It's Only Rock'n Roll
The set list:
We arrived at 5 pm, when the doors had not been opened yet. EXITEMENT!
Doors opened at 5.15 pm and we ran. Well, most of us did. ;-))
Nico - the fastest - got in on the Keith side, we arrived when it was already closed, so we made it to the Ronnie side. Note: This was open for about half an hour and around 7 pm they let some more people in (about 80 or so).
Dave Matthew Band was support, started around 8.25 and played for about 35-40 minutes. They were boring somehow, although they had a violinist, that resembled a black version of John Cale and a horn plaxer. Nothing remarkable but better than Johnny Lang in Nuremberg.
Everybody got up for the support act, so we made it right into the middle of the stage, about one meter from the front gate and one meter from the side gate to the catwalk. WHAT A PLACE TO BE! :-)))))
I have my doubts if we can top that tomorrow in Hannover.
The show started at 9.45 pm. Keith came out with his leopard coat and looked meaner than ever. From then on it was a hell of a show, everything seemed perfect, everything was on pitch, the only thing letting us down was the cybervote: Under My Thumb again. LIS was second and missed pool position by some votes only.
Remarks: The audience was into singing tonight: Ruby Tuesday was sung for some time after it had finished, Jagger had to direct the choir, Same with IORR and Saint of Me. He also asked us to sing Miss you as loud as possible, so that they could even hear it in Cologne. Which we did.
Keith was charming again. After his introduction, he had to admit that "It's sometimes hard to follow Charlie Watts". Because this time Charlie was the one that got standing ovations during the intros, but on other occasions as well, returning from the B-stage and during the last bows.
Everything was organized very well, security was loose. Some girl even made it onto the stage during Start me Up and shook Jaggers hand before being tucked away by Stage Security. Keith was amazed and amused and showed so.
Ronnie could be heard really well after Miss You, before he was very low in the mix. The sound on the B-Stage was perfect, you could hear every lick. Before LARS Mick asked Ronnie, which song to play now, Mick even asked Charlie at some time, from which year Under My Thumb was.
There was one strange moment when Jagger spat something out just in front of Ronnie during TD, which made him look very curious about it, but they seemed friends again by the time of the encore. Don't know what that meant.
OK, we go to bed now to prepare for Hannover. My reports on that will be late, as we will stay there with family, so do not expect it before sunday afternoon/evening.
Still wearing our wristbands, good night all!
Johannes & Nico
Security: not very tight at all, we weren't searched that much, Nico was not searched at all. But: they look into every bag, so do not take any drinks with you. When you are in the front area, security does give you drinks of pure water when you ask them. They do anything to make you comfortable in the front, but you have to behave well.
The girl that came onstage during Start me up ran from the ramp on the right side (Keith) and made well over 50 m, before security even noticed. She tried to cuddle Mick, but he just shook her hand before she was taken away.
Jumbotron: Somebody had a t-shirt saying sex & drugs & rock & roll which was shown very often during the show. Others had banners saying Ronnie or Keith, which got onto the screen as well. A Japanese couple just in front of us had cardboards saying "Ronnie" and "Keith - Sexy". Ronnie tried to throw them a guitar pick and seemed to like the cardboard. Keith saw his message and struck out his tongue, nodding.
During Miss you, Lisa was all over the place teasing everyone on stage. Mick did lick her toes and kissed her shoe, which she seemed to like very much.
Lisa did look better than she did in Nuernberg, coming out in a long black dress, changing into the glimmer - mini for Miss you and ending in some kind of pantyhose with black leather torselet. We think she didn't wear any underwear under the black dress. ;-)))
Ronnie did play the Korg keyboard on You don't have to mean it, Blondie played guitar. Mick introduced Blonide as "being in germany for the first time", but that's not true. Nico has seen Blondie in Berlin in 1990 as second guitarist with Mick Taylor's band.
UMT ended with Mick singing "Everybody Needs somebody to love" twice, at least the ending did fit now (better than in Nuernberg). You could not see the exact figures on the Jumbotron, but LIS seemed to be very close to UMT in the vote. Every other song was far behind these two.
Beware: When you are in the front area, try to get back into the audience as soon as the Stones have left the stage. the fireworks will go off about 4-5 minutes later. We got the fallout from the fireworks all over us, some of it even a bit hot. We were covered with the remains of the ash etc., nothing to really look forward to. Also the explosives starting JJF can be dangerous. Nico got a very hard piece of something thrown onto his lips in Nuernberg. It could easily have hit his eyes.
When the explosive effects are used on stage, you can really feel the heat coming from the stage in the first rows. I wonder how that feels on stage. There's also a lot of smoke on the stage during the explosions, which must be very disgusting to inhale. I wonder how Mick can sing under these conditions.
Mick threw a mug of water into the audience; the guitar picks did not reach the audience most of the times. Keith was bare-breasted for the encore and we couldn't spot any leftovers from his accident. He seems to be ok. He even did smoke some fags on stage, so this seems to be right as well.
Mick is very slim, no belly at all, Keith is alright and in good shape.
Anything else you want to know? Ask!
