Day 14: Friday June 11 - Wembley-1
For the first time ever, the Stones had a front pit area for this time at Wembley! You had to be there early in order to make it to the very front this time. But they had filled up with very few people in the front pit this time. Normally there are like 2,500 people on each side, when they use this front pit system in other countries. This time it was may be 1,500 only - lots of space! If you are going tomorrow, then make sure you go early if you want to make it to the front. The gates open at 4:30 pm, so being there an hour or two before that should be fine.
Jumping Jack Flash and You Got Me Rocking. Then Mick is trying to catch his breath while he is saying it is so great to be back to Wembley: "It's just f***ing wonderful that you are here with us tonight!" Then they do Live With Me and Respectable.
Gimme Shelter. Keith does the opening chords. They sound awfully false. Mick is back with Charlie, and the camera is picking up his strange face. Not a grim face, more of a surprised face, like "how can Keith mess up this, he never did it before...". Well, the rest of Gimme Shelter works just perfect. Lisa is in shape for the very high pitch tonight, and the song is just great.
Ruby Tuesday is very popular. People are singing along. Then Honky Tonk Women. Everyone loves it. The entire stadium crowd is singing along to the song. Sheryl Crow is up there on stage, like she was in Sheffield and at the Shepherds Bush Empire. The camera guy is doing close up shots of Lisa, being the Honky Tonk Woman of the night.
Saint Of Me is great, but many don't know this song. Still, there is a great sing along, and as the song finish, the crowd is still singing, on and on. Out Of Control. One of my favorites. They do a perfect version tonight. Keith walks all the way to his left wing, to please the crowd on that side of the stadium, while Mick moves to his positon sligthtly to the right, to do the harmonica solo. Keith is moving slowly towards Mick, and they meet up as Mick is finishing his harmonica solo.
Paint It Black. Another crowd pleaser. Tim Rese, who usually is doing the saxophone, is joining Chuck to do some additional keyboards. He is clapping his hands, like Mick, and like the rest of us. Then he start playing his the keyboards.
Then the introductions. Charlie is getting a hugh applause, and is leaving his drum kit, as he walks up to do a bow for us on the center stage with Ronnie and Keith. One of these rare occations you actually see Charlie up front!
It's time for Keith do do his set. Shy as usual, but prowd to finally being back to Wembley. By the time he is finished with his usual introduction, he has totally forgotten what song he is supposed to do. There is the stool behind him, so he might have guessed, but he is just lost. He say, in a shy way: "I don't know what to do, really!". Then he does one step back, takes a look at the set list on the floor, and realize he is doing "Silver". Pierre brings him his acoustic guitar...
Before They Make Me Run. Leah Wood is on backing vocals with the others. Then the small stage. As there are so few people in the front pit, it feels like the whole pit is flowing from the front to the B-stage by now. We enjoy the three great songs on the B-stage. But I would rather have Get Off Off My Cloud than tonight's choice Like A Rolling Stone.
Sympathy For The Devil brings the band back to the main stage. On backing vocals Leah Wood, sharing the microphone with Bernard Fowler, for the first time with Mick and the entire band. And who is that girl sharing the microphone with Lisa, a blond looking just like Jerry Hall? Well, it's Elisabeth, Mick's daughter. Sure she looks like her mother, as she is debuting on stage tonight, just like James did in Istanbul last year...
Tumbling Dice is good. It's Only Rock'n'Roll great, and Start Me Up is may be the most popular song for tonight, as everyone is singing along, jumping and dancing. Brown Sugar is coming up all too soon, meaning the show is over soon. A long, long and great version, as both Mick and Keith are working their ways to both wings of the crowd.
Satisfaction is closing down the show, as they are running late, like 3 minutes past the 10:30 curfew. A long show, 2 h 15 min almost, but I really liked it.
PS. They rehearsed three songs tonight, before the gates opened: Memory Motel, Route 66 and Can't Get Next To You. Changes from Sheffiled: You Got The Silver.
It's Only Rock'n Roll no. 37 - August 1999 - © The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe