It's Only Rock'n Roll
The Dandy Warhols (warmup) : 8:00pm - 8:45pm The Rolling Stones : 9:50pm - 11:55pm
The night of the show we went to the stadium and found our places. Pretty soon the Dandy Warhols started their gig, and much to my surprise, I liked them. I can only remember twice before that I liked a Stones support Act (Bon Jovi in Paris years ago, and J. Geils Band back in the 80's).
Then the Stones came on, I don't think they played as good as in Amsterdam, but I enjoyed every song, every minute, every second of the show. Because of the greatest Rock'n'Roll band in the world performing for the greatest audience in the world I've ever experienced. For me this was the first time I was at a Stones show in a southern European Country, before that I only saw them in Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium and UK. And how I liked it. All people were having a great time young and old, shouting to the Stones, singing and dancing along with the old and new songs.
It was great to see the Stones in Porto and to be in Porto! The Stones stole my heart long time ago, but these last days, Porto did.
Arriving at 4 p.m., we almost could not believe our luck we were still among the first people standing in line for Front of Stage. If we had only guessed that the biggest concern for Portugese Security people was the search for plastic bottles, we would have taken our pocket camera, as thousands of other Stones fans inside the stadium had done. Doors opened around 5 p.m. and we really did manage to get a place in 2nd row center-left of the stage - WOW!
Good view even of Charlie - altough it should finally turn out that my eyes (unlike Isabella´s, who is a huge Keith fan) would be glued to Mick most of the time. After Milan, Vienna, Munich, Berlin, Amsterdam and Duebendorf this was our seventh show of this tour.
The heat in the stadium was not as hot as we had feared earlier, even cooler than Berlin on 21st July or in the damp "glasshouse" air of the Amsterdam Arena, because Dragao stadium is located on a hill with a nice view over the area around Porto.
Still, we witnessed at least four heat or dehydration victims being carried away from the FOS area when the warm-up band Dandy Warhols started at 8 p.m. Very Sixties-like, reminiscent of Velvet Underground, but when they continued to get more psychedelic, the audience grew a little tired, but the Warhols as if in response seemed to round up their show with numbers that were really rocking and got a big applause. For us they were certainly the most interesting warm-up band we have seen so far on this tour.
When Keith got visible on stage with the opening riff of JJF at 9:50 p.m., as expected from the already hot mood in the stadium, the crowd simply went nuts. Our impression was that he looked kind of unhappy and not very well, as if enjoying this concert less than others on this tour. Sweating profusely at the beginning, it looked as if he would rather stand in the back of the stage and keep a low profile for long stretches of the concert, thus giving us less of his wonderful and warm grin we were longing for so much... Even during his own set, we have seen him doing a lot better before.
But the audience was very responsive and did not seem to notice or care. The others where all so full of good vibes and gave a very powerful performance - it felt as if Mick´s energetic and awesome singing tried to make up for Keith´s lack of energy, which maybe caused his unwillingness to communicate a lot with Mick and Ronnie last night.
Absolute climax for us: MIDNIGHT RAMBLER!!! Without the background musicians sounding quite "Seventies", it was absolutley stunning, bluesy, jamming, with Mick on harp at first then later moving so sexy that I had to hold my breath (although he didn´t start whipping the stage with his belt, maybe because he had no belt this time). Somehow he seems to get younger, fitter, wilder with every concert of the European Tour! After this unbelievable performance we both found that when right after RAMBLER the blues NIGHT TIME IS THE RIGHT TIME started, Mick sounded a little bit out of key and unsure about the lyrics, until he went back to Chuck Leavell and continued as if nothing had happened. This was one of the situations where it gets clear that these guys know each other exactly when playing on stage: If something gets a little wrong, they immediatly react in such a calm way, overcoming little confusions in such a relaxed manner that only musical experts may notice or remember these moments at the end. We did not care, and although we could not see them on the B-Stage from the spot where we were standing, the sound during MISS YOU, the hot "SHE´S SO COLD" and "ROUGH JUSTICE" was crystal clear.
Charlie was professional and accurate as always, we found it just a pity that he acts like it would be the biggest pain in the a** having to get up from his drum kit when Mick introduces the band.
Ronnie seemed to be in a great mood, even whirling around several times like a whipping top, Mick almost had to stop him from jumping around too long during his introduction which got extensive and screaming applause.
Maybe even more than the Amsterdam audience, the Portugal audience sounded the so excited and happy, and even in the seating areas the people were dancing and singing from the beginning to the last chord of Satisfaction at around Midnight. Before the "war horses" started, everybody started chanting "Ole-Ole-Oleole-Ole-Oleeee" and Mick started singing along, moving his hands like the conductor of the Philharmonics New Year´s Concert in Vienna. We can´t say anything about Mick´s Portugese statements, but they sounded very sweet, and Porto loved it!
Unfortunately, all this built-up excitement continued after the show to the extent that while the security personnel was in such a big hurry to get everybody immediately out of the stadium, huge crowds got stuck between the stadium exit and the Metro station, which is located right across the street. There was a lot of pushing, yelling and shouting in the attempt to get into the station, until a few guys even started a fist-fight and police had to calm them down. It took us about 90 minutes to get back to the city centre and entering the train left Isabella with a twisted arm when doors opened.
But all in all we had a great trip to the southernmost concert of the European Tour and it was a very different concert experience in one of the most pittoresque and romantic cities in the South of Europe! We are looking forward to London and Bergen!!!
With TD the distortion reapeared, messing completely Ronnie's solo. Keith set -just perfect (what a fantastic version of BTMMR; a 1st time as far as I'm concerned; and yes, the guy is singing better)- just literally started a 2nd half of the concert with a better sound -except for the B-stage, with the sound too muddy (but what a frantic performance of RJ and SSC -Mick jumpin' & dancing constantly, surrounded by a completely wild audience-).
Highlights? MR, BTMMR, SSC (even with the muddy sound) and Mick himself, cause yesterday he proved what we all already knew for ages: how he's such a sublime entertainer; yes, only the best frontman ever, could have turned such a rather average -from the musical point of view- show, into another great rock'n'roll show. Quoting something he once said: if you want to hear their music, stay at home & play one of their records, but if you want to enjoy yourself, then go to a concert. And I'm just here in Coimbra writting my review instead of being on the way to tomorrow's show, because I couldn't find tickets! Thank you guys for another special night!
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