Johannes & Nico
Anny (my wife, the Ronnie Wood fan) and I would go for the left (Wood's) side of the stage. After the gates were open, we found out that we chose the wrong gate; we had to run half way round the stadium to get in for the field. There the security wouldn't let people enter the ring on Woody's side. So I ran into the ring on Keith's side, and I was hoping Anny would do the same. After a while (looking desperately for Anny) I found out that she was at Woody's side! What a mess! So I ran out and found myself just in time in the right part of the ring. Thanks a lot guys :-( (A@#holes)
The opener for today's show, The Dave Matthews Band, didn't start until 20.25. It was horrible IMHO, but I'm sure they did their best ;-) And they will open for The Stones all 5 Amsterdam shows... They ended their part at 9 p.m. sharp.
The Stones started Satisfaction at 21.50! But is was really worth while waiting so long! What a show, it was... what can I say... awesome!! From the start to the very end. Really great. Nice and enthousiastic audience. The securities even distributed water to the audience, that was cool ;-)
The first surprise (after Gimme Shelter) was Ruby Tuesday. The crowd loved it; everyone kept singing after the song was stopped. After a very good Out Of Control came the Web Choice: (for the third time this tour) Under My Thumb. Mick sang a part of Everybody needs Somebody To Love in it!
After a splashing Miss You (Woody was lying on the stage!), Keith did You Don't Have To Mean It and Wanna Hold You. The center stage set gave us the usual but awesome played Little Queenie and a great surprise Little Red Rooster (nice slide Ronnie!) and again Like A Rolling Stone.
During Start Me Up a girl made it to the middle of the main stage! It was long ago when I saw that happen during a Stones show ;-) The show was over after midnight. It was one which I won't forget.
BTW If there were any bootleggers, I hope that they were taping straight from the soundboard or that they were standing in the front, because the Düsseldorf airport was directly beside the stadium ;-)
I won't be able to do a report on the Hannover show because I have to pass an exam on Friday, so I'll be back to you after the first (of five) Amsterdam shows.
But, too bad, for me this phrase needs to be interpreted differently. I have to explain that we ordered tickets for seats because we knew that we could only arrive late. We thought it would be worth 160 DM, having a stressless arriving. It seemed to be nice having a view at the stage from further away enjoying all the brilliant effects. We ordered our tickets remembering the great experience in Cologne '95 where we were quite far away from the stage, but where the audience really was into the show. Then, it almost felt like it does in the infield (front) only that it was more comfortable, with pre-registered seats, without having to run to get on Keith's side, without having to stand in line for hours.
But what shall I say? About 80 to 90% of the crowd in the seats belonged to the yuppie scene. Some were dressed up as if they went to the theater. That would not have bothered me, but I thought: "Do they actually know that they are at a Rolling Stones concert?" Some even took their seats after the show had already opened. Maybe it was more important for them to meet friends at the champaigne bar?!? They remained seated and clapped their hands nicely when "Satisfaction" was over.
We left our seats and this 'excellent' crowd and placed ourselves at the fence to the lower level. After two minutes, the security chased us away by asking us to return to our seats. We tried another place a few meters away, but it had the same effect. We saw some free seats at the lower level, last row, reached them, and stood singing and shouting along. Surprise, surprise, the security came again after a few minutes and asked us to sit down!!!!! We had a sever quarrel with a security man who finally threatened us to throw us out.
THAT WAS ENOUGH!!!
We left our section and walked around the stadium until we reached the section on the left near the stage where there are no seats anymore. Fortunately, there wasn't any security that stopped us. Now the show could begin for us. It was during "Saint of me", so I missed one of my favorite songs "Ruby Tuesday" because of that struggle! Too bad.
Another issue are the acoustics. In the back section they were really poor. Too little power. All mixed up. No chance to identify the guitars nor Mick's voice. Maybe it's not possible for technicians to bring the clear sound of the front section to the back!? Nevertheless, it was better at the place we had finally reached.
If I have learned one thing it's that from now on I will always go to the infield! But even there (in contrast to what Johannes and Nico have reported) the feeling seemed to not come close to the atmosphere in Nuremburg. People left the front section (Ronnies's side; I can't say anything about Keith's side) before "Brown Sugar"!!
At least I learned something about the Cologne-Düsseldorf relationship. What a great concert at Müngersdorfer stadium in 1995, what an honest excitement for the band! I really do hope that the stones are not changing and will become a yuppie-band, having fun playing for people who can afford every price but who act as if they went to the opera.
Well, I hope I will have the same great experience as I had in Nuremburg in my next concert(s). The next one should be Vienna.
Dave Mathews made his opening mercifully short. He sort of apologized for being there at all. It's a huge chance for a band to raise the Stones' curtain, and one that cannot possibly be accomplished. Nice try anyway. It helps to build up an atmosphere. Then a chopper flew in from the North, hovering over the crowd. The tape music was playing full blast by then, Blues stuff, and the Helicopter started to dance to it in the air. We all knew they had actually come. the crowd started to do cheering games European style, and the Stones came on with roaring and fireworks -wow!
I won't bother with the set list. It's not my main concern, I'm convinced I'll always get what I need when I'm at a Stones show. After the smashing start of Keith's Satisfaction riffs, I was picturing a lot of ungranted calls for satisfaction after all the rude assaults, Mick voicing new tradition. LSTNT was an invitation to do just that, but it seemed still a little reluctant then. The crowd response wasn't what it could have been. Lazy, or maybe just overwhelmed.
From that point, the show changed. They reduced speed, but gained a lot of depth in an incredible Ruby Tuesday (Ain't life unkind?). that was all the drive the crowd had needed, and the rest of the concert was one blurring energy wave. The Stones respond to any slight encouragement from the crowd, always giving more than they take. They still explode more power than the combined fireworks and effects, though those are needed in a stadium atmosphere.
When they came onto the centerstage, I could hardly believe I was standing so close to them. I cherished every moment, I still do. That was pure Stones magic, and a lot of calls and cheers from the crowd. The contact seems to be improving. At this instance I was wishing this could be it, a club gig with just the true fans around the small stage. Forget about those folks on the stadium seating, too fucking lazy to get up and have a good time. Their pose was spectator, saying 'I'M here, so entertain me now', and especially Mick working his ass off to do just that. What for? Without them, we wouldn't need the stadium trouble, it could be give and get, the band and a crowd really going for the music, from their hearts.
And it was over only too soon. I thought that was because of the folks on the Colosseum ring seating not having the screen then, but later I heard from friends who had to endure it up there that though they couldn't see a thing, the feel was better for them as well. All the technology stuff worked for the Stones, it made them big and it brings them to the people, but it also reduces the touch. Sometimes I wish they were just some small band, but then, they're so great, they have to be so great. yet it is what they originally are that makes them the stars they are.
After the B stage, they did a smashing SFTD and more hot rocks after that. It seemed as though the direct crowd contact had really powered them up as well. From where I was standing, just a short distance from the main stage, Mick didn't look any changed from old sixties shows. It's just his face that has a life story written in deep lines, but they add expression. Keith also looked really fit, saying 'It's good to be back - Let's face it, it's good to be anywhere.' (He seemed to have mixed up the towns!) he was cool. Charlie getting shy and uncomfortable during the introduction, crowd ovations making him fidget like a cute little boy. Ronny and the rest of the band grinning. Lisa ever so beauitful, ever so hot, but never outta style. She really flirted away with Mick - yes, it's a show thing, but they make it become real the way they do it.
The women in the crowd still going wild, but tough tall guys have made it a nasty habit to block the front rows, feeling really cool shouting 'Keith' or 'Charlie' - and blocking women's view! The guys they admire so much would never be that rude, and they'd much rather see some girls, I bet. Still jealous of Mick, guys? Ya'll never be as sexy, but you might pick up some of his charms. Well, the show had to end some time, and with only one encore it was way too short. Brown sugar and great fireworks, and a singing crowd. All thru the show folks kept on singing, especially SOM becoming a real Stones classic hit. Mick was doing his intros in German, when he got desperate he switched to his worst English, talking as fast and untelligible as he could. Though his German was just too perfect to be real, he doesn't have the typical British accent, rather a weird singsong making it sound like Stones stuff. Hard to understand, but quite a tease, and a remarkable stunt to do, considering German is not an easy language and he memorized quite a few phrases. Keith was just talking naturally, just being Keith. Need I say more?
The huge gold stage was lighting like an ancient jewel, spots making up purple gems. The web choice was again 'Under my thump'. Tell me, is it true or trick? Why would everybody always vote that song? Is there some kind of conspiracy going on (aimed at Jerry Hall ;))?
I'm just craving to rewind time and go back into the show, desparate enough to try for another. If only tickets weren't so expensive and hard to get, but I might just make it to one Amsterdam show, or maybe Gelsenkirchen. But I''m really dying for a club gig, the real thing. Pleez, pleez, you fingers out there, if anyone knows, pleez let me in!
The Dave Matthews Band was support band. They did their best but nobody really seemed to be interested. Everybody was waiting for the stones. At 21.45 they began. Keith entered the stage in his leopard coat and the crowd went nuts.
The sound of the first two songs (Satisfaction, Let`s spend the night together) seemed a bit to dark but after that it was just perfect. Mick did his usual running from the left end of the stage to the right and vice versa and animated the audience to sing and clap their hands. As if that was necessary!!
Mick asked the audience to sing Miss you so loud that it should be heard in Cologne and so we did! On the B-stage they played Little Queenie, Litte Red Rooster and Like a Rolling Stone. Marvellous. Bad thing: We couldn`t see the B-stage because of one the the lighting tubes in front of us. You can`t always get what you want!! As the sky darkened (it still was 25C) the fabulous light show emerged more and more.
Start me up started really slow. Keith made a 10 second pause between each riff at the beginning, but that was a nice change because now everybody couldn`t wait for the song to start. Encore was as always Brown sugar in a 10-minute version. I think I will go to the Gelsenkirchen concert on 27th of July.
It's Only Rock'n Roll 1998 -
© The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe