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Tell Me

The Rolling Stones
Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan
Sunday, April 2, 2006

The set list

  1. Jumping Jack Flash
  2. It's Only Rock'n Roll
  3. Let's Spend The Night Together
  4. Oh No Not You Again
  5. Sway
  6. Wild Horses
  7. Rain Fall Down
  8. Midnight Rambler
  9. Tumbling Dice
    --- Introductions
  10. This Place Is Empty (Keith)
  11. Happy (Keith)
  12. Miss You (to B-stage)
  13. Rough Justice
  14. Start Me Up
  15. Honky Tonk Women (to main stage)
  16. Sympathy For The Devil
  17. Paint It Black
  18. Brown Sugar
  19. You Can't Always Get What You Want (encore)
  20. Satisfaction (encore)
Richie Kotzen (Warmup) : 6:20pm -  6:50pm
Rolling Stones         : 7:25pm -  9:20pm

Review by Masatoshi � Keith - Fujishiro, Kawagucghi City, Japan

We just have come back from Saitama Super arena. Saitama is suburban city of Tokyo and my neighborhood. I and my friends went to Japanese style bar (Izakaya), drank a lot of beer ( because of that I went to bathroom twice in arena) and talked about Stones and Rock music. My friends are very really rock or stones fans. It is very enjoyable to talk about what you like with the people who has same hobby.

Saitama super arena is smaller arena than Tokyo Dome. Although It might be my misunderstanding , I feel that tonight super arena is smaller size than last Eric Clapton concert here. It maybe that promoter used the stage set for fewer spectators compared with Clapton gig( and Pro- wrestling games.). It might be because of stones spec. Big Screen.

My seat is second tier and right front of the stage and good place for B � stage. The sound is completely better than Tokyo dome. There is some empty seats, but 95% is filled with people.

Tonight best track is �Midnight rambler.� The lighting and the sound of Charlie�s drum is very impressive to me. Tonight is the best �Rambler� in my Stone�s uncountable gigs. Beautiful �wild horses� is also tonight souvenir for fans.

This is the last day for me in this tour . My stones week is finished and I will go back to my normal life. Bye, Bye, Stones and freaks of Stones!, See you 3 years later.

Review by Graham Wylde, Cambridge, UK

This is cherry blossom week in Japan. The parks are thronging with visitors marvelling at the beautiful pink flowers. Saturday was a beautiful sunny day in Tokyo but the weather turned and Sunday morning was overcast. In the afternoon the wind started to get up and it was obvious a storm was on the way. It hit Saitama Super Arena at 7:15 and the crowd went ballistic.

With only 15,000 tickets available this was the gig everyone wanted in Japan and we were not to be disappointed. The band was on fire and gave an electrified performance throughout. OK there was the odd missed line and wrong note, but doesn't this just add to the magic? They are human after all.

Mick stood out tonight. Rarely have I seen him in such animated mood. He was superb. He had the crowd at his finger tips tonight 'not yet, wait for it' he sang as he got everyone singing 'You can't always get'. Encouraging Ronnie to do an extended solo, arm over the shoulder of Keith, dancing with Lisa and Bernard. Highlights for me were Midnight Rambler (again) with Mick on harp bringing the house down. Sway was wonderful to hear and Wild Horses and Paint it Black very popular with the crowd.

The stage was much smaller in the arena and Mick did not do any of his runs from side to side. However, he never stopped moving, continually walking onto the stage extensions to ensure everyone was involved. Where does he get his energy and how does he go on hitting the high notes in Sympathy? The arena has three tiers and looking up towards the end, everyone but everyone from the front row to the back of the upper tier was on their feet and singing along. Who says Japanese fans are quiet? Not tonight, they just need the right stimulus and tonight it came from Mick.

The sound mix for me was not great at the start, but improved in the second half. I am sure this will have been sorted by the time we get to see this one on TV. Don't miss it. This was another great performance and show to remember.

That's it for me this trip. Three great shows and a bag of memories. Reunions with old friends and new faces to meet again in the future. At the end it is hard to believe it is all over. No fireworks tonight but paper streamers cascading over us at the end of Satisfaction

Thanks for another great night. Another one to remember.

