warhorses (with the exception maybe of a very well executed Paint it black). All in all I think the Stones went back to their hotel (or plane) in good spirits, 'cause they had given a good show and left a happy crowd.
To kill some time I made a chat with a security guy, he said that only 20.000 tickets were sold, but they were expecting some 25.000 people. I was noticeable on the field that it was far from sold out, you could get coins for drinks, drinks and food within seconds. I didn’t think about getting a poncho by then, wish I had …..
At 5.45 Daniel Lohues and the blues something group opened the evening and I have to say that they played some nice blues song. At that time the sun was long gone and dark clouds came in. My wife called at about 6.45 saying that the weather was really bad in the south and that Nijmegen would also be hit by thunder. And we were hit, at 6.55 when Van Morisson had just started his set, he quit the stage after 10 minutes or so. Within seconds everyone, including me was soaking wet. I got a poncho in the end that kept me from getting even more wet. Van didn’t come back, heavy rain stopped around 8 pm and we got the message that the Stones would be playing, rain or shine, the boys are always fine. I have to admit that probably my best Stones show was the july 1 1995 at Paris when thunder and rain arrived together with the Stones.
At 9 pm the Stones opened with Start Me Up, followed by You Got Me Rocking and Rough Justice. Mick thanked us for staying around with the insane rain (his words) hitting the field. I thought they had a great first half of the show, with Sweet Virginia and Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’. Then Keith played Wanna Hold You and Happy which I thought were not so good, then on to the B-stage with It’s All Over Now and Satisfaction also not super. Back on the main stage they continued with Sympathy For The Devil, Paint It Black, Brown Sugar and JJF. I’ve read reviews about how great Paint It Black was, but really Keith didn’t play the riffs that come with this song, at least I didn’t hear them. Still a good show, with Charlie hard hitting and Ron doing very well. Best man on the field, without any doubt, was Mick though, running and dancing and singing well.
We were opposite to Ron's counter of the stage. Ron did really, really well. The boys rocked, but there were also some downsides. Keith completely screwed up the Happy intro, just as he missed a couple of times in other songs. Was I the only one to notice this? Didn't find it back in other reviews.
As I stood there with my kids, it felt awsome to share these precious moments with them. But when I watched the boys playing, I also realized that this very well may have been The Last Time.
Sweet Virgina was so nice, just as All down the line. Personally I didn't think the show was as good as the one on july 31th last year. And Van Morrison definately should have brought an umbrella :-))
Mick was in great form, all over the stage, in great voice, and speaking lots of Dutch to the crowd. Ronnie’s guitar was cutting, particularly on Can’t You Hear Me Knocking. Great to hear that one again. And Charlie was perfect as usual. It was a special night, and the Stones delivered. They are just the best. See you in London
God bless Van for cutting his set short midway though about the 4th song. No one was paying any attention, because we were huddled under giant plastic sheets -- some of us unfortunate enough to be suffocated by smokers. The early stop allowed the Stones crew to get ready, while I was bracing myself for a painful couple of hours in the rain and cold.
Fortunately, the rain stopped just as the show started, and then my pot brownie started to take effect, so I was feeling great.
Mick had a slow start, constantly looking back at guidance from Chuck for "Start Me Up," and evidently forgetting every part of "You Got Me Rocking." He was about to sing a chorus until Chuck pointed out that it was the time for Ronnie's guitar solo.
Tonight was Keith's night, with sizzling solos -- aided and abetted by Ronnie -- on "She Was Hot," "Can't You Hear Me Knocking," and especially "I Wanna Hold You." The latter seemed like a completely different song from the never-ending one performed at Werchter. I have to admit I had no idea what song Keith was playing next until about 30 seconds in. It seemed he was playing every riff in his songbook before locking on the one for "Happy." I also had that feeling at the end when he came out to the spotlight solo and started on what would eventually be "Jumpin' Jack Flash." My only advice -- no more sleeveless shirts. His upper arms, pockmarked and wrinkly, are not a pleasant sight.
"Sweet Virginia" was another highlight. When the song was clearly over, Mick asked everyone to sing the chorus again, a capella. And I thought we did a great job. But then I had one of those drug-induced moments of paranoia where I thought I was the only one singing and the stadium was completely silent.
The only real issue I have is that the backing vocalists are still too high in the mix, and Chuck's keyboards are now threatening to dominate "Start Me Up."
Once again, transport afterwards was a hassle. With the show starting about an hour early, the buses weren't waiting for us at the close. I was lucky to get one of the first ones out, but thousands must have been left cooling their heels for some hours.
Daniel Lohues & The Louisiana Blues Club opened the show ten minutes or so before six o’clock, when it was still warm and dry. Lohues played well. For him and his band this was the first time they played for such a crowd as Lohues stated ‘he saw a lot of new faces in the audience’.
Round about seven o’clock ‘Van The Man’ started fabulous with ‘Baby Please don’t go’ but he had to give up soon because of the heavy rain. The speaker asked the crowd if they were there in 1998 in The Hague in a field called ‘The Malieveld’; that’s the concert were the public almost drowned or got stuck in the mud for the rest of their lives. I never saw such a heavy rainfall, but in Nijmegen it was almost just as bad. Every thunder strike was greeted by the public with a cheer and everybody was in a good mood and got in an even better mood because of the Stones.
When the Stones started at 9 o’clock the weather was fine and the sound was terrific. ‘Start me up’, sure enough. The next song ‘You got me rocking’ made me fear we would get all the numbers with ‘rock’ in the title but the Stones gave us a great set list. Highlights were ‘All down the line’, ‘She was hot’ (played for the first time in the Netherlands), ‘Can’t you hear me knocking’, ‘I’ll go crazy’ (James Brown tribute, Lisa was thunder-and-lightning), ‘Sweet Virginia’ and ‘Paint it black’. Ronnie played very tight and worked hard and Keith had a very good night too. Charlie is always a steady force, just as Darryl, but the man who really deserves a compliment is the man in front: Mick Jagger. The man delivers quality and gives everything he has to let the Stones and the good times roll. Thanks!
Despite the heavy rain, I witnessed a very pieceful 'festival-atmosphere' (unlike my first Stones experience ever in 1976 at the Zuiderpark in The Hague, where the cops had to clean the Stadium fron the Hell's Angels). The sound and the setup in Nijmegen was far better than any concert I have attended, and The Stones were clear and crispy. Keith was sparkling, Mick full of unknown energy, and the band showed us their pleasure and guts. "Angie" would've been the icing on the cake... but there's always something left to be desired.... Hans, Amsterdam The Netherlands
I went without too many expectations. Mostly about big crowds, a distant stage, overpriced beer, smelly toilets and overpaid prima donnas. But they were awesome. They fully deserve their reputation as the best rock n roll band in the world. Because they are. Their music has become so familiar that it sometime seems like wallpaper. Hell you even hear it in shopping malls these days. But to see them play it live is something else. From the opening chords of Start Me Up we all knew this was the real McCoy. Everyone knows the Stones songs – but seeing them played live makes you remember what all the fuss was about.
Watching them do Its All Over Now and Paint It Black bought back memories of watching them on top of the pops in black and white and my parents or uncle saying they’ll never last. And I bet Keith or Mick’s mothers said to them -“”yes but what you are going to do when you grow old?” Against all odds they’re still doing it and better than how many generations of rockers who followed. Mick is a bundle of energy – a Pan like figure who never grows old – and is sometimes ridiculed for that – but who is still the best rock front man in the world. At 63 he has the body, energy and arrogance of a 20 year old. He must have done 10km up and down the stage never stopping- one can’t stop thinking he has made some Faustian pact and there is a painting of him mouldering away in an attic a la Dorian Grey. Keef, whose continued presence on this planet defies most bookmaker’s odds goes walkabouts a lot too, though often to light up another fag. If they ever ban smoking in public halls surely they will think about calling it a day. Seeing Mick and Keef, or Keef and Ron trade licks, in the same frame on the video screen was just one of those shivers up the spine moments that don’t happen very often
The acoustics were superb, the stage set well thought through – the effects were special and sparingly used so they really did surprise and the back up band were so tight. I never really thought I wanted to see the Stones – but I’m so glad I did.
Werchter; Beautiful wheater, a nice summer evening. The kids loved it. For the the youngest one (14) was it his first rock concert. He really enjoyed it.
Nijmegen; With partly the same group we did Bridges to Babylon and 40 Licks.
Heavy rain, but, when the Stones started, it was dry and it stayed dry.
So now Biggest Bang. Hard to say, but do they get better as the get older? . I think so.
They played very well. Very well. Both shows were not sold out, but the fans who did not show up were wrong.
Where Keith seemed a little bit in a different world in Werchter, he was sharp in Nijmegen.
Also Ronnie and Charlie, and the rest of the band (great performance of Lisa in the James Brown song) but specially Mick. What an entertainer.
I had the impression they gave some extra for the many fans who stood there, most of them soaking wet after heavy, heavy rain, thunder and lightning.
The sound on both locations was cristal clear, the stage is very impressive, so is the lightshow, the video screen and the fireworks.
The greatest Rock ‘n Roll band on earth. For sure.
I never had the intention of showing up early. In fact it would be impossible, since I always take my brother to the Stones and he really had to work until five. No probs, we would just enjoy the spectacle from the back this time, strolling about the field from left to right and just be relaxed. Leaving at 17:00 from Limburg (southern Netherlands) would allow us to be on the site at about 19:00.
My bro's meeting ran late. It was nearly 17:30 when we left and the first thing we encountered was a traffic jam on the motorway. Our plan was to drive to Oss, which is at about a 20 mins. train drive to Nijmegen. This would allow us to comfortably park the car and have an easy way out after the show. This instead of finding a parkingspot near the venue, which, as we all know, can be a drag to take the car out of after a gig.
The complete 100 mins. drive to Oss was covered by black clouds and spectacular lightning. And slow traffic. The Oss trainstation has a more than adequate parking and four trains to Nijmegen every hour. Yes we were late, but the train we caught would drop us at Nijmegen at about 19:45. We probably wouldn't see much of Van though...
At a village close to Nijmegen the train stops, due to thunder struck at Nijmegen's southern yard. After a while, back we go, to Oss... our concert seems to go down the drain. A quick resetting of plans has us re-occupy our car at Oss, and drive it up to Nijmegen anyway, with a more than average chance of getting a lousy parkingspot and arriving only after the Stones had started. Oh well, at least it's something. The car is packed by the way, since we take three other Stones fans, a mother and her two daughters (as well as a Nijmegen-bound student) to save them the trouble of finding a bus or taxi and miss most of the gig.
Parked the car at 20:15 (I admit speeding), in a residential area of Nijmegen (parkings full from where we were coming) and neither of us new what way to walk. Of course, we took the wrong way at first. So it took us 30 mins. from the car to the site, and we had our tickets checked at 20:48, being delighted the Stones were not on yet. At this point I am struck by severe cramps in both my legs, probably from the walking or whatever. And as I am, in quite some pain, stretching against my brother, the opening video appears on the big screen quite unexpected.... You know from bv's report this was at 20:58. So we stumble on a bit, find us a sport not too far from the b-stage, and from then on just enjoy the great atmosphere. It appeared that we of all people, being late, were saved from the biggest shower, since by that time we had still been driving!
...and the show!
Start Me Up was up to standards. I am one of those that like You Got Me Rocking a lot, so fine with me. Some lyrics were missed or late I believe, but these things are adequately corrected. Rough Justice was done well, and this year Keith is more prominent with a solo, although the live versions have never featured Ronnie as much as the record. On with All Down The Line, no problems there, I love it! People around me don't know it, except for an about ten year old boy, who jumps along with his father while screaming out the lyrics. That's the spirit.
She Was Hot! Yeaaah! And what a performance! Have I already mentioned the excellent sound? Keith spot on. Even though lots of people don't know this, it's such a cheerful tune they dance along anyway. Sweet Virginia is about the slowest song tonight, which is remarkable. The singalong at the end ("because you dutch people like singing a bit") is a bit fading with us in the back, but it must have been a thrill up front I'm sure, judging by Mick's smiles. Can't You Hear Me Knocking is opened with strong riffs by Keith, Mick's harp doesn't seem to impress me too much this time. Ronnie's solo loud and clear. Not the best version, but good enough. I'll Go Crazy is this year's dead musician song and it's a nice change, although the Charles tune last year made a stronger impression. Lisa's moment of fame, by the way. She impresses everyone.
Keith set was tonight's biggest surprise, to me anyway. Knowing that two rockers has as far as I know never happened since 1990 (admittingly You Don't Have To Mean It has served as the fast as well as the slow song in his set) I was very thrilled with the choice of Wanna Hold You and Happy, both of which I had never seen live (I always got Before They Make Me Run and almost always Slipping Away). Wanna Hold You does certainly not have the smoothness of the 1997 dvd, but it's one of my favourites, jumping guaranteed. The intro to Happy was completely unrecognisable. He announced it after Wanna Hold You so I knew what is was supposed to be. I've never seen his face more puzzled than now, it took halve a minute before the wreck was rerailed and he sang the first words. Good version after that. His set needs a bit more rehearsing though.
It's Only Rock'n'roll to the b-stage. It's All Over Now was a highlight tonight, even with Mick appearantly having some mic problems thereby missing most of the first verse, changing to the handheld. The crowd sang along the chorus so enthusiastically, I was pleasantly surprised. This is so good it should be a stayer. Satisfaction worked great here, it's like seeing them doing their most famous riff in a club nearby. Honky Tonk Women back to the mainstage.
The drumsample and red stage indicated Sympathy would not be the encore tonight. Keith soloing on the right wing for ages. Paint It Black always pleases the dutch crowd, who mainly know it from the Tour Of Duty tv-series. Brown Sugar and the encore Jumping Jack Flash were strong and loud on guitars.
A good show and a great atmosphere. We loved it. And we got the car out without problems, since we were so far away. Managed to drive home in less than two hours... after a great day.
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Thanks to Detlef Neumann and Sjouke Hoving for photos!