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Tell Me

The Rolling Stones
Superbowl Halftime, Detroit, MI, USA
Sunday, February 5, 2006

The set list

  1. Start Me Up
  2. Rough Justice
  3. Satisfaction

Review by Kurt Schwarz

This year on February 5 in Detroit Michigan, The Rolling Stones were the chosen entertainers for the Halftime Show of SuperBowl XL. The NFL championship game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Seattle Seahawks was played in front of 65,000 rabid American football fans and was reportedly televised to over 100 million people worldwide. I was there, not for the game, but FOR THE STONES!

First, a little background. A call went out about a month before the game for 2000 volunteers to "act" as an audience for the Don Mischer-produced extravaganza. Are you kidding me? My brother and I jumped at the opportunity to see the Stones for free in our hometown. The commitment was a serious one. We were subjected to a ton of downtime and waiting during over 14 hours of rehearsal time spread out over two days. Believe me, it was worth it.

During the dress rehearsal in Ford Field Friday night before the game, we got The Rolling Stones, live, for a sound check and complete run through including lighting, cameras, and pyro. How cool. They worked effortlessly through Start Me Up, Rough Justice, and Satisfaction three times. Twice in front of all of us and once with us sequestered in the tunnel leading to the field. What an amazing vibe with 2000 people waiting in the wings all rocking and bouncing to a sing-along of Satisfaction. Between takes, my brother and I got to meet a few of the very cool Stones' crew (Thanks Shep!) and even got an autograph from Chuck Leavell.

Now, on with the Show! On a Tongue-shaped stage designed exclusively for this event, The Stones ripped through their set. We watched the show from the lower right side of the lips, not our designated mandatory pre-rehearsed show position. But hey, after all, I'm a fan not a prop. No surprises, no special guests. Just pure rock and roll. Just the way it should be.

SuperBowl Sunday in Detroit. Only The Rolling Stones could make me excited AND nervous on a show day. The Steelers won the game, 21-10, and we had a blast. What an event!

Review by Michael J. Dietrich

In front of a world-wide audience that gives exposure close to that of a World Cup match, the band looked GREAT and proved why they can still carry the moniker of "World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band"!!

ABC did a nice job during the game of highlighting the band's appearance during their time-out scrolls and commercials, adding to the excitement.

What the network didn't do was an even job on the cameras. (Yes, Mick is the lead singer, but respective longer shots of the rest of the band would have been nice, i.e. on Ronnie for his solo on 'Start Me Up' or on Keith for his solo turn on 'Satisfaction' come to mind!!)

The stage was outstanding�..a large version of their famous tongue logo, and a stage similar to the elliptical heart design used recently by U2. It gave some of the crowd a chance to be "inside of the tongue" while the band played around them.

'Start Me Up' was the logical choice as an opener, one that the NFL uses at most of it's stadiums, and one that the band used to open last fall's tour dates. ABC's commentators, including Chris Berman, genuinely seemed hyped and proud to announce "The Rolling Stones".

The sound seemed muddy at first, with Ronnie's guitar unfortunately turned down until mid-way through his solo. The bass also seemed way too high. But, with a 5 minute stage set-up time as the first half game highlights were played, and without a proper tour-style tune-up, this was to be expected. Also expected, once the song started, was the politically correct deletion by the TV network of the signature line of "You make a dead man come". ABC can have programs on the air with graphic violence, or doctors getting it on in back rooms (their "Grey's Anatomy" program that followed!!), but Mick can't be heard singing this line!!!!

The band looked in great form as they segued into 'Rough Justice'. Keith and Ronnie again tore into the track's distinctive opening with passion and a goal��.to show any critics and the nay-sayers how wrong they are! (I get frustratingly angry at these critics who focus solely on the band's age or questioning the rationale of a new album and tour!!) While an easy second song choice would have been another of their classic standards, I was glad that a new track got some exposure! (Without new tracks getting some legs, you will not have additional classics in their archives!) Another excellent version, and their techs got the sound better! The censors, though, struck again with deleting 'cocks' from the first round lyrics. Fans of the band, though, were singing along and knew EXACTLY what the correct versions of each song were!

It was also nice to see a stripped-down version of the band, similar to their 1978 Tour��lean and mean! Chuck Leavell was shown on the side, but there was no horn section, and the combo of Bernard Fowler/Lisa Fischer/Blondie Chaplin accenting the harmonies equally were not visible/present.

The came their closer with 'Satisfaction', with Mick referencing the fact that this could have been sung as a newer track for Super Bowl I. In my opinion, another excellent choice!!! In 'Rough Justice' and 'Satisfaction' combining for a 1-2 punch, you have two songs that book-end a 40-plus year career!!! Some acts are hard-pressed to do that in a 4 year span, rather than a 4-decade one!! Keith absolutely tore into this with the passion he must have had in 1965!! And Charlie was again the driving force, showing the skill and the elegance that is Charlie Watts! Again, the cameras could have focused more on the other members of the band, especially Keith during his solo!

Then, with their set complete, the class act band did a class act gesture���their hand-in-hand bow to the audience! In concert, this is a welcomed close to their show, one more chance to acknowledge their audience. But that is for a concert crowd, not one geared towards football. Nice again to show the masses, especially to those not directly interested in the band, to what is so damn appealing about The Rolling Stones! Their image, their attitude, their professionalism!

I've seen the Stones numerous times in the area since their '81 Tour (recently their stop in hometown Milwaukee this past September, and their recent 3 stops in Chicago in September and January), and was very glad that they put out a powerful showing for the masses during a quick set!

Thank you Mick, Keith, Charlie, and Ronnie! Hope to see you in the area again soon!

Good health and cheers to all as you begin the South American/European legs of the tour!

Review by Scaffer

'Start Me Up' : Loud and fast. Keith's guitar mixed WAY up. Very dirty and raw sound for the band. Excellent. 'You make a dead man CUM.' That last word censored on a 5-second delay announced by ABC earlier this week.

'Rough Justice' : Keith mixed even LOUDER, if such a thing is possible. Charlie almost inaudible for at least much of the song. Fairly chaotic but energetic and inspiring. 'But am I just one of your COCKS?' Last word censored.

'Satisfaction' : Keith and Ronnie both loud. Keith playing the trademark guitar riff - sometimes on 3 strings at once! Very wild version and a lot of fun.

Hope everyone liked this short, loud, very real Rolling Stones set!

Greetings, IORR folks, from a very pleased attendee of the Baltimore First Mariner Arena show earlier this week.

Review by John Bielusiak, Lansing, Mi

Just watched the Superbowl Performance. Start Me Up, Rough Justice and Satisfaction. No big surprise with the setlist, but the stage was in the form of a huge tongue. Most of the cameras were on Mick. Mick looked fabulous in his long black coat. I liked it that there was just the Stones on stage. No Brittany Spears & others as during the Aerosmith performance a few years back. Just goes to show, the Stones can hold their own, as it should be.

I just wished I was part of the crowd.

Review by Chris

The Stones played three songs at the Superbowl halftime show. Start Me Up , Rough Justice , and Satisfaction. The sound was terrible at first but improved as the show went on. Mick said " We could've played this one at the first Superbowl" before they started Satisfaction.

Review by D.J. Beauregard, Methuen, Massachusetts, USA

They ROCKED...the sound could've been better though... you couldn't hear Charlie at the beginning of 'Start Me Up'... Overall it was a good set...Keith and Ronnie ROCKED! KEEP ON ROCKIN!

Review by Greg Zupan

First, It was awesome having the best football game and the BEST EVER ROCK BAND TOGETHER. I loved the stones selections. Start Me UP! A classic football tune. The sound got better as the song went on. Rough Justice was great. The fans around the stage really loved it, and the classic Satisfaction to end it all. Not your normal Stones crowd at this game, but they got great exposure to the World! The stage looked great in person, Could they use it again in the near future. Did anyone see the timer counting down my Mick's feet? Off to ATL

Review by Susan Kennedy

I, too, thought the boys ROCKED THE HOUSE. Despite the initial technical difficulties, they were raw, just like the Stones are supposed to be. I am disturbed, however (albeit not surprised) that ABC would censor "cock" in the midst of a game that has seen it's share of alcohol-induced violence.......will we ever learn?????

Review by David Quackenbush

We saw the Jan. 20th show at MSG and spent the last few weeks telling our friends how good it was�and that the Superbowl concert would be awesome. It wasn�t. The sound quality over broadcast TV was terrible. Not the band�s fault. It was just poorly mixed. At times it was almost impossible to hear the band, as it seemed the producers wanted to make sure the TV audience could hear the screaming fans instead. If you re-watch the broadcast, you�ll note that at then end of each song, the sound of the audience at-large would suddenly become very clear and LOUD. But, as soon as another song started, the sound immediately became muffled, muddy and difficult to hear. It�s a shame, because the band looked energized and were probably playing very well�it just did not come across that way on TV.

Review by Laure MORENO

They rocked, and Ronnie (yes !) was good, especially on Rough Justice. Great powerful sound fo the band. Big fiesta, but it were about 2000 volunteers dancing on the field....

Review by Ed Rowe

Will it every be topped? Has any other show been better? What a hot 12 minutes! The Stones almost stole the show. The stage was so cool and the performance got to a boil in no time. Almost forgot there was a super bowl in progress! Perfect set had to end with Satisfaction!

Review by Jimmy

I just got back to New Jersey after the Super Bowl. I have to admit, it was probably one of the best days of my life! Between the steelers winning and the Stone at half, I was in heaven. I heard from a few people that on TV they only sounded OK. I can assure you that at Ford Field the place was rockin. The only complaint was we wanted more! I was hoping for a little motown like "ain't to proud to beg" but the 3 songs were all great. maybe a slight misstep here or there but based on how liitle time they had to put this together i think it was fantastic. I'm hoping they come back to Radio City in march. The garden shows were awesome and i don't want them to stop.

Review by Gregg in Kansas City

Ronnie Wood and his searing slide were the star of the show. Mick, or course, was a great front man. Mick's comment about how they could have played this next song at "Super Bowl 1" is evidences Stones' long history. They wisely chose Satisafaction as the last song, as they have perfected this as a perfect finale on this tour. The fact that is was preceded by their brand new hit song "Rough Justice" shows they are still the greatest rock and roll band in the hostory of the world. In the mere 12 minutes they performed, The Rolling Stones put on the best mini-concert ever.

Keef was rarely seen, and we never really saw Darrel Jones. Charlie was laying down the foundation, enegine room with his usual fervor.

The classic intertwining guitar was highlighted by Ron Wood's slide guitar play, which added an almost heavy metal edge to an awesome Rolling Stone's set which of course started with START ME UP... an American football anthem.

Be sure top obtain one of the super bowl shirts. It has a helmet with a stones tounge, and an XL "official NFL" super bowl logo. The mixing of these coveted logos is sure to be a classic.

Review by Dave Wood

regardless of the bad mix and not being able to hear charlie at first is there any doubt who is the biggest and still best rock and roll band in the world. like the man said "it's not a concert it's the rolling stones."

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