It's Only Rock'n Roll
Show start : 9:20pm Show end : 11:25pm
It�s a pity they didn�t �pull a Boston� and recycle the set list from Night 1 to Night 2. Wednesday�s encore saw �Bitch,� �Back of My Hand,� �Midnight Rambler� and �(Night Time Is) The Right Time� return to the set list. Of modest interest was the fact that �You Can�t Always Get What You Want� led into the band introductions, while �You Got Me Rocking� was relegated to the small stage, and �Tumbling Dice� rolled out into the warhorse section.
Monday�s fiasco, when Keith played �It�s Only Rock �n� Roll� and Mick sang �Satisfaction� at the same time, was certainly on the band�s mind. Before launching into �It�s Only Rock �n� Roll� tonight, Mick allowed himself a wide grin. I can only assume he was pondering the ramifications if Keith took it upon himself to play �Satisfaction.� Oddly, at the end of the main set, when the band had left the stage, Mick was still at the microphone, looking to play the next song, which happened to be �Satisfaction.� He eventually joined his bandmates behind the drum riser, and there was a lot of pointing towards the Plexiglass stand where the set list is written. Charlie and Pierre the guitar tech seemed engaged in an animated conversation about something on the list.
Back to �It�s Only Rock �n� Roll,� Mick sang, �I bet you think you�re the only pussy in Philadelphia,� which didn�t exactly fit the rhythm. Not the world�s most choreographed band, Keith, Ron and Darryl stood in close formation in front of Charlie during �Shattered.� I thought they might advance towards Mick in �I Go Wild�-style, but they evidently hadn�t practiced that bit.
Keith and Charlie caught Mick off-guard during �Midnight Rambler.� The slow build-up that follows his line �put a fist through your steel plate door� lasted just one or two handclaps before the song swung into its frenzied climax.
During the intros, Ronnie wanted Mick to introduce him as Ronnie � CBGB � Wood, judging by the way Ronnie was pointing at the logo on his t-shirt. Mick demurred and simply introduced him as Ronnie Wood.
The highlight of Keith�s set was the fact that one of his hottie daughters was watching from the pit, just feet away from me, mouthing the words to �The Worst.� Keith did not seem to notice her until near the end of �Infamy� when Ronnie pointed her out to him, and Keith broke into a huge grin. It was a wonderful father-daughter moment. She also watched the small-stage section from close quarters. She first emerged during John Mayer�s opening act, as did Darryl Jones � but they probably had different motivations.
Post script: Security was so relaxed that one of the locals standing in the pit wanted me to take photos of the band with his camera. I politely declined.
I had "restricted view" seats on Keith�s side. But if having that seat means you can watch practically everything that is happening in the immediate vicinity of the back stage area�I�LL TAKE IT EVERYTIME. Charlie climbing to his kit. Followed by Ronnie. Witnessing Keith getting suited up with his tool of the trade and "accompanying" Mick before he bursts on to the scene. I couldn�t believe it, there I was 50 ft to side of a band that I have enjoyed reading about and listing to since I was 11. I never had any doubt, but the fights I had with my older sister over who was better the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, my passion for what this band brings to the table were confirmed (again).
Sure I would have like a song here or there over others and I could go song by song, but it was as if they were playing these for the first time live. They appeared to be having so much fun. And Charlie was beating on his drums so hard as to say �NOTHING CAN STOP ME.� It was a show that I am so grateful to have attended.
My 7 and 3 year old daughters couldn�t wait to hear my tale. They hung on every last word this morning like I was telling them a story from a fantasy book. The first question my 3 yr old asked was "did they sing 'back of my hand'?" Beaming, I said YES!!!
Thanks to the Rolling Stones and Blessing to all.
Start Me Up - The Opening Anthem and the crowd explodes
IORR - Great follow-up to the opener. I liked the up tempo.
Shattered - Always great to hear.
Bitch - Glad we got it, I was hoping for Sway.
Rough Justice - Really like this song. Great guitars.
Back of My Hand - Have not heard it more than a couple of times, but sounds good.
Midnight Rambler - My highlight. I've been listening to the YA YA's version. Mick sounded great and played awesome harp!!! Great crowd interaction at the end.
Night Time is the Right Time - Lisa Fisher take a bow (Ray Charles was the first act to open the Wachovia Center formerly CoreStates Center in August 1996).
YCAGWYW - A classic. Gets better every time I hear it.
The Worst - Keith at his best.
Infamy - Vintage Keith
Miss You (B Stage) - Rockin. Mick really worked the crowd.
Oh No Not You Again (B Stage) - Great song, great version, a keeper.
You Got Me Rockin (B Stage) - Hey Hey... Great crowd reaction. Nice selection to close out the B stage set.
Honky Tonk Women - A must do... Like many of us, I've heard this song thousands of times and still love it.
Sympathy For The Devil - Great guitars, straight ahead rock n' roll.
Paint It Black - Mick sounding great and the band was right their with him all the way.
Tumblin Dice - Another must do. Horns sounded really good.
Jumpin Jack Flash - Gets better every time
Satisfaction - Great, Great, Great... even after the age of 40.
Brown Sugar - Great song to end the show. Bobby Keys - blow your saxophone son!!!
A great show all around. The boys really did kick the crap out of everything last night. As the last of the multi colored streamers came down from the Wachovia Center ceiling during Brown Sugar, I could not help but remember my first Rolling Stones show 24 years ago on a sun splashed day, September 25, 1981 at JFK stadium and all of the great memories this band has given me and my friends over the years. THANK YOU. Hope to see you comin around again soon.
For kicks, I had the set list printed out from night 1 in Philadelphia and wanted to see how the Stones matched up from night 1. Once I realized about 4 songs in that they had radically changed around the setlist, I was excited. The second night had a lot more older songs, and some more bluesy numbers. And while I don't always get excited about hearing the more popular songs by the Stones on the radio, experienceing them live has always been a great experience. I agree with a poster on the message board saying that you can read a setlist at home and not be excited, but that doesn't mean the songs didn't have energy in a live setting. They most certainly did.
I noticed a couple of small mistakes like the previous reviewer. Mick was thrown off on Midnight Rambler just the way the previous reviewer said he was. I also noticed that Keith's guitar dropped slightly during the intro to Satisfaction, and right after Keith went back and had about a 45 second conversation with the guitar techs in the back while playing. But from what I heard about from the first show, I believe this second night was much tighter and much more musically sound. I have to think that they changed the setlist that dramatically to get a better flow down, and I think they succeeded.
I was disappointed to not get She's So Cold or Out of Control the second night though. I wanted to hear those, but that's more personal opinion. Getting Midnight Rambler made up for it in my mind.
I am so impressed with the manuevering of the B stage compared to previous tours. With one song happening on the way to the stage and one song happening on the way back, it's like getting 4 songs in the B setting instead of 3. I too would have appreciated Get Off of My Cloud instead of You Got Me Rockin in that set. But again, personal opinion.
And one thing I always love is Keith in the last 5 songs of a show. It's like he saves his raw energy for the warhorse section. He absolutely exploded on Jumpin' Jack Flash. I watch him intently in the last 5 or 6 songs, and he doesn't let me down. He definitely likes playing the standards much more.
I wish Bobby Keys was featured a little more. I have always been a fan of his. And Lisa Fischer looked amazing. I was watching her during Brown Sugar, and dreaming of some sweetness. I can't help it. That woman is incredible. And what a voice!
Ronnie had some great solos, especially in You Can't Always Get What You Want, Charlie was tight, and Mick was Mick. It worked for me.
The crowd was buzzing again as the opening video montage played...and played...and played...and played. The final build-up was on a really long time...I think the video was messed up...the streaking light never "exploded" and finally the video was shut off entirely, and Keith just came forward to start us up, with Start Me Up. Technology may have been off a few times tonight, but the band was right on! It's Only Rock n' Roll was back in the show, and in the #2 spot...It cooked. Keith was tearing it up, Ronnie was leading us up front in the sing-along, and Mick worked the whole stage and included the line " ya think that you're the only pussy in Philadelphia?" Very high energy as song #2...the first of many great decisions as far as setlist order. Shattered was next, and they hit us hard...just great! Then it was another twist in the usual song order...Tumbling Dice gets knocked from the #4 spot in favor of Bitch...Again, a great decision. Bitch just worked so well in this spot. Keith was in a real Chuck Berry mood tonight. His Berry-like riffs were awesome. It was a different twist to the song, and he mixed it with his own signature "Keith rhythm" riffs. Love the way he does those quick, piercing hits...and the horns were top notch. Rough Justice was next, another chance for Keith to play around and smile. Back of My Hand was a big highlight...Getting to see it from the 4th row allowed me to see just how well Mick plays the slide. He was so confident on guitar for this one...great to see. And the vocal was terrific...full of little twists and pace changes, a lot of fire. Easily the best version I've seen this tour.
