It's Only Rock'n Roll
Everclear 6:00pm - 6:30pm Metallica 6:45pm - 8:00pm Rolling Stones 8:45pm - 10:55pm
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Leading into Rough Justice Mick announced �we�ve got some new ones for you tonight, plus some VERY old ones, and a few in-between ones!� I love that they make no apologies for playing a lot of really old, legendary music. Let�s face it, those are the tunes that get the stadium singing � some saving the newer tunes for the beer run. However, Rain Fall Down came next and this tune funked like from another era! Keith rambled over to the backup singers, seeming to serenade a totally funking-out Lisa Fischer! Great new tune. Also nice to see Ronnie preening Keith a bit in the beginning; perhaps an eyelash on his cheek, or maybe one of the dangling hair baubles had gone askance? Apparently, friends don�t let friends play unkempt.
Now into some really old stuff, with Tears Go By from December�s Children. And not lost on this crowd; I think the whole stadium was singing to this delicate delight! Mick and Keith started out in a sweet acoustic moment before the rest of the gang chimed in, Keith smirking at something, presumably a Jagger stage antic. When Mick sang the �mmmm, mmmm, mmm�s,� a few in our section weren�t sure if maybe he was forgetting the words � but no, those are actually the lyrics on this one, people.
Some of the highlights of this whole tour have got to be hearing Midnight Rambler and Night Time is the Right Time. Mick breaks out the harmonica and rambles through MR like it must be one of HIS old favorites, too. And when Lisa Fischer gets up to sing on Night Time, Mick just needs to stand back, stand waaay back. I�ve seen her on this tune 3 times this month and that girl can belt it out! She MAKES the song. No wonder Mick was trying to lay a kiss on her open mouth while she sang. (Nice try, Sir Michael Philip.)
Once the boys rolled out onto the B-stage I found myself staring up about 8 feet at Ronnie and Keith as they rolled by. They make the most of being surrounded by the audience, giving everyone a little love all around. However, while it all looks like fun and games, don�t be fooled. When Ronnie clowned around behind Keith, acting like he was kicking him into the crowd, a stern Mick was right on it, mouthing and motioning to him with both hands to �calm down!� Yes, Keef taking a header would put a damper on things, to be sure.
Then back to the main stage for some 40-foot flames and Sympathy for the Devil, another crowd pleaser and one of my all-time favorites. In IORR, I�m not quite sure what happened, but the words and the music just got a little confusing as reported at other shows � but MJ recovered well, smugly singing the profane version, �I bet you think you�re the only p*ssy in tow-ww-wwn.� For Brown Sugar, instead of dancing my head off, I paid attention to the video screens a bit and finally really took in the giant animated women attempting to get it on with the world�s best phallic landmarks: Big Ben, Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, Chrysler Building, and others until finally the Golden Gate Bridge got straddled. All this and then a great encore too! You would think those guys would be tired of playing Can�t Always Get and Satisfaction, but no, they still sing it like they mean it, like it�s their newest hit. Mock the old guys all you want, but Mick Jagger is STILL unbelievable on stage! We thought we almost had them out for another song, but no, they stuck to the plan and gave us outrageous fireworks to mark the end instead. The best of the 3 shows I�ve seen this tour. Thanks, guys!
Highlights: She's so Cold was great. have always loved this song, and really enjoyed it, although they didn't play all the versus, it was still great.
Tears go by was a nice surprise. I was expecting Live With Me, which I could have done without, or Sweet Virginia, which I would have enjoyed, but Tears go by was totally unexpected, by me anyway. Loved it.
Midnight Rambler was great. The way that songs builds up the pressure in the middle, slowing down to a crawl and then exploding into the second half was very well done here. Crowd pleaser.
The Night Time Is The Right Time was amazing. Lisa Fisher, whom I first heard in 89 was just plan awesome. Mick handled the song very well, I thought. To be honest I was worried he might not pull it off. I was wrong, thank the rock gods.
Keith's set. I love Keith, so when he farts, they should record it, cause I would buy it.
Sympathy For The Devil was wonderfully done. More so for the staging and lighting then anything, but still played very well.
Brown sugar, which I am a little tired of, was done rather well, and I loved it. The encores were great. I really was surprised at the way the were able to play Satisfaction without making me want to leave my seat. I mean, I love the song, but it has become such a staple, that it does get old. Not tonight.
Only disappointment , for me, was Jumpin' Jack Flash. I didn't even recognize it at first. The distinguishable rift was absent, which makes the song. Not sure if that was a technical glitch or what.
Everclear was alright. they did do part of Far away eyes, which is such a great song, but they failed to do the intro, which would have been even better. They did give props to the Stones, saying something to the effect of no matter if you like them , or Metallica, we all owe something to the Stones.
Metallica, well, I don't like 'em so I sat in the lounge at the club level and had a dog and a coke. No offense, I am sure they played their thing great, just not my thing.
Oh, one more thing, the club level was awesome. We had a bar, plush surroundings, and the toilet paper in the john was double ply . . .Rock on.
