It's Only Rock'n Roll
The show was in the quite new TWA Dome, previously only used for concerts by U2, some weeks ago, when they had 10,000 empty seats. This time it seemed like all 40,000 (or was it 35.000?) seats were sold out. The sound was a typical dome sound. Early on in the show it was like playing loud in the bathroom, but it improved for some reason as they turned up the volme, later on in the show. On TV, I would guess the sound was perfect, right off the mixing table.
It was nice having an indoor dome for the show, as outside it was 30F or so, i.e. to the freezing point. Inside, it was packed and hot.
The Dome was covered by spotlights, all around. When the show started at 9pm sharp, the blue spots scanned all over the crowd, making a great look on the TV, I guess (I have yet to see it...).
The show went on pretty much like in Atlanta 3 days earlier, but they had added some songs for the special guests.
Dave Matthews did a great duet with Mick on Wild Horses. Tah Mahal, as you may remember from the Rock'n'Roll Circus show, joined in on Corina Corina. Waiting On A Friend did a mysterious win on the web choice, after two days of close race of the two other songs "Star Star" and "She's A Rainbow". But they had brough in saxophone player Joshua Redman, so "Waiting On A Friend" was a perfect fit for the guest player...
The band seemed to be in good shape, having been almost 3 months on the road now. The set list said this was show number 33. During "Out Of Control" Mick first threw his harmonica away on the stage when finishing the solo, then he threw his jacket into the camera. He was really "Out Of Control"... And I really like that son, it works very good live too.
Wild Horses was just perfect, and Anybody Seen My Baby is also working very well now.
There was a lot of cameras all over, including 5 cameras on the front of the stage, two for the monitor and three for the TV. Then they had a panning camera running all the way across the field, by row number 17. It probably made nice stage panning effects. Also on stage, and in the crowd, they had 5 - 6 mobile cameras, plus 3 panning cameras on the sides and by the center stage. All in all, a show made for TV...
On "You Can't Always Get What You Want" Mick was wearimg a yellow shirt, and walked into the crowd by the catwalk. A great first encore.
All too soon the show was over, and they had a double dose of confetty this time, simply covering all of the place with confetti.
Now it's Xmas time and a break for 3 1/2 weeks, before the show continues in Qubec...
Start time: 9:00 End time: 11:35
The set list:
This show, which lasted for 2 hours and 40 minutes, was dead on, better than the TMS show out in the middle of nowhere in a big concrete place. The TV production was quite slick, the music still excellent hard hitting rock n roll, regardless of where harmonicas and coats land. Stones fans across the Pond from me, don't miss their traveling road show.
Whether due to pay-per-view, Kenny Wayne Shepherd's red hot "heat-up" session or maybe simply St Louis area passion for the Stones the crowd was jacked and ready well before the boys came on. By contrast last week in Detroit I found the audience to be slow in revving up and rather disappointing.
Last night the joint was on fire ignited initially by KWS and then again by Keith "Cheetos Cheetah" Richards opening riffs of "Satisfaction" followed by "Spend The Night Together" "Flip The Switch" and on and on. Everyone played, by Stones' standards (and baby Stones' standards is the way I like it) tight and furious.
As the tour progresses the crowd seems to respond nearly as enthusiastically to the new stuff, such as "Flip The Switch" "Out Of Control" "Saint Of Me", etc., as to the classics.
I've also noticed, perhaps due to climate environment, that Mick has substantially culled his wardrobe (opening night he seemed to wear 2 - 3 "get-ups" per song.) I'm not criticizing him - I love the extensive wardrobe as well as the scaled down - I'm simply making an observation.
Likewise their is less tangential video footage . . . Chicago fans remember the porno cartoon and celebrities who've passed away footage on "Miss You" I believe it was. The current predominant video focus on stage activity probably better serves the more distant fans.
As I mentioned Keith as well as others were clicking on all cylinders and very sharpely yet I want to express amazement and admiration for Mick for a second. I don't think he is credited enough for truly performing/working his ass off during on this tour . . . regardless of condition (such as hoarse speaking voice.) To me he performs and plays to the crowd better than anyone, anywhere, anytime. He defines the art. To any critics who may accuse him of being affected, he seems to be genuinely having too damn good of a time to be putting on. If he is putting on then he's sufficiently conned my ass to the point I don't care.
Song highlights include but are not limited to "Gimme Shelter" rendition as good as I've heard live; "Out Of Control" again a brilliant nearly flawless (I won't even mention apparent flaw/glitch) jam-session masterpiece; unbeatable small stage set of "Only Rock 'n' Roll/The Last Time/Like A Rolling Stone, despite the fact that yes the sound is weaker on small stage but the atmosphere is worth it so who cares.
Incidentally undergarments were abundantly airborn during the small stage set and Mick amused the crowd by throwing a bra at Cha-Cha while he was playing; Other highlights include "Miss You." Yes I know "Miss You" has been done and done but it is a crowd participation, jam-session, concert masterpiece as well - "Whatsa matter with me? Whatsa matter with you?"
Dave Matthews joined Mick, much to the crowd's delight, for "Wild Horses" (only rendition on this tour so far to my knowledge). The biggity big surprise to me was Taj Mahal who appeared and played "Corina Corina." Taj was excellent for the moment and the crowd seemed to really appreciate him.
The last surprise guest was Joshua Redmon who kicked ass on sax for the web choice - "Waiting On A Friend." The web choice performance was wonderful but I salute the crowds elsewhere who chose "Respectable" and "When The Whip Comes Down." I also question why evidently no one wants to hear the made-for-concert type of song "All Down The Line."
To conclude - the Stones and friends kicked butt from opening bell to finish with the punch drunk crowd absorbing every blow . . refusing to go down . . euphorically and stubbornly staggering, eagerly anticipating more "punishment" with each successive knockout song.
Too old my ass!
Stones fanatics attended from all over North America, and some flew in from as far afield as Norway, Hungary and Iceland. If they were hoping for something out of the ordinary, they may have been disappointed.
The one concession to the special nature of the event was the introduction of three low-wattage "stars" to help out on three of the evening's slow songs.
Unlike guests at previous pay-per-view shows, such as John Lee Hooker, Sheryl Crow or Eric Clapton, Friday's guests were relatively anonymous: pop singer Dave Matthews, bluesman Taj Mahal and jazz saxophone player Joshua Redman.
Matthews helped Jagger out on a sublime version of "Wild Horses." Mahal, whom Mick Jagger reminded everyone had performed on the group's celebrated "Rock and Roll Circus" special, duetted on the old rock standard "Corinna, Corinna." Redman -- "a really cool sax player," according to Jagger -- appeared briefly at the end of "Waiting on a Friend," the evening's Internet choice.
Which begs the question, what would have happened if fans had voted for another song? And more to the point, was "Waiting on a Friend" really the Internet choice, or should it have been "Star Star"?
The rest of the show, for about 50,000 fans at the indoor TWA Dome in downtown St. Louis, followed the usual set list pattern.
One got the impression Jagger was mugging for the viewers at home a little more. After the second track, "Let's Spend the Night Together," he allowed himself a lengthy grin for no particular reason.
Before launching into "Flip the Switch," he welcomed the fans watching on TV and listening to the radio simulcast. "We're here for you too," he said, rather oddly.
As he asked the fans to sing along to "Miss You," Jagger noted that St. Louis had produced many famous musicians and songs, but gave just one example, Miles Davis. Keith Richards was twice as generous, sending out greetings to Chuck Berry and his pianist sidekick Johnnie Johnson.
Ronnie Wood, described by Jagger as "stark raving bonkers" during the introductions, seemed anything but. Tonight, he was serious.
It's hard to fault the performance of the songs themselves, with the band being a pretty well-oiled machine by now. "It's Only Rock and Roll" seemed to drag when the Stones resurrected it on the small stage. At least a half-dozen bras were tossed up during this interlude.
Of the new songs, "Anybody Seen My Baby?" was more successful than ever, and "Saint of Me" continued to get a warm reception.
Both Jagger and Richards wished everyone a merry Christmas before the band left the stage at 11.35 p.m.
Read all about the Bridges To Babylon tour in the It's Only Rock'n Roll magazine issue IORR 31 out Jan, 1998.
It's Only Rock'n Roll 1997 -
© The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe