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The Rolling Stones
Soldier Field - Show #2
Chicago, IL, USA
Tuesday June 25, 2019



The Rolling Stones live at Soldier Field, Friday June 25, 2019 - Photo by Bjornulf Vik


The set list

  1. Jumping Jack Flash
  2. It's Only Rock'n'Roll
  3. Tumbling Dice
  4. Bitch
  5. Ride 'Em On Down
  6. Monkey Man (vote song)
  7. You Can't Always Get What You Want
  8. Play With Fire (B-stage acoustic)
  9. Sweet Virginia (B-stage acoustic)
  10. Sympathy For The Devil
  11. Honky Tonk Women
    --- Band introductions
  12. Slipping Away (Keith)
  13. Before They Make Me Run (Keith)
  14. Miss You
  15. Paint It Black
  16. Midnight Rambler
  17. Start Me Up
  18. Brown Sugar
    --- Band off stage
  19. Gimme Shelter
  20. Satisfaction


Show start :  8:53pm
Show end   : 11:00pm


Pre-show info and live comments:

Chicago #2 show 25-June-2019 live updates


Reports please!!!

Please send your comments, reviews, links and more to: [email protected]

IMPORTANT! Reports and pictures are welcome, but please send them as soon as possible after the show. Updates of these reports pages will mainly be done within 2-4 days after the show has been performed. After that it is on to the next show of the tour, and there will normally not be time for any more updates of older reports pages.


Youtube videos

Thanks to Philip Bajo for links!


Review by Bjornulf Vik

I was positioned close to the B-stage tonight, in the pit, as I wanted to see how they got the drum kit there, and also to be closer to the performance. There was a small area between the B-stage and the pit, where they allowed in people "by random upgrade", may be two dozen or so fans. They must have got a great upgrade and some experience!

During the end of "You Can't Always Get What You Want", I noticed the guitar technicians carrying guitars down from the main stage to the B-stage. Then, just as the song ended, within one minute or so, the B-stage was transformed from a flat empty stage floor into a complete performing stage. First the carpet was rolled out, then Charlie's very basic drum kit was mounted, in less than a minute, there were some 6-8 crew members working blistering fast, with precision, while Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie walked down the walkway. Then guitars were strapped on, and they were on live with "Play With Fire".

I just love the new B-stage concept. We got two new acoustic songs tonight, versus the show last week, as they did "Sweet Virginia" next. No saxophone solo, Ronnie did the solo on his guitar. On the main stage we could see Matt, Darryl and Chuck with minimized spotlights, still they were not hidden away. The concept is great, and it is adding another dimension to the "No Filter" tour.

Mick said this was the 9th show at Soldier Field, and the 39th in total in Chicago, and he thanked all the fans for coming to their shows. Everybody was in a great mood tonight, many smiles, and it was so warm, like +32 C i.e. 90 F or so daytime, and not much colder in the evening. I left my sweater behind, and had to take of my jacket. This was really T-shirt weather, may be too warm for the band, but great for the fans.

There was a hick-up at the beginning of "Paint It Black", which started like "Midnight Rambler". Keith took the blame, everybody was smiling, as they had to stop the song and restart into "Paint It Black". If you are a perfectionist, you may be dislike such moments, but if you are a fan, like me, just love it. You see all the smiles and the strong bonds in the band, so I had to add a few pictures from that moment, even if they are not the sharpest shots technically.

It was a powerful and great show. So many new songs versus the opening night last week, and yet again the crowd was great. Before the encores, the entire stadium was lit up my mobile phone lights, it was an impressing view. And then we got "Gimme Shelter", "Satisfaction", and it was all over. More than two hours, such a great show. We all walked out of the stadium with big smiles on our faces.


Review by Marc Jacobs

Last night was supposed to be the final stop on the tour - it turned out to be only the second stop on the tour. The Rolling Stones are back. Again. Really, have they ever left?

There were a couple of lyrics from two different songs that really struck me… During ‘Bitch” Mick over-emphasized the pounding of his own chest when he sang the words, “My heart is beating louder than a big bass drum” Since he had a procedure with his own heart just a couple of months ago, I am pretty sure that the lyrics meant more to Mick as he sang them. Another lyric that took a special meaning last night was from ’Sympathy for the Devil.’ When Mick sang the words, “I’ve been around for long, long years” again that sure seemed true too. I love the “B” stage where the stones walked out to the recording of '2120 South Michigan Avenue’ before playing ‘Play with Fire’ and ’Sweet Virginia’

Start Me Up, You Can’t Always Get What You Want and Gimme Shelter will never ever get boring. Keith played ’Slipping Away’ and ‘Before You Make me Run’ The whole show was great - that was not a surprise! How is it possible that The Rolling Stones still exist in 2019?

I have lifted my own quote from my own review from the September 10, 2005 concert at Soldier Field:

"Looking forward to the next tour in 2007-2008 (Next time we bring our 3.5 year old daughter Sara who will be nearly 7 at that time) Wonder just how much tickets will cost for the next tour!"

Well it took me a couple of tours longer, but last night I did manage to bring along my daugher Sara, who at 17 is precisely the age that I was when I saw my first Rolling Stones concert in 1975 at Madison Square Garden for the astronomical price of $12.50. I consider myself lucky that my seats last night cost just about $400 for the pair. After I purchased a T-shirt for my daugter for another $45 and bought a couple of sodas at $11.25 a pop, the evening ran about $500. But I did something that I have never done in my life…. Walk from home and back again from a Rolling Stones show. So, I did save on transportation. Time to save up fo the next tour in 2022!


Review by Robert Sherman

I first saw the Stones at the Hollywood Bowl in 1966. Who knew then that Daryl Jones would be in the Stones much longer than Brian Jones? So they basically play the same songs over and over and every time, the tunes are more improved. The 2019 sound and vision technology filled the Soldier Field stadium with rock and roll that is unsurpassed. That is why The Rolling Stones are considered the Greatest rock and roll band. They even mixed the set list up to be unpredictable. The biggest response Mick Jagger got was when he mentioned the B stage was near the 50 yard line. “Wasn’t that where the Bears missed a field goal against the Eagles?” A harsh groan from the fans did not deter the audience from enjoying themselves. The souvenir program was the best one ever in my opinion. I could go on and on but “Time waits for no one.”


Review by Dave Kohl

The one word review is "AMAZING", as always. This was the better of the two shows, and that is already saying something. Not only because of getting 7 different songs from the first night, but by how overall solid the performance was as usual.

"Jumping Jack Flash" was back as the opener, perhaps to stay in that spot. Even the tired "It's Only Rock & Roll" sounded better than it has the past few tours.

"Ride 'Em On Down" was another highlight. My first time seeing this in person, and clearly one that had special meaning being a blues song played in Chicago. The good news is they'll be doing this throughout the tour, since there is a video to go along with it, showing photos of the major blues artists such as Muddy and Howlin' Wolf. Mick as amazing as ever on the harmonica.

"Monkey Man" as the web vote winner was done for the first time in quite a while (perhaps since the Licks tour), but came off as though they had performed it the night before. Nice to hear the little keyboard licks in the right spots on this one, as well.

The B-stage spot was another major highlight. First time getting "Play With Fire" since Steel Wheels, and they totally nailed it. "Sweet Virginia" was wonderful, with Mick playing guitar on it longer than he usually does during a song. Keith was having fun singing backup on it. For me, anything "extra" from Exile automatically adds to the joy of the evening.

Once again Keith sounded solid on his vocals, and this set was no exception. "Slipping Away" was, for me, one of the highlights of the entire show. The delivery and pacing were less rushed than on past tours.

Later, the moment that showed the Stones are only human, as hard as that is to believe. After "Miss You", it was time for "Paint It Black".

Instead, Keith started "Midnight Rambler", which sounded a lot different. In addition, there was not the 'sounder' that lets us all know that their greatest live song ever is about to begin. The reason for this is that Keith started the wrong song for the moment, and Mick stopped it in progress for the band to start PIB.

When that ended, Mick said something like, "Well, you know what's coming...."

Next came, as usual, the highlight of the evening. Now even more charged up, there came one of the more different and charged up versions of Rambler ever. In the first show, we got a reprise of the last verse as part of the ad lib section. This time, we got a reprise of the guitar solo with both Keith and Ronnie going all out. One camera shot on the monitor with Keith and Ronnie standing together jamming full blast and Charlie behind them pounding away was an all-time shot of, as Keith calls it, "the engine room".

It was as though we all spent all of that money, time, and effort to be there for Rambler, and they did the other songs since we were there anyway.

I must say it's a great move to put "Start Me Up" right out of Rambler. Like IORR, these are the going through the motions songs. This gives them - and us - a bit of a break after Rambler, instead of doing another great song and not being as focused.

Keith was much more animated and more like his usual self on stage than Friday. Ronnie was again amazing and taking the lead much more often than in past tours.

Mick did not do nearly as much running, and did not come out to the end of the B-stage as he did Friday, but that didn't matter. He performed like Mick, and only Mick can, and that is what matters.

My personal 75th show, and after this one I'm ready for the next 75.


Review by Sparkly Top

What an incredible show. From the great set list, to the wonderful snafu before Paint it Black and the absolutely electrifying Midnight Rambler / Come into My Kitchen, I don’t think in all my years of following the Stones I have seen them play with such intensity, joy, skill, comradie and fun. Too many smiles to count! They have given more pleasure to more people than anyone else on the planet and continue to do so. It was my sister-in-law’s birthday and she had never seen the Stones and had I bought her a ticket as a birthday present months ago and was so grateful when she was still able to see the Stones for the first time on her birthday. What a show for your first time! I am so grateful to have been in the Stones’ presence for these two shows in Chicago. See you on the West Coast boys!


Review by Alwyn

Its always interesting to compare two gigs in the same city a few days after each other, and Chicago was no different. The weather had warmed-up, being over 30 C until a line of thunder showers cooled things down a bit and sent queuing fans running for shelter – well most of them. Most importantly the Band had turned-up the heat another couple of notches: they were on fire tonight. Never mind the 2019 No Filter Tour – this was the 2019 On Fire Tour.

The history experts can no doubt find other similar examples, but changing 7 out of 20 songs in the setlist on consecutive stadium gigs was unusual and a nice surprise. In came IORR, Slipping Away, Bitch, Monkey Man (the vote winner), Sweet Virginia, Ride ‘Em on Down, and Play with Fire. The last was a first-time-live for me, and described by Mick as an “English Folk song”. Certainly hearing references to Stepney and Knightsbridge in the home of Chicago blues was unusual to say the least!

I thought there were a few first night nerves on the first Chicago gig, not as much as others have felt. Plenty of people thought Keith was almost immobile then: but I think they were wrong and his playing was perfect then as it was tonight. Not one sign of nerves tonight – we all got a very strong, confident, full-on Stones performance. Hardly a wrong note: in fact songs like Monkey Man could even have been taken off the record. Keith is still focusing on playing more than strolling around the stage, but he did cover the ground much more last night. He and Mick even had matching shirts and t-shirts for a while.

There was one very amusing slip-up. At least the band were all smiles and laughter, and Mick said something about being allowed one F-up in the second gig. They were due to play Paint It Black and Keith was handed the right guitar, capo in the second fret. He started them off with Rambler… in F sharp rather than B. The guitar for Rambler has the Capo on the 7th fret. Mick started as well, as did Darryl and Chuck. Mick headed over to Chuck and said “have I got the wrong key?” – there were two tunes and two keys being played as it all ground to a halt. Keith stopped, headed back to back-line chief Pierre to be shown the setlist. He then came back and threw his arms up accepting the slip-up. None of the occasional tension on stage – just amusement, even smiles from Charlie. It makes the guys human, and it shows their professionalism and confidence. The start to PIB was then note perfect and it was an awesome performance.

I was a little sad that they changed the opening song to JJF from SFM – love both but I feel SFM’s words get the crowd going faster. But it works and it was a short version. In fact I had to check the length of the gig because it seemed to go so, so fast. I wondered if they had reduced the timing. No: it was 4 minutes longer. Others I spoke to felt the same – a sign of a great performance when time just flies-by.

During Bitch I thought that Mick made reference to his recent medical issue. When signing “my heart is thumping harder than a big bass drum” he pounded his chest and grinned. Need-less-to-say there was again no sign of any lack of fitness or energy. That man is a physical marvel. Not that the rest of the band looked at all tired or slow. All were very fired-up, with a top-notch performance on the (almost) hot Chicago night.

In the audience were a couple of local “big shots” who Mick called-out. I had never heard of them, but then I come from England not Illinois. In fact there was a little reception line for them at the entrance – I was almost expecting to be announced like at some formal Ball when I walked-in. For the second show the crowd was as energetic as the first night, maybe even more so. A great light display from cellphones at the end. Much singing and cheering. The only missing bit was a band of Argentines to lead a chorus of Ole Ole Ole for Keith. Mick changed the words of Miss You to mention some “Argentine girls who are pleased to meet you” – Puerto Rico omitted.

Highlight songs for me? Play with Fire – delicate, very old, never heard it live before. Slipping Away – a beautiful song beautifully played by all on stage. Midnight Rambler – another tour-de-force, maybe a little shorter, and including a line or two from “Come into my Kitchen”. I honestly think this is under-rated by the critics – it gets people dancing when it rocks (and it does): and Mick holds the audience in the palm of his hand on the slower bits. The band jams and works together in a semi-structured manner – just the six of them.

Chicago was full of fans over the last few days. The blues venues a sea of tongues. Chess Studios fascinating. I must admit I was disappointed compared to my last visit (22 years ago) to a couple of clubs – all very slick with sports on screens and honestly very poor musicians (you are not a pro when you play with out of tune guitars for the whole set). Are there any non-tourist oriented blues clubs in Chicago ? – maybe not.

The best blues musicians in town were playing at Soldier Field. Thanks to the Big Four, the rest of the band, and all the team who make it possible. The band now heads off to Ontario, and I’m off home for a couple of weeks. Looking forwards to my next gig at the southern end of Highway 61.


Review by Barry M

This was my 10th show since '72. It was the Rolling Stones, so it was great, but it wasn't among the top shows I've seen. It wasn't near the level of my last show, Philadelphia 2 in '13.

It was a beautiful, warm night. The stage set up was great, and worked in the stadium. The setlist was excellent, with 7 changes from Friday night.

I was towards the front and side of section A, on the floor. The sound was usually very good, but one or the other of the guitars occasionally dropped out. For example, at the end of PIB (which was excellent) I could only hear one guitar. The vocals were too low for Sasha, and also for Keith. As others have said, turn up the mike on Sasha! Turn it up from the beginning of GS! Keep it up!

Mick was singing well, and commanding the stage well. His dancing was excellent. He was conserving energy compared to many past shows. While the stage was so large that I couldn't keep my eye on him all the time, I didn't see him run, and didn't see his signature fast skip-step.

Mick did a funny bit about Mayor Lightfoot and Governor Pritzker being in the house. He said that Gov. Pritzker had signed a bill legalizing cannabis in Illinois as of January 1, paused, then noted that some in the crowd appeared not to have waited.

Keith was concentrating and playing well most of the night. There was very little posing or playing to the crowd. There were a couple of solos that didn't go anywhere (like Brown Sugar), but most were played well, and he nailed the key riffs. He seemed looser than the videos from Friday. Keith's singing was a little too soft, and his voice was a bit strained. Keith's guitar playing on his two songs was very good.

The crowd was pretty young, and didn't know all the songs. Even some of the old folks didn't know Keith's songs.

Ronnie played very well, especially at the beginning of the concert. He seemed to me to be checking on Keith at the beginning and doubling a couple of the parts, then decided that Keith was good. (That may just be my imagination, but I was watching them.)

Charlie is my darling. He was particularly great on PIB and MR. He smiled a few times.

Thoughts on particular songs:

JJF - . In my review of a ’98 show (more than 20 years ago!), ’98 I said Jumping Jack Flash had become Sliding Jack Flash. It’s now Strutting Jack Flash, given Mick’s moves. It’s still a great opener, and it was played well.

IORR – played well, but didn’t move the crowd that much. I was sorry that I missed SFM, played Friday.

Ride ‘Em On Down was played very well. Keith seemed to enjoy playing the blues number. I’m glad we got one blues song in Chicago. Mick gave a shout out to their long-ago recording at Chess Records, a few blocks from Soldier Field.

The B-stage was great, though it took a while to get out there.

Mick’s vocal was a bit off on Play With Fire, but the guitars were great.

Sweet Virginia was wonderful.

The new arrangement of SFTD worked. Keith’s solos were ok, but only ok.

HTW was particularly well played. The crowd was into it.

Charlie did not seem to appreciate Mick’s intro as “Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am from Wembley.” He was not smiling as he walked forward.

Miss You was somewhat reinvigorated. I could still do without it.

The PIB-MR f-up was great fun. Keith started MR, Mick looked a little confused and started singing. The train wreck slowed to a halt, and Mick asked Chuck if it was the wrong key. Watching Keith say it was his fault, and then Mick and Keith hug it out, laughing, was one of the highlights of the show. Mick said they would play PIB. They went straight into it, and played it wickedly, with feeling.

The second-time through intro to MR was great, with Mick playing harp and everybody concentrating. I’ve seen Ronnie do better solos on the song, however (and I’m not meaning to start the Mick T. debate). Wood was shredding, but not very melodic.

SMU was very well played, and the crowd loved it.

BS started great.

GS has lost its menace. It’s still an amazing song, but this wasn’t a strong version. I didn’t feel as emotionally engaged as usual. Did I mention that Sasha’s mike wasn’t turned up loud enough?

It was a great Satisfaction, with the riff ringing out again and again.

In summary, the Stones were back in Chicago. It was great to see them, the crowd enjoyed itself, and it's amazing that they can do this, and do this so well. They are The Rolling Stones. But, IMHO, not among their best Chicago shows ever.


Review by Luke Harris

Great show last night at Soldier Field.

Keith looked so happy all night, having so much fun.

Mick gave the Chicago crowd some curry. He was trying to figure out where he was on the field and joked “is this where the fella missed the field goal?”


Review by Matt Shields

This is my first report for IORR but I had to write it because I need to share our experience at the 2nd show. But first, we drove up from Muscle Shoals, Alabama (where the Stones famously recorded Brown Sugar, Wild Horses, and You Gotta Move many moons ago) to spend a week in Chicago and see both shows before my girlfriend starts a new job in July. (The day before the drive, as some of you know, a family member was suddenly hospitalized, but that has worked out FYI and they are now at home resting)..

We had Lucky Dips for the first show, got section 440, and initially feeling some disappointment was quickly put right by all those around me. Everyone near us would have loved to sit up close but they were happy to be there, and instead of trying to sneak closer I figured the point of LDs was just that, a beautiful gamble for about $35 a ticket. So we sat in our assigned seats and had an amazing time watching the entire venue rock out from the highest vantage point.. We could see the lake, the fireworks, the crowd lighting up the stadium with their phones, and the sound was fantastic compared to what sound in a stadium used to be. The highlight of the 1st night was that opening moment, it caught us off-guard when Mick suddenly ran out with such energy post health-scare and we heard Street fighting Man. No one could help themselves and we all lept to our feet and stayed there the entire show, all they way up to the highest seats..

The next few days before the 2nd show we spent walking around Chicago. We've visited twice before and it's one of our favorite U.S. cities. Highlights included a free classical music concert in the park, coffee everyday at our favorite spot, Sawada, where they make a drink called the Military Matcha I've never seen anywhere else, and you can get amazing BBQ brisket which I crave (in Alabama it's mostly pulled-pork and I love brisket :) , We went to the American Writer's Museum to see the Bob Dylan exhibit related to his receiving the Nobel for literature - I initially thought a writer's museum might be dull but found myself engrossed in the history of literature and how significant moments in history defined the literature of the time. I used to work in film and theater and so we drove up to the north end to visit the Steppenwolf Theater (old home to Gary Sinise, Laurie Metcalf, John Malkovich and many others), went to a dog beach up North to watch dogs play, took a water taxi for $8 through the river downtown, took a nap in the sunshine at the end of Navy Pier, enjoyed Guinness from the tap at an Irish pub, you know, things you don't get to do in a small Alabama town...

And now for the crown jewel, the Stones 2nd show in Chicago 2019! This show was what I have been looking for since I was first introduced to them in the 70s as a teenager. My personal Stones' story is similar to many of yours, they were real, gritty, rebellious, dark and beautiful at the same time, and perfect to help a teen through troubling years. They were what so many of us knew rock and roll to be. I saw them at Candlestick Park in 1981, loved it, but after that never had the desire to see them live. Mick got knighted (what?!) the newer albums didn't speak to me as much, and the stage shows seemed to me some kind of Las Vegas entertainment rather than the pain-relief and joy I had felt from listening to their records over and over in my room growing up. I never stopped listening to them however, in fact I've played the Stones almost everyday the past 40+ years. Then in 2015, during Zip Code Tour, I realized my girlfriend had never seen them live and bought tickets so that she could at least say "I saw the Stones," and the floodgates opened. I met others like me, discovered the IORR site, and since we had driven down from Alaska at the time to see them in Nashville (she's a travel nurse and we've driven across the country many times) decided to just keep going.

I made every U.S. Zip Code show after that except Indianapolis. When this current tour was announced I was right there with all of you, watching ticket sales, posting on IORR, hoping the best for Mick during the health scare, rearranging plans, paying down credit cards enough to purchase hotel rooms and tickets. The Stones were in town and I'd be a fool to miss 'em! So, Chicago show number two.. As I said, this was what I had been looking for from the Stones and never thought I'd find in their modern era. After the first night in section 440 I had a great view of the floor and knew where I wanted to sit 2nd night. When I got to the hotel that night I found tickets on the floor for "face" value and snatched them up. I even had to do some quick juggling with the credit card company during my "9-minute countdown to purchase" on Ticketmaster because the purchase was initially not approved.

The first thing I noticed from these amazing seats was that it was a stripped-down version of band members on stage for the opening songs. Mostly just the Stones themselves. I loved this. As the show went on the other members came and went but the focus was on the core members. And the energy was electric. During the six Zip Code shows I had seen I don't recall the loseness between the band, especially Keith and Mick, being the same as it was on this night. We were close enough that we could see Mick feeding off the crowd, trying to suppress smiles and laughs I could tell were spontaneous, and at one point towards the end of the show he turned our direction to egg the crowd on in a call and response and he suddenly yelled out "F*ck yeah!" as clear as day.. He was feeling it.

This felt like a rock and roll show. This felt like a harkening back to a band who got onstage to play music and had given me something to lean on when I was dazed and confused. And then "the" moment, the one I had been looking for all these years. The four remaining core members together at the end of the catwalk, close, tight, as intimate as it gets in a big show and sounding as wonderful as they possibly could after the years and miles. For those two songs I had finally caught a glimpse of what it may have been like. Thank you for bearing with me if you've read this all the way through.


Review by Dean Goodman

Meet the new Mick Jagger. The same as the old Mick Jagger. Just two and a half months after the Stones’ health guru raised our collective blood pressure and lowered our bank account balances by undergoing heart surgery, the band launched its delayed North American tour in Chicago last Friday as if nothing had happened.

Everything’s back to normal, right? No: Four days later, the Stones switched in seven new songs. Seven out of 20. This isn’t the frustratingly conservative band that we’ve all grown to accept. What’s going on? And will this radical approach continue all the way to Miami? Either way, it’s been a great week to be a Rolling Stones fan, especially in Chicago — the band’s “second home,” after London, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, etc.

Even though it was more of a thrill than usual to see the "Street Fighting Man" storm out of the starting blocks last Friday for his 38th Chicago appearance, I personally didn’t “feel” the gig. It’s hard to put my finger on it. In the olden days, a tour opener might be noticeably rough or lackluster—Oslo 2014 springs to mind. But in Chicago the Stones pretty much checked all the boxes to deliver a thoroughly professional set. Maybe that was the problem? Or maybe it was just me or a million other intangibles? On Tuesday, however, something in the air just clicked between the Stones and me, and I felt elevated to a higher level of consciousness.

I imagine that Mick, a month shy of 76, was probably more nervous than usual on the first night. Did the heart surgery trigger any crisis of confidence? And even if he felt great, was he nervous about the others’ abilities almost a year after the last gig? Well, Mick did his part. He barely broke a sweat as he sang, danced, and skipped about the vast stage at Soldier Field. On the second night, which was notably warmer and windier, he resembled a toy soldier as he strode along the catwalk during “Satisfaction.” His athleticism was a poignant reminder that the gym teacher's son is probably in better shape than most of us. While Mick occasionally chatted and joked between songs, especially on the second night, he did not mention the surgery, nor did his band mates. One might wonder if it had even happened. But apparently it did, and we’ve all seen the post-surgery comeback video from the dance studio.

OK, so Mick is all copacetic. How about the others? Keith underwent a makeover, dropping the bandana and allowing his thick and lustrous gray hair to turn light brown, magically. Ronnie — “the Renoir of the Magnificent Mile” or the “Gauguin of the Gold Coast” per Mick — remains the cheerful work horse, doing his best to ensure the old guys stay faithful to the original songs, most of which he had nothing to do with. The Queen ought to include him in her New Year Honours list. Charlie looks miserable most of the time, but then a rare grin relieves you of any worries about his well being. I consider him the table leg most likely to fall away first, so he demands constant scrutiny.

A couple of notes on Chicago #1

As Mick noted, things can get a “bit wobbly,” but not tonight. “Sad Sad Sad” was a personal highlight as it reminded me of the first time I ever saw the Stones, and the huge wave of relief that I finally didn’t have to worry about dying without ever see them play. So I felt a bit emotional again at Soldier Field. But any hopes that this would lead to a setlist overhaul were quickly dashed. Of course the acoustic twofer of “Angie” and “Dead Flowers” was a pleasant surprise, even more so with Chuck and Darryl consigned to the main stage. Why not make it a three-pack next time? Be bold, guys. So now we all know: Start moving to the B-stage, if possible, as “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” winds down. I will never, in a million years, believe that “You Got Me Rocking” won the audience vote. We need to import some good folks from Hong Kong or Turkey to bring down this brazen assault against democracy.

A couple of notes on Chicago #2

“My heart is beating louder than a big bass drum,” Mick triumphantly sang during “Bitch” while pointedly beating said organ with his fist. Yikes! Is he allowed to do that? What if the surgical superglue comes unstuck? That was the fourth song, and it seemed that we were headed into a near replay of the first night. But then we got a “Ride 'Em On Down” / “Monkey Man combo,” and a little later the B-stage package of “Play With Fire” and “Sweet Virginia.”

I’d have to award “Ride ‘Em on Down” my prize for the night. It was just the song’s third appearance in the United States, and it showed on the confused faces of the fans. (Sidebar: I don’t think a lot of the people packed into the pit on both nights were supposed to be there. It seemed like more of a “scene” for drunken newbies, and why did they gaze at the screen throughout the show even when Mick was standing right in front of them? You see a screen so automatically look at it?) Having said that, I did watch the revolving gallery of blues giants on the screen during “Ride ‘Em on Down” and particularly enjoyed the shot of Howlin’ Wolf looking down at the youngish blues pretenders. “Monkey Man” hadn’t been played in eons, and it showed. But that’s cool. It still retains its decadent, Burroughs-esque appeal.

I would have voted for “Harlem Shuffle,” because my Airbnb was on Harlem Ave., and “Sweet Virginia” would have been my top song if I had been able to get close enough to the B-stage. But it was too much of a challenge to squeeze past the seated folks. Any time Keith is on backing vocals is a good time to be alive. I was underwhelmed by “Play with Fire” a.k.a. the “little English folk song.” Mick snarled like an evil stepmother.

On both nights Mick welcomed Lori Lightfoot, the city’s first black, lesbian mayor. A month into her term she received plenty of cheers, which wasn’t the case for second-night guest Gov. Jay Pritzker, even it he had earlier in the day signed a law that will legalize cannabis next year. This led to an inevitable Mick joke that some fans had “jumped the gun.” I’m told Willie Dixon’s daughter and Muddy Waters’ son were at the show, but they evidently did not justify a shout-out.

“Miss You” garnered a shout-out to the “Argentinian girls,” and the sax solo sounded much better thanks to what I guess was a new reed on Tim Ries’ instrument. The “Midnight Rambler” drama will require an examination by a forensics team. Obviously a few people weren’t paying attention. Mick slyly blamed Keith by consoling him. “It’s all right, Keith. It’s only the second night and it’s only one fuck-up.” That’s a good power move I need to try. But why did Mick even begin the song without his harmonica? And what was going through poor old Chuck’s head as he tried to accommodate his wilful lead singer and two missing guitarists? I was rather excited to hear “FrankenRambler” all the way through, but eventually Mick realized the jig was up. When they did return to the song, after a powerful “Paint It, Black,” Mick drolly said, “I bet you can’t guess what the next number is.” For those keeping count, “Midnight Rambler” was 30 seconds shorter on the second night, at 11:30, even with the bonus “and it hurts!” It was a concentrated dose of murder and mayhem in a city that many wrongly refer to as America’s murder capital. Interestingly, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” came in at (roughly) just 3:45. How punk. If we can put a half-dozen songs on a diet then we’ll have room for “Gomper” and some Dirty Work cuts.

What else? Keith was again masterful on “Slipping Away.” The $600 tourists in the pit fled during his set, which isn’t such a bad thing because it gave the rest of us some breathing room. Many also left before the encore and the pace intensified as “Satisfaction” started. Pathetic, really. But such a word will never describe the Rolling Stones. If you’re still sittin’ on a fence about seeing the boys on one more “last tour,” do as ALO recommended on the back of Rolling Stones No. 2 and savor the circus.


Review by Wayne Smith, Melbourne

We flew in from Melbourne via San Francisco on Monday to soak up the great city of Chicago after not being here for 27 years! Stones T-shirt’s everywhere on Tuesday, I said hi to Bernard as he walked past the outdoor cafe at the peninsula hotel we also saw Chuck at the hotel leaving for an early soundtrack.