Next up, the lights go blue, Mick and Keith are in front of Charlie...I hear a quick bluesy note from Keith..and I know immediately it would be Midnight Rambler!!! Yessssssssss. My buddy didn't believe me, but I was yelling while everyone else waited, and wondered what we were getting. I see Mick with a harmonica..and we're ready to be blown away. I check my watch, knowing to time this song..it's gonna be a long jam. Wow, did the band sure hit us with a gem. Probably the biggest highlight of the night. Keith and Charlie drove this one with the tempo changing on a dime...very quick..a new twist. MIck was stalking the stage and really getting into it....feeding off the crowd, even going down the center catwalk ramp right next to us. "well, ya heard about the boston.....THUMPPPP." The blasts from Charlie were HUGE! The end run was phenomenal...again, Keith and Charlie decided to speed it up, on a dime....loved it. When it was all said and done...10 minutes, with a powerful finish...and Mick even gave us the great final line..."and it hurts"
My hope for Mr. Pitiful was dashed, but Night Time was on fire...and was a great theme following Rambler..that whole "night" thing. Mick and Lisa were great. Mick even went up to the back-up singers at the end and gave special thanks to Lisa...great moment. Another twist in the song list...The #9 spot went to You Can't Always Get What You Want...a good move. Keith came up front to start it with a big smile and a lot of soul on the opening chords...They were having so much fun in this show. Mick going on the center catwalk..again. Something done in this show more times than I've ever seen. Ronnie gave us another huge solo, much like he did in Pittsburgh...great to see him really work.
Band intros gave us more smiles and laughs. I could see Ronnie trying to push Mick into using a nickname on him..but Mick smiled and laughed him off...just a regular intro. But it was Charlie "Wacker" Watts. And the ovation for Charlie was huge. He loved it...giving us some big hits on the drums while standing. and the crowd kept cheering..so Charlie took another bow...and Mick headed towards the drum kit with a mic to give to Charlie...I thought we were going to get that super-rare "hello" from Charlie....but he just kept working with the sticks on the drums...He wasn't falling for it! Still made for a great moment. Keith was next, and he was beaming.... Told us it's been "a great week in Philly..maybe we should stick around?"...huge roar from the crowd. The Worst was soulful again...Infamy was grooving and even featured Keith going up on his toes with knees bent and doing this great little dance.., ...as he and Ronnie laughed. The two of them were working each other all night..and cracking up. Sure we all would love other Keith tunes mixed in...but I really could care less...Two songs by Keith, ...any songs...are always a highlight for me...
Miss You moved the band above us towards the back of the arena....Ronnie, Darryl, and Chuck Leavell were all smiling to us below...and once they reached the b-stage and finished the song, the back of the house was going nuts. Ronnie made his way right down to the rail to hand deliver a guitar pick to a little kid. Keith, later did the same. Oh No Not You Again was in that groove pocket ...as it always is. Such a great song. Mick is in control on this one and it fits the band so well....the riffs always knock me out. Another setlist twist...You Got Me Rocking on the b-stage..... brilliant move...compliments the other parts of the b-stage set. Keith did a nice improv riff on the transition...I always love it when he does that, rather than just hold a note on this song...His riff at that point is different every time. Honky Tonk Women was loose and fun as the stage moved back to the front. The big video screen was totally turned off...again, I think there were a few glitches with it. But it gave me a chance to see how that huge screen is put together...It's a very unique looking grid of metal frames and light clusters....very different than just a large smooth screen.
The final run began with Sympathy for the Devil..and the crowd carried it. Not as searing a version as monday night's show. But still great. Paint it Black was on fire, though. Keith opened it with a cig dangling from his mouth and that great riff, with an arm pump to start Charlie on the drums... The song was very heavy, a lot of bass..and it worked so well. Tumbling Dice made its new home in the warhorse final run. It was a great fit. The energy was very high..better than when it's played early in the show. Mick went catwalking down the center ..again. Jumping Jack Flash was classic. Lots of play between the band members...Mick went to Keith to "jab" face to face...vocal and riff...priceless. The dancing was awesome. Mick seemed to get so wrapped up in the song and the energy, he forgot it was the final song of the main set.... The entire band made they're way off stage to get a breather before the encores and Mick stayed out there...feeding the crowd, and asking if they're ready for more...??? He had no idea the stage was now empty! He still was working it, and turned around at the drum kit...He took a few seconds...looked to us...and slowly slid off stage.... I laughed so hard... Can only imagine what they said to him in the back.... I've never seen that happen. I really think the crowd, the show, ..everything made Mick lose himself in the fun. At least that's what I hope.
The one-two punch on the encore was another great decision...Satisfaction and Brown Sugar. Keith ripped through Satisfaction..and again went into Chuck Berry mode...He even came out on the center catwalk...that never happens! The song had more of a deliberate, chugging feel to it...which worked very well. Always amazing how they can change these songs in ways like that and it gets better. Never play'em the same way twice, as Keith says. Brown Sugar closed the show in a perfect way. Bobby's sax solo was blistering..and Keith walked right to him as he blared..Keith always goes over to admire Bobby on this song. Midway through the song I noticed someone sneaking around near the drum kit, behind a stack of amps...I looked with my binoculars and could see clearly, it was Keith's daughter!!! I think it was Theodora... She was wearing a red knit hat and was dancing away to the final jam.... Running all over the back of the stage...mostly out of view to everyone...but from my angle I had a great view. Just another reason why it pays to bring your binoculars..no matter how close you sit to the stage....Ya never know what you'll see. In the crowd, there were more little kids at this show than I've ever seen. And the band gave them winks and smiles...a little boy in front of us in the 2nd row was put on the video screen several times..and the band made their way to play in front of him on a few songs. Final bows were very fun. Charlie was electric...laughing and playing around...I nearly got his drum stick a few moments earlier as he hurled it into the crowd. On the bows, he was angling for a few extra waves to the fans, and he was cut off by Ronnie bumping him...Charlie gave Ronnie a good push...kind of like a , hey get out of my way..laughing.... Those little moments make it for me. Mick was smiling coyly and giving little underhanded waves to individual fans and little kids...