Next up THE MIGHTY METALLICA. Hometown heroes. 2 gigs only for 2005. This was my 9th Metallica show spanning 1989-2005, and by far this was the most technically perfect show I've ever seen them do. Normally you feel like they're taking you out in the alley and beating the holy crap outta you,(and you love em for it), but this was more like, "hey Stones people, were not Satan worshippers, and yes we can play our instruments in time, in tune,and not too fast so you can catch EVERY note." I really want a recording of this gig. I've never heard these songs so pristinely done live. Bravo Metallica,for always giving me a new show. Unfortunately,since they were opening,they were not on their own stage, and we could'nt have our usual pyro display that goes with certain songs,but, on the other hand, I liked that too,because it was just the music and no effects,and that's why I love 'em in the first place. They left far too soon, and so did many 'Tallica fans. Stupid people shoulda stayed for the Stones.
I've seen "older bands", and once I've notched my belt,I don't feel the need to see them again. I.e. The Who,Rush,Black Sabbath,etc. Not so with Stones. I NEED to see them 5 more times.Bloody amazing.I was there for Metallica.The Stones blew me away.I'm so jealous of the lucky folks who were in the big box onstage.(Who are they,and who did they hafta kill to get there?) The Stones are wonderful,beautiful,fantastic,insert adjective here.......Ron,Keith,Charlie,and Mick!!!!!!! Man they have got to be the best blues band out there. They had people dancing, and clapping ,and crying, and making out ,and screaming, what a gamut of emotions,being eked out of you by the tremendous force that is the Stones. I saw numerous ships,sailboats,kayaks,jet skis and the like, anchored off the side of the park,watching the lone video screen,and rocking on those boats like there was no tomorrow. The Stones got noise complaints!!! The Stones!! Those old fogies! Not Metallica!! In a nutshell, the Rolling Stones ROCK. And HARD. They can show many a young upstart how to be performers. The 'Tallica fans that left early, nice loyalty, but BOY! YOUR LOSS. In summation, It does NOT get any better than this.
I wanted the full effect of surprise with the setlist, so I totally avoided any reviews (including this site until now) so that I would not know what was coming. Pretty predictable stuff until As Tears Go By. Very nice. All night long, I had been hoping for Midnight Rambler and my wish was granted! Yes, I have indeed heard about the Boston� And then I was totally blown away by their rendition of The Night Time Is the Right Time. Not only the greatest rock and roll band in the world, but also one hell of a blues band. Awesome. If you missed this one, find a ticket for another show and hope you get it. Wow!
I guess I�m the last person on this site to find out about how they got to the B stage! When I saw them slide Charlie�s drum kit up to the front of the main stage I didn�t know what they were doing, but they just never seem to run out of creative ideas. Watching the crowd near the catwalk (or whatever you call it now) as they made their way down, it was clear that this idea was a hit!
For Sympathy, Mick finally comes up and pays us a visit. It�s another favorite of mine and from the looks of it, a favorite of the just about everyone there. Keith and Ronnie provide us with a great example of the ancient art of weaving. When I�m at a Stones show, I usually don�t pay a lot of attention to the audience, but one of the many amazing parts of being in the stage boxes is the view of the other 40,000 people all on their feet, dancing and having a great time. I�m glad to see that I�m not the only one who treats it as a great big sing-along. In fact, I�m pretty sure that just about everyone that I saw was singing Brown Sugar on the top of their lungs.
Ronnie was outstanding� again. Close second to Mick in his energy and crowd interaction. And thank you Charlie Watts for getting the biggest sound from the smallest drum kit.
On this final stadium show for this leg of the tour, the Rolling Stones utilized the spectacular extravaganza of their stage to once again mesmerize and change the lives of the thousands of people in attendance. After attending the last two shows and viewing them from other angles, tonight I was able to watch the show from the center of the main floor. With this view I had even more to look at besides the band. There was so much going on at once it was so overwhelming. The lights, the fire, the explosions, the big screen(s) plus the activity of all musicians kept me wide-eyed and smiling A few observations:
For the second consecutive show, Charlie wore Orange and Black. These are the colors of the home team the San Francisco Giants. I didn't know Charlie liked baseball!
When introduced by Mick, Charlie came out from behind his drumset to wave to the crowd. Although this may not be unusual of him its always nice to see him make the friendly gesture.
Ronnie was harmlessly misbehaving throughout the night with his onstage antics. Running around, making faces and even taking a swipe at Mick's bum. This may seem normal of Ronnie but tonight I zoomed in on it more than usual. Darrel Jones has pretty cool dancing feet. Tim Reis took a break from his sax and sat in on organ in the late part of the show.
It was a night of a full moon. At one point of the night the cameras that project live shots on the big screens, focused in on the full moon. This was very effective and drew out a loud roar from the audience. All in all, another great and eventful evening with Rock Royalty!
On this night, the set list was as diverse as we can hope to expect from the boys these days, but the execution was not nearly as tight as Sunday. "Oh No..." did not achieve its accelerated pulse, unfortunately. At one point on the B Stage, Mick effectively silenced Ronnie who seemed to acknowledge that he was about to play over Keith's solo. His direction and management of Ronnie seemed more noticeable tonight. Later, during IORR, Ronnie sidled up to Mick as he was about to deliver "Would it help to ease your pain?" and, instead, tossed his head and thumb towards Ronnie and delivered, "he's a paaaiiinnn." Possibly a rehearsed bit, but it was quite funny.