Quick taxi drive to soldiers field which looks like a spaceship has landed on a part of the old concrete stadium. The merchandise store sold out quickly so I ended saving $65. I wanted a stones beer cup but I was told they were for soft drink for $13....phew someone’s making money from the fans!

Lights down at 8:50 packed stadium, a warm night and I’d not seen the stones since Melbourne in November 2014 when Mick’s voice was going due to hay fever.

A great loud rocking start with jumping jagger in fine form and Keith & Ronnie pumping it out. Charlie never misses beat as we all know. Darryl looked happy to be playing for his home audience with some solid grooves.

Funny mix up with the start of paint it black with Keith starting the riff with midnight rambler which amused Mick and he apologized by saying it was only the 2nd night.

Another surprise with bitch and the song I voted for in monkey man which sounded great as I was dancing in my seat.

Then the usual run home of songs. I’d love for the stones to retire tumbling dice and replace it with rocks off or all down the line. Miss you could go too but the crowd love it and it sounded a bit funkier on Tuesday night. Roll on boys hope to see you back in Australia!


Review by Jay Rusniak

Like the opening night, echoes ruined the sound. My friend talked about not being able to hear a word of Keith’s set.

Still, this performance was twice as entertaining as the first Chicago show. Keith looked to enjoy the night more, and the setlist was more traditional except for B-stage choices. Play with Fire and Sweet Virginia were both obscure for casual fans or friends of fans, but they were great to hear live.

The audience was enthusiastic and danced throughout.

The other sound issue I’ve noticed is that Sasha’s wailing on Gimme Shelter sounds muffled. I was expecting - and remember, maybe falsely - a more booming voice from her on GS.

My favorite moment of the night was Keith’s Midnight Rambler in the wrong key. It helped remind me that the Stones play without a safety net. Keith may have been embarrassed, but I was expecting Midnight Rambler to follow Miss You as well.

Looking forward to seeing them in NYC.


Review by Mark Patton

After the postponement news I was worried I wouldn't get to a show at all this summer. I spend 10 months a year overseas and a rescheduled date would do me no good. I had a pair of lucky dips this time around figuring I would also go to Chicago#1 but got tired of waiting for prices to drop.

Fortunately, the date stayed and my son and I headed down to pick up our Dips. This was his favorite bit. He'd seen the Stones twice before - Singapore in 2014 and Dallas and 2015 but this was his first experience with the 'gamble of lucky dips'.

We paid close attention to IORR to see how lucky dips went on show 1. I convinced myself that people claiming to get pits were probably just gasbagging and didn't get my hopes up. When we queued up the couple in front of us got Ronnie side pits. The woman let me pull my own envelope and lo and behold we also got Ronnie side pits. We were shocked.

Anyway - the show. Without a doubt the best of the three shows my son has been to in terms of setlist. What a different experience to be right up there and how it changes your perspective and enjoyment. There is a visceral thrill to being that close. Normally, Rambler is a pee break time for me (unpopular opinion I know) but it felt so fierce up close.

One of my favourite musical moments of the night was actually the end of BeforeThey Make Me Run... Keith and Ronnie doubled the riff and solo out side by side sounding like a chunked up version of the Allman brothers. Amazing.

Acoustic set, though it was behind me, was brilliant with both Play with Fire and Sweet Virginia. Mick had some serious guitar issues on SV with the tech fiddling with his cable multiple times, but they made it through and it still sounded great.

The misstep from Keith into the wrong key MR was weird but funny and they took it in good stride.

Crowd was fantastic, sound was better than I expected in the pit, and despite the sore feet and long wait for a bus out of there it was a truly memorable night.

A great show.


Review by John B from Lansing, Michigan

We went home on Saturday, the day after CHI-1. I was very worn out from all the walking but it was worth it. I worked Monday and Tuesday we were back on the road again. This time we visited Chess Studios and the Chicago Museum of Broadcasting, which had some really interesting rock memorabilia highlighting politics and rock. Again, lots of walking and on to the show.

We picked up our LD tickets, but this time in section 300. Excellent. I still went to guest services and tried to get upgraded, but no luck. The show itself was incredible. 7 new songs. Wow! Monkey man. What more could we want.

One thing I have noticed about Mick is his incredible dry sense of humor. He is very funny. My only regret with both Chicago shows is I kept messing with my phone, which took me away from the moment. I felt kind of bad when the mother and daughter next to me told me they paid over $400 for their tickets and we only paid $25 a ticket!


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