It's Only Rock'n Roll
There were no weak points at all on this show. Just pure raw rock'n'roll, the kind of show the Stones do when the crowd please them properly. And the crowd was just great. Indeed they were sitting down on "Monlight Mile", but hey, that's a song to absorb, a slow and gentle song, so it was just perfect to have a 5 minutes break listening to the Mile...
Mick was perfect. He came on stage dressed up in a pink shirt, matching a red T-shirt. He just kept running, dancing, and giving all through the show, like this was his last one ever. When he was out on the right wing for Honky Tonk Women, someone threw a red rose to him. Then he twisted the top flower off the rose, stuffed it in his pants, and kept singing. Like saying thanks for the rose in his own special way.
Keith has been oustanding for both of these nights in Washington D.C. Almost like Mick, he has been up and down the stage, doing splits, smiling, playing, acting like a teenager, haven't seen Keith that energic for a long time!
Ronnie, well he just did his job, playing some great guitar, no fooling around this time, except during the band presentation, where he is having his great time up front of the stage. But for the rest of the show, he was that important wheel in the system that made it all so good.
Charlie, well, he was just a big smile all through the show. I made my way from my perfect AA seat on the floor to the small stage, and I noticed Charlie was giving smiles away to each and every one of us close by. And he was so into it, he forgot to throw his drumstick properly. It fell down inside the B-stage barriers, and Keith picket it up, then threw it to the out into the crowd.
Mick introduced "Some Girls" saying "This is a true story...". I guess he had a message to tell. This was just another show I am so happy to have attended, not one of many, but one of the best.
Start Time 9:11 End Time 11:07
The set list:
Midnight Rambler: Outstanding, especially on the small stage. I was about 10 rows from the stage for this one, first time I haven't been somewhere in the upper decks of a stadium for the Stones. Mick's harmonica was smokin, Keith and Ron jammed loud and hard. for that slinky, bouncy menacing sound, especially after the slow part in the middle, when the turn up the speed again. Excellent.
Paint it Black: dueling Indianesque guitar riffs, a great arrangement. Saint of Me was another outstanding rocker--now competing with Out of Control for best of the new songs. Great live rendition. Out of Control: perfect, as usual. Best new song since "Heartbreaker" in '73 (IMHO).
The first suprise was a hard driving "all down the line " which got the motor running yea. Moonlight mile was as Bill German would say a" Chestnut unwrapped" the rest of the set was a blend of chops that wont be forgotten especially in "some girls". Then the boys unleashed a "paint it black" that was pounding thanks too the human metronome Mr. watts.
Keith then did a wonderful r&b "Thief in the night" almost mesmerizing. Just when you thought it could not get better "you don't have too mean it" started pulsing. OLE Keith boy really was enjoying himself. Now I know what Blondie Chaplin does he really plays some instruments.
After Keith's set "out of control" was out of control. Even after seeing the boys rip the song 9 times it still is all about jamming with the group just lighting it up. Jagger on harp Ron and Keith "weaving" back and forth while Darryl laid down a bass line so tight Lisa fisher would have a tough time getting in.
I was right in the middle on the floor. When they started moving to the little stage so did I. I was just about 10 feet to the right front when they went in route 66. The sound was a little week at first but soon was corrected and sounded fabulous. The real jewel was "just my imagination" which sounded as fresh as I ve ever heard, more "weaving" w/Mick on guitar as well. Then came Midnight Rambler which stared at 9:25 and finished at 9:35, awesome! Richards was the master of the blues. Ron was really loose as you could tell by his jovial banter w/the rest ao the band.As the momentum picked up the song became even tighter. As a long time stones fan (this was my 15th show since 81) I almost had a tear in my eye when it finished.
Then they started the final run. Quite frankly I thought it would be tough too kept going . but happily I could not have been more wrong. They kept it going. "Tumbling Dice" sounded like a gospel song. "It's only R&R" not one of my favorites was delivered as well as i've ever seen. "Start me up" was done W/ precision that was lacking Sunday night and of corse "Brown sugar" was as good as it gets. The encore was "sympathy for the devil". After hearing this song a million times I'm still convinced you can't live correctly w/ out hearing sympathy at least once a day!
Anybody who was lucky enough to see that show has too have a $#!!T eating grin on there face today! If you can see them go. If any of the boys are reading this I want too say thanks, really; on to the next one!
This show was not even close to sold out so at the last minute the wife and I decide to get a baby sitter and head down to the show to score an easy ticket. Our logic was that this show was the second of two and wasn't sold out, therefore, tickets below face value should be everywhere. Were we ever surprised. As soon as we came out of the train platform we saw several people looking for tickets. That was surprising. We went to the box office only to find out that all the $50 seats were sold out but that there were plenty of $150 and $300 seats available. The group of 40 or so people gathered outside MCI Arena were all looking for $50 tickets. In fact, a $50 dollar ticket was going for more than $50, while a $150 ticket was probably worth about the same as a $50 ticket, a little more than $50.
The band came on a little after 9:10 pm and that was pretty much it. I didn't see anybody rush to box office to get $150 tickets. In fact, with China Town a block away, we followed the turn-aways into China Town for a great meal. Cost of the whole night including great meal, baby sitter and train ride - $70.
Bottom line.... paying $150 bucks per seat to see any band is ridiculous. Paying $300 per seat is a crime. The Stones could have made some money by selling the $150 tickets for $50 to the 40 or so working class stiffs that were looking for $50 seats and couldn't afford the big buck tickets. Instead, the restaurants in China Town made out. I guess the profits from selling seven $300 tickets ($2100) outweighs the income generated by selling 40 people a $50 ticket ($2000).
The modus operandi of Washington D.C. culture can be most appropriately described by the phrase "fuck the poor!". Last night was no exception. God Bless America. I hope this doesn't sound bitter as I'm not bitter. In fact, I saved $230 bucks on the night so I'm pretty pleased. But be forewarned... if you don't buy $50 seats ahead of time, you may be quite surprised to find out they DONT exist at the show. If you're a high roller, go to the show... there are plenty of $150 and $300 seats available from the box office.
I couldn't wait to get over to the MCI tonight! The "Classic Rock" Radio station in the Wasington area, said that the attendee's would be in for some "Surprises" and we were!
At the top of the show I knew we were all in for another fantastic night with the Stones! The Stones kicked butt with Jumpin Jack Flash, then we were on another ride for our lives! The energy that ran thru last nights performance was there again, all through the show! Both shows at the MCI were so good, that it is hard to tell which one topped the other! No down time at all! Not at all!
Our first "Surprise" came in with the song, "ALL DOWN THE LINE"! I loved it, everyone did! Originally recorded in 1969, this song was added to the '72' Exile album. We also are treated to "Tumbling Dice" each night from EXILE, and sometimes we get "Sweet Virginia." (Would like to hear "Loving Cup," "Happy," "Torn and Frayed," from there and of course "LIS"/VL.) There are so many we all want to hear, I know it's hard to do! But we can hope! But this first surprise was really nice. A great choice guys!
The other big surprise, was Keith's set! He started with "Thief in The Night," so I figured after last nights set being, "YGTS," and BTMMR," he would go and sing "BTMMR" with "TITN," like he usually does together. I never expected to hear Keith say, "A little Reggae now," "You Don't Have To Mean it." It's my favorite of his from the B2B album. It was great too! Thank yeeeewwwwww! Thank ya kindly man!
Other change outs were "Respectable" and "Moonlight Mile." Everyone had a great time with these. The Stones were having a grand 'ol' time as well! The B-satge got "Just my Imagination." "Midnight Rambler," was really excellent last night, I love this number all bathed in Red! Down and dirty!
"Paint It Black" also was received well, very well. "Saint Of Me," was a crowd pleaser!
I was really close to the stage again and everything was super! The night was purrfect... (not over done at all). At the end of the show even the people who had sat down throughout most of the show, were standing!
Again, the focus was on the Stones and nothing else. Keep it up guys!
A great poet once said, "Miles To Go Before I Sleep..." (RF)
No..."Sleep Tonight," I got out my EXILE album!