For his part, Keith was uncommonly chatty. He told us," this is a good town, you know." I have grown accustomed to his "good to be here; good to be anywhere line," so this banter was refreshing if "Slipping Away" and "Infamy" were not. What I would do for "Luxury" and "This Place Is Empty." All in all, it was good to see the Stones still bringing the best live shows going. Mick certainly seems to like the area, (perhaps because one of his daughters is here) and has proved that we should appreciate any chance we get to see him backed by the best timepiece in the business and accompanied by his Glimmer Twin.
The building-like four story stage structure held lights as well as expensive on-stage standing places for attendees. Bam, the fireworks hit, the video starts and the spectacle began. In such a huge setting sound is so vast that individual instruments are muffled in the mix. Anyway, the lads worked their set, which has become predictable by now. On Tumbling Dice, I saw the horns but didn't really hear them. Mick bops like he does, but, sadly, there is no interaction with Keith. Keith doesn't do any harmonies, that's left to Lisa, Blondie, and Bernard, who sound quite studio compared to the sound of Keith's old vocals with Mick. They don't have any off the Glimmer Twin's interplay at all. So the set's going along and the first impression I have is the set and the lights are really the star of this show. Very full lighting. There's tiny Mick working the crowd standing at the head of his stairway and he looks quite little in that huge stadium.
The new songs are forgettable. Rain Fall Down has a one chord groove but the new ones are not memorable. So, the show's going along, beer-swilling people are moving back and forth and yahooing. The breakaway stage is cute enough but the songs seemed predictable. SFTD has some fire up under it especially with the red lights and red sparkler effects. These guys are skinny, the envy of all the yuppes I work out with at the gym who have a long way to go to get to Mick's size 29 waist.
Keith's set was a strange, but soulful voice on Slipping Away and the next one was a mumbling beat thing.
After a while all the songs sound so alike in instrumentation and beat. I found myself looking at the clock often and being amused but detached at the spectacle.
At JJF we walked back to be able to exit at the beginning. We sat down forYCAGWYW which was the coolest song of the night, hearty singalongs all around us, and Satisfaction was pumping if muddy and unfocused at the end. Mick ran both ramps of the stage on this one as well as a long jaunt out the catwalk and back, seeming to want to give us some final excitement.
Then it was over. Bows, and we exited. As we got ouside the staduim, the Stone's motorcade of 15 or so black SUV's with various motorcycle police whizzed by like they were heads of state, which they are, heads of state of rock and roll. Just at that point, and a little belatedly, white fireworks erupted from the stadium, which was fast being exited. I wondered if they mis-timed the final fireworks flurry, bu a few minutes too late. We were pleased to have attended, even if the show is basically the same one we've seen the last three tours. I would've felt unhappy to have spent the $450 for the hot tickets. $75 was better. Nice lights and stage, but overall the show had a retro, slightly Las Vegas feel. Still, the songs, the good ones, and the sheer legacy of the band along with the staging, make the show enjoyable.
Mick was full of energy; Keith,Ron, & Charlie were in the groove.Some highlights: "She's so Cold" was great to hear again, an old favorite.The new stuff was well received too.I couldn't believe how well "Rain Fall Down" sounded live after listening to it so much on CD. Mick really got into it: "and the phone kept ringing..,and we made sweet love".He's still the man. "Rough Justice" and "Oh no not you again" were also well done but we kept hoping for "Neo Con". It would have been great to hear that in San Francisco.
Then came a big suprise: "As Tears Go By". It was touching, it was 1965 again and Marianne Faithful was Mick's woman. And we were all alot younger. I got goosebumps. Next came Keith's set-- I think "Infamy" might be one of his best,ever. He was really having fun, smiling and kidding with the audience. When the B stage rolled out my brothers and I made a mad dash over there. This led to one of my most memorable moments of the show-- I was maybe 20 yards to the left of the stage with a perfect view of Charlie Watts. I've never seen him work from that angle-- he has no wasted movements, his body & head don't move; just his arms. He almost looked like a mechanical man. It was a great angle. I forgot to mention the Ray Charles song "Night Time is The Right Time". This a real treat, Mick was belting it out with all his soul and that Lisa, Whoe---she's got the strongest voice I've ever heard. The interplay with her & Mick was highly sexually charged.. Great!
"Sympathy for the Devil" was a show stopper, Mick dressed in top hat & tails and bright red/orange lights along with flames shooting up from the top of the stage. "midnight Rambler" really rocked the place, espacially as it built in energy in the second half of the song. The encore was YCAGWYW ( what's my favorite flavor?--- "cherry red" -the crowd shouts back, and although I've heard "Satisfaction" a million times they put so much energy into it, keith especially was prancing around ,really into his guitar licks. It just felt like he and all the Stones really really enjoyed what they were doing up there and the mood flowed into the crowd. All and all--a great show....love was in the air....