It's Only Rock'n Roll
The Rolling Stones : 9:30pm - 11:25pm
The security guards up front initially tried to block the hordes from overrunning the first few rows, but quickly gave up. I was comfortable with the Barbarian invasion because it meant that the Stones had plenty of excited hardcore fans in their immediate purview. But those who had shelled out big bucks for a sedentary evening of polite applause were probably outraged. I imagine Martin Scorsese might have fallen into this camp. I did not see the diminutive director, but he did have tickets for the show.
In fact, I didn't really see anyone. The stadium was largely empty. The stage was pushed well out into the field to try and hide the fact that most of the seats were unsold.
The fans up front did not seem to mind. The overall vibe was very positive, and they even parted to let a motorized scooter bearing a man with flippers for arms right up to the front. It reminded me of the scene from Gimme Shelter where the Hell's Angels are driving their beloved Harleys through the crowd.
The show itself was fairly unremarkable. Mick courted derision by greeting the crowd in Italian, but with gaze fixed firmly on the cheat sheets. Even the supposedly impromptu comment from the b-stage about the good-looking crowd was scripted.
Ruby Tueday probably elicited the most applause. The Latins love their ballads. Keith appeared competent, and his two tunes were fairly well played. The b-stage was largely deserted by the time I pushed and shoved my way back there, so I got a prime spot for the world's fastest version of Satisfaction. Mick was amused by Charlie's bionic beat. Back on the main stage, they also rushed through Jumpin' Jack Flash - which sounded more like Juh Jah Flah - and Brown Sugar. Show over in 110 minutes.
After exiting the stadium and marching towards the gates, I was presented with another spectacle. The gates were flung open, and dozens of bootleg t-shirt vendors sprinted into the venue pushing their mobile stands. It was like a chariot race, most impressive. The Italians may not know how to organize concerts, but their illegal vending operations are second to none.
It was my first concert this year. I have to admit, that at first I was quite fed up with the "pirate invasion" of the seating rows in front before the show started, as I had paid a lot of money for my seating ticket 2nd row front of the stage.The securty half-heartedly tried to chase people back, but gave up after 15 minutes. Standing on your seat up front was not really an option, because other people behind me should have their right to a good view,too. In fact it was dangerous to do that, as seen when a few people fell off while dancing on them towards the end of the show. But the show itself and the sound was very very good, "Can´t you hear me knocking" seemed to last very long and the mood of the crowd was great. Keith was very focused, Charlie smiled and bowed and even came up front to the stage twice! And soo many pirate (bootleg) shirts when I left the stadium! I got one of these great pillows with a cartoon of the Stones on it for 10 Euros, I sure will sleep well on that one!
After all, it was a great night, I met Susanne and Dieter, and unexpectedly quite a few other Austrians as well. One thing I do not understand is why they made seating in Italy, where the crowd is always very enthusiastic and one can be quite sure that there will be no "seating order" at all. I could have used the 130 extra Euros I unnecessaryly paid for a seating ticket very well for another Stones show this summer. And to ask 5 Euros for a small beer and 10 Euros for a panini is where I really wonder if I should rather drink water from one of the many nice fountains in Rome instead.
See you all in Belgrade, Budapest and Brno next week!
... but in Rome Keith and Ronnie were excellent, they've played better than ever, Mick was great, Bobby Keys tremendous playing the solo on Can You hear me knocking, etc. You can see the chronicle of the Barcelona and Rome gig in my blog where you can also found info about the Stones and other bands (www.sanfreebird72.blogspot.com) but I really enjoyed the songs they did not played in Barcelona: Can You hear me knocking, Ruby Tuesday, She's so cold (I love this song guys!) and Paint it black. Sympathy for the Devil was great and Keith played a big solo.
A great show and a great night... I hope to see the Stones again but the Barcelona fans wo went to Roma (Osian Trepat, Antoni Murt 007 and Gary Louis Enrich Mur) were very sad at the end of the show thinking that maybe this is the last time we see the band... unless the secret gig on July 12 in Barcelona comes true and we are able to get tickets. If I get in I will explain you all the details my friend (I cross my fingers).
Anyway Keith was great and he just "closed" the mouth to those easy critics against him... he was smilling, having fun, running, playing great as in an arena show, and singing well too!
Ronnie was Ronnie, and he seems to be more and more great show after show! Mick was phenomal, singing perfectly, having fun smilling too, running to each side of the stage as always.
Charlie was the heart of the Band again, keeping everyone in the rythm, druming as a king!
The show itself was a bit of a mediocre affair Start me up , and You got me rocking wern't too great ,but after a shaky start Keith and Ronnie seemed to be on the same wavelength, at one time I don't think they were even playing the same song.
The crowd was however very pleased to see them and I don't think they noticed that they wern't their usual seamless selves. The "jam " between Keith and Ronnie on Can't you hear me Knocking was really great.
Keith dosen't look to be in the best of health and the moustache is a big mistake, but all in all it was amazing to see them and I hope it wasn't the "Last Time".
What a nice surprise to see that all of a sudden the VIP area was occupied by the people coming from the cheaper areas – wonderful!
I took my chance and found myself in the third row standing in the usual cool and friendly Italian crowd-
Yes- that’s how it should be. Some of the VIPs seemed to be quite pissed though (understandable but well..).
Was followed was a fantastic show – the four guys seemed to be very relaxed - good acoustics (specially compared to Milan last year) – Mick practically flawless and supercool - Keith really moving – an unforgettable “you got the silver”. I’m quite sure that this won’t be the only show for me this summer.
I was on the 10th row on Keith's side and I found myself on the first row... Anyway Keith was great and he just "closed" the mouth to those easy critics against him... he was smilling, having fun, running, playing great as in an arena show, and singing well too!
Ronnie was Ronnie, and he seems to be more and more great show after show! Mick was phenomal, singing perfectly, having fun smilling too, running to each side of the stage as always. Charlie was the heart of the Band again, keeping everyone in the rythm, druming as a king!
The show was perfect, the sound was just perfect no return like in Paris, Italians were great during dancing and singing and nobody was sleeping or was sitting during the show! It was a latino show like in Buenos Aires!
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Photos by IORR.
Keith photo by Siw Grindaker.
B-stage Ronnie & Keith protos by Riccardo Frau.
Thanks to Joelle Bonnet for news links!