It's Only Rock'n Roll
Show start : 9:01pm Show end : 11:10pm
As Mick noted (in Portuguese) early in the evening, the concert marked their first ever show in Porto Alegre, and the last stop on the four-show Brazilian leg. And it might just be the last time Brasileiros get to see the Stones in their country. So those are the historic bits.
And the memorable bit was the rain. It did not let up for the entire show, and the showers were pretty fierce at times. I wouldn't be seen dead in a poncho, and didn't mind getting drenched. It wasn't too uncomfortable, though I was grateful that the show came in at a speedy 2:08 with 18 songs. The warhorses didn't seem as interminable as usual. The rain also discourages camera usage.
The good-humored crowd included busloads of Argentineans, trekking 1,300 km each way, and that return trip must be damp and miserable right now. The fans entered into the spirit of things, buoyed by the knowledge that Mick and Keith and Ronnie were getting soaked as well. Charlie, of course, was as dry as a bone, and refused Mick's offer to venture past his drum riser during the introductions. Mick sported a couple of hats for most of the show, and two dashing raincoats at the end. He seemed fixated with Bernard's and then Darryl's dreads, telling both men to keep them dry. "That's my motto," he said. Poor old Ronnie's rooster 'do was totally neutered, and he looked like Jerry Seinfeld on the low-flow shower episode. Keith, along with his bandmates, seemed to savor the rain and its challenges.
Tonight's two "new" songs were both sides of a 1967 single, "Let's Spend the Night Together" and "Ruby Tuesday." They weren't exactly rarities, but the fans were appreciative. It's always good to hear Keith doing backing vocals. A third new song would have made the night perfect, but Chuck evidently thought otherwise.
Other memorable bits: Mick seemed surprised when "Honky Tonk Women" ended. He was at the end of the catwalk, and had to run back to the stage to do the intros, during which he referred to Ronnie as "o gaucho." The gaucho culture is a big deal in this unremarkable southern town. And Charlie banged on his drums with his hands as Keith took the mike, and sections of the crowd did some sporadic "Olé ... Richards" chants.
"Midnight Rambler" came in at 15:50, one of the longest of the tour, but it was an exercise in quantity over quality. Sasha's "Gimme Shelter" vocal was still a bit off, and she came perilously close to flashing some left side-boob as her top slipped after her lascivious joust with Mick during "Sympathy for the Devil." During the first song of the encore, Mick improvised, "You can't always get what you want ... like the rain."
So, that's it for Brazil. Porto Alegre takes first prize, followed by São Paulo #2 and Rio. São Paulo #1 gets a nod for most fashionable hipsters.
Show start 9pm sharp. The crowd is great. After a few songs the rain start again. Poncho back on. Then it stops. I take off the poncho. Our new friend whom we met today, a young girl from Litauen, first time at a Stones show, asked if she could borrow my poncho. Sure!
Paint It Black. It starts to pour down. Rain in buckets. Keith is joining Mick walking out towards the B-stage, sort of joining in on the weather wise misery. The rain was not that bad. We got wet. I said she could keep the poncho. "Capa" as they said when they sold tons of them both here and in Sao Paulo, where it was raining more often than in Bergen, Norway's rain capital. As I looked at this great stadium, now I knew why they had such a great roof. Sure they have rain at times in Porto Alegre. That is what the roof is for. But we are on the field and there is no roof here...
The rain made the show fresh and dynamic. The crowd loved every song, arms in the air all the time, a bit like the Buenos Aires crowd, not as wild, still jumping up and down and enjoying every bit of it. I made a few notes, but they were all soaking wet. My notes ended after Keith's set anyway. I got the official set list. When trying to roll it up it was about going into pieces, so I had to take care. My hands were all wrinkles because they were so wet. But I did not mind. We got a great Rambler with some fantastic improvised Ronnie Wood solo playing. We got lots of band interaction. Smiles on stage. Keith taking the wings for his strong guitar riffs on Sympathy and Satisfaction, playing to the extent, looking wild as he is out there on the wings. The screens made it through the rain, even if they are all electronics. The guitars worked through the show. They even had acoustic guitars on stage, normally they don't in rain shows.
Two weeks and four shows in three different cities with The Rolling Stones in Brazil. It has been a great mini-tour in Brazil. Everybody have been friendly. So many great memories, I will miss Brazil, the Stones and their fans here. And I am so glad this show were high standards comteting with Sao-Paulo-1 as one of the best shows on this tour.
Photos by Bjørnulf Vik
It was 2 “first”:
1) First wet gig. And as Bjørnulf said it rained from the beginning to afterwards (meaning that when I got home it was still raining).
2) First gig in my hometown. Surrounded by people who really appreciate the band and their music.
Our local paper says today that Mick compared our town to Toronto in terms of specially enjoying their songs.
Also Stones are considered a band for old guys, but I met a young boy of 12 who dragged his father to the gig. Hope he can attend many gigs.
Once again I’m glad to be able to transmit my feeling to IORR, as for many years I have been reading reports from others and that in a way brought the “Stones Spirit” to my life.
Hope to keep reading reports from you in a short while!
Photos by Bjørnulf Vik
The Stones were supposed to come in 1998 during the Bridges to Babylon tour, but then the shows were cancelled (they only played in Rio and Sao Paulo at the time), so the local “gauchos” were really excited ever since it was announced the Stones would be reaching the Rio Grande do Sul state. I’d left Sao Paulo the day before the show, this time I took a bus to get to Porto Alegre, which took me 20 hours to arrive, but then that’s what I wanted to do. I hadn’t visited Porto Alegre in centuries, plus it’s such a beautiful trip, mostly when crossing the Serra Catarinenses area (Santa Catarina state, green valleys, rivers and all).
Next day was day of the show, literally all people in town were talking about the first Stones concert in town ever. So we got to the Beira Rio stadium (home of the Inter football team) about 6 pm. It already started raining before showtime, but then came THE REAL THING. That´s when the heavy rain began, which went on through the whole show. Like the last show in Buenos Aires in 2006, if you were there. It rained almost non-stop all though the concert, it just took over the whole place. But then that’s what made it so special. We got a great setlist (all the fixed songs on the setlist, plus Porto Alegre gave us the chance to enjoy Let’s Spend the Night Together and then the very highlight of the night with Ruby Tuesday) Did we cry? Oh yes we did! Like we needed to get any more wet!
We were all completely covered in water under the heavy rain which got stronger and stronger, let alone the heavy winds in the last songs. But hey we all danced under the rain! As for the band, you can tell by the way they looked and play they REALLY LOVED IT. Mick was so excited, I haven’t seen him having such a great time in years. He didn’t stop dancing, eventually, and he had to change raincoats a couple of times. Both him and Ronnie had put on hats onstage, but Keith didn’t, so he got soaking wet as well. I’ll never forget that beautiful image of him and Ronnie playing You Got the Silver with the rain coming down on them.
And then the audience, somehow Porto Alegre ended up having the best audience of the four shows In Brazil. Unlike Rio or Sao Paulo, people seemed to know most of the songs, and it never stopped, never stopped! So it was like a big party with a packed stadium, once again, under the heavy rain which, let alone the great setlist, beautiful sound and people singing all the time, made this SUCH A NIGHT.
We had to wait for a taxi for about 2 hours to get back home but, what the hell, it was a fantastic night that should be remembered as one of the best Stones´gigs ever. Porto Alegre deserved it, so that’s what they got. Parabens!
Nest stop is Lima on Sunday (I’m already in town), and looks like it’s gonna be another landmark concert. No matter the heavy rain, See you around!
Photos by Bjørnulf Vik
Great to and fro between Keef and Ronnie, especially on You got the Silver.
And definite chemistry between Mick and Sasha, not just on Gimme Shelter, where her top seemed about to fall off a few times. Steady Mick !
If it wasn't so wet (I got soaked in the pit) I would probably say it was one of their best shows ever..... the whole band were truly on fire .
Cuba watch out.....if Fidel attends he may get a fatal adrenaline rush!
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