Mick Was Good Tonight by Toshikazu Endo the Schoolteacher

I have concentrated my money and energy on this one concert this time. Previously I had left my moral, social, financial, and parental responsibilities behind and attended most of their concerts whenever they came to Japan. whether in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, or Fukuoka. But I have turned 52 and become sensible. well, perhaps, maybe... I don't know. I also don't know if the 70,000 yen I paid for the two tickets was the right price. Accompanying my wife who is more sensible and a greater fan of the Stones, however, I had dertermined to enjoy the concert. And the Stones' performance did not betray my/our expectations.

Tonight's highlight was "Midnight Rambler". Mick sang, danced, and played the harmonica perfectly. We wished the song would never end! How can you do that, Mick? Your performance defied my tired imagination. My wife and I also liked tonight's "Wild Horses". There were a few seconds of awkward playing during the two-hour show, and a couple of songs were a bit too smooth and a couple a bit too ragged, but the overall evaluation is A+ (sorry, I'm a schoolteacher). Their new songs are as inspiring as ther old ones and they have succeeded in generating new energy in their old songs.

The only drawback - at least for me - was that Mick wrist-serviced (waved) a lot to the people near the Main and B stages and not so much to the people elsewhere. Yes, despite the high price of the tickets, our seats were far back in the stand. But the venue was small (!?) enough to enjoy the show wherever your seat was. We are extremely grateful for the good time they gave us. We shall never forget tonight's show along with the 30-odd ones we attended.

P.S. Lisa and Darryl were funky tonight! Lisa, I still miss your indirect kiss (you took off the cap of my pen using your mouth) in Osaka in 1988.

Review by Tom Marlowe, Tokyo, Japan

Tonight's performance was the third Stones' show I have seen on the band's current tour of Japan, having also attended their two performances at the Tokyo Dome at the end of March. The venue for tonight's show was Saitama Super Arena, situated near Omiya, about a 35-minute train ride north of Tokyo's Ikebukuro Station. With a seating capacity of just 16,000, Saitama Super Arena proved to be a far more intimate and viewer-friendly venue than the spacious 45,000-seat Tokyo Dome. Amid a light rainfall, I arrived at the arena at 6pm and was able to purchase a ticket at the box office. By concert time, I would estimate the arena was 95% full. I was seated on the second level, parallel to about 25th row of the floor seats, giving me a fantastic birds'-eye view of the stage and an even better view of the B-stage. These small venues are great.

Opening with Jumping Jack Flash, the Stone's performance tonight was similar to their first show at Tokyo Dome, with the order of their set list altered slightly. One noteworthy addition to the show was Wild Horses. Perhaps because I had already seen two previous shows on this tour or maybe because the group was worried about violating a local time curfew, it appeared to me that the group was initially performing more quickly and mechanically, as if they were programmed on autopilot. They marched through their first five or six numbers rather quickly, with some of the songs reminding me of abbreviated Top 30 radio versions. The band's timing seemed to be off during the early part of the show. It was not until the latter part of the show that their numbers featured the longer guitar riffs. Also, maybe because she was not feeling up to par, Lisa seemed to have a far less prominent role.

Nonetheless, tonight was still a good show. Among the songs that seemed to strike a chord with the audience were Midnight Rambler, Brown Sugar, Tumbling Dice, and Paint it Black. Although Omiya is not situated that far from Tokyo, the audience seemed to be different than those frequenting Tokyo Dome, with a more-narrow range of diversity and extremes and more like a Japanese version of an audience in one of America's regional cities. Perhaps for this reason, the audience, which was on its feet throughout the show, seemed to be more enthusiastic, receptive and appreciative of a good show.

In closing, I will note that if the Stones seek to further elevate the level of their already good shows, while both challenging and treating their audiences, they should consider a broader and more flexible set list. This suggestion was also made in a review on the IORR Website for one of the Chicago shows in January 2006. The Stones have such a large catalog of songs that it seems a waste to limit their repertoire to 20-plus numbers. I think audiences would be energized if the Stones opened with such a raunchy rocker as Star Star, the highly charged Respectable, Hang Fire or even 19th Nervous Breakdown. There are just so many numbers they could occasionally intersperse into their set list and surprise their audiences.

All said and done, I have enjoyed the Stones' three concerts in the Tokyo area and look forward to seeing the group perform again.

Please send your show reviews and comments by e-mail to: [email protected].
The reviews will show up here soon! Thanks!

The IORR magazine

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