This show featured the band really hitting that great stride..confident in the game on every song. Mick was a frontman in every sense tonight. His dancing was full of real passion..and he was losing himself in the songs...you could tell becasue he would just go into those out of control moves with his feet...leaving the ground and moving so fast...He would have those signature facial expressions...Keith and Ronnie were playing off each other and Keith would lead Ronnie with new little kicks and slashes of his guitar as he hit a note...Ronnie give it back... Charlie was swinging..and blasting..he rocked Rambler and gave the final booms on Brown Sugar a real jolt. He sounded as loud on that ending as the real fireworks in the stadiums... It was amazing.
It's my last show until the winter...Montreal, MSG and Baltimore..maybe more. These two shows in Philly really made me get excited for what's to come...They mixed the songs around and hit home runs all over the place. The monday night show had Rain Fall Down and other gems like Get Off of My Cloud and Angie...the second show had big setlist order shake-ups... no ballad...that's a rarity... and some very nice combos... IORR, Shattered and Bitch..all in a row. Back of My Hand, Rambler, and Night Time in a row. You Can't Always Get What You Want as the lead-in to the band intros. A killer b-stage with Oh No Not You and You Got Me Rocking sending the back of the house into a fenzy...and a warhorse final run that was superb... Sympathy backed by Paint it Black, into Tumbling Dice and JJF... and wrap it all up with a double encore of power, and party....Staisfaction and Brown Sugar....That is how to build a setlist.
Mick and the Boys were fired up last night in Philly and so was the Packed Wachovia center. From "Start me up" all the way thru the 2 hour set to "Brown Sugar" the Stones Tottaly ROCKED the house!!
Stage B proved to be a big part of the show once again especially for yours truly who had an oppurtunity to be only a few feet away from the boys as they Performed "Miss you", Oh not you again", "You got me rocking" and "Honkey tonk women". At one point Mick got a hold of a water bottle and splashed it on Myself and a few other fans who were only to happy to get cooled off midway thru "You got me Rocking".
The Philly crowd was very into every song as usual and young and old alike were very pleased to see these guys do their thing one more time in the city of brotherly love.
If you have a chance to catch one of the upcoming shows on this tour, Don't miss it!!!! Us fans here in Philly were glad we witnessed the Greatest Rock & Roll band in history. They left us "SHATTERED" !!!!! They Rocked and so did we!! Thanks Boys!!
All I can say is the energy level in the Wachovia Center last night was the highest I�ve ever experienced at any performance and I had the sense that Mick and the boys were feeding off it all night. Four up tempo classics to open got the joint rockin� early. Everybody in the place was on their feet dancin� to the familiar beat, riffs and lyrics of Start Me Up, IORR, Shattered and Bitch. Two new songs were solid and followed by Midnight Rambler. Mick was at his finest here, taking the audience on a vocal journey through a Stones song that ranks among my favorites with its ebb and flow of fast and slow rhythm and provocative and punctuated lyrics.
YCAGWYW had everyone signing the refrain at the top of their lungs. Keith was Keith on his feature numbers and the folks at the far end got a solid performance of Miss You and You Got Me Rockin� when the small stage came their way. Back to the main stage with Honky Tonk Women. Then Mick turned in his most theatrical performance of the evening with Sympathy, donning a black hip-length jacket and black fedora. He chucked the hat and it knocked over a water bottle, but the black garb fit for a great rendition of the classic Paint It Black. Chuck Leavell provided ( I think) a keyboard produced sitar sound that evoked my earliest memories of this 60�s classic and Charlie didn�t miss one beat on the driving drumbeat of this gem.
Tumblin� Dice and Jumping Jack Flash kept the crowd roarin� and rockin� down the home stretch. Horn section was strong on the former and Keith strolled to our catwalk to show us some good riffs and distribute some picks to the crowd on the latter. Satisfaction and Brown Sugar were the rowdy encores and the finale finally gave us some of Bobby Keys� flair on the sax. As the entire band at first and, eventually, just the four principals took their bows, I was fulfilled knowing I had just seen (from very close up) the greatest rock and roll band in the world giving the greatest concert performance I ever witnessed. Well, Alright!!
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