Best ever Stones, Never, Never, Never Stop! Love the Stones!
"Moonlight Mile" was beautiful, although somewhat flawed. I think a different mix of the instruments-- bringing up the keyboards, adding an acoustic guitar-- could have made it a lot better. It didn't stop me from being thrilled to death to hear it, and I thought Mick's vocals were superb. This is exactly the kind of thing we hoped they would do, taking some chances. One of the coolest moments of the show. The review the Washington post did of Sunday's show said they played the rarely-performed song "Memory Mile". I was very glad that they played "Moonlight Motel" on Monday.
After Keith's intro & unintelligible remarks, he backed away from the mike and bent over, shaking his head...he looked around behind him. He looked really dazed, although maybe something was going on onstage that I couldn't see. Anyone else notice this? Despite this unsteadiness (something which never slows Keith down anyway), the Riff's sets were great both nights. Leah Wood sang on both of Monday's songs - why does she only sing on Keith's stuff? She's actually pretty good.
The whole B-stage set was just so great it was ridiculous. Our seats were more directly in front of the 2nd stage speakers, and we could hear much better than we could the first night. Route 66 was loose & juiced, it rocked AND rolled... Just My Imagination was equally great. It built up to a real stampede. And what can I say about Midnight Rambler? I was nearly blacking out because I kept forgetting to breathe. The interaction, not only between Keith & Charlie, but between all of them, was incredible.
For ME, the greatest single moment may have been the flourish Charlie plays at the end of "Saint Of Me". Anyone else notice this? It was everything that's great about him boiled down to its essence. Can't describe it but it blew me away both nights.
Well, actually the greatest single moment came right after Mick said "Weeeeeel, ya heard about de Boston..."
Our day began in the city of Philadelphia, the city of brotherly and sisterly love. The trek to Washington, D.C. began in the early afternoon. The drive was awesome. The anticipation for the show was unreal. We knew what awaited us. We arrived in Washington, D.C. shortly after 3 o'clock and parked at the Carlton Hotel, the hotel that was the temporary home of the Rolling Stones. It was time for a quick tour of the city and then on to dinner.
The MCI Center would now become the center of our universe. Arriving early and very fired up for the show, we could feel the excitement in the corridors of the arena. There was a buzz in the air. The lights were turned off. It was The Corrs! They did a very respectable job of warming up the crowd. They were warmly received. Now the anticipation was growing. Already having seen the Rolling Stones live seven previous times, I still was overcome with a sense of excitement that I cannot describe.
NO SECURITY! Lights Down! NO SECURITY! The video screen is now entertaining the crowd. The Rolling Stones in an unbelievable film. The walk through the tunnel gets everyone pumped. NO SECURITY! The show begins. NO SECURITY! It is Jumpin' Jack Flash! The crowd is into it as the Stones descend upon the MCI center stage. The song really jammed and was the Stones at their best. There were no members of the back-up band. It was just "Love You Live" Rolling Stones. Respectable followed and had us on our feet dancin'. It was a very powerful version. I waited since MSG '98 to hear this song again. This was followed by a killer version of All Down The Line. Once again a flashback to MSG '99. The Stones were playing with an intensity that had the immersed itself into the 20,000 members of the audience. You Got Me Rocking was the next rocker. NO SECURITY! Honky Tonk Women was the next part of the musical menu. It was truly delicious. It had a very bluesy feel and saw the band really enjoying themselves. Moonlight Mile was next. We really enjoyed this tune, but I felt like the Stones lost some of the intensity here. I would prefer Ruby Tuesday in this spot. Saint of Me was next and really turned the MCI Center into a religious revival. I honestly felt like I was part of a Southern Baptist Gospel Choir. Some Girls was just a delightful treat. Then it was on to the rockin' and devilish Paint It Black. Now NO SECURITY '99 was getting real serious. The beat of this song was strong. It had my heart pounding. The introductions were hilarious. I love it when Keith bows to Charlie in the "not worthy" fashion. It is a riot.
Now it was on to Keith. He rocked with two of his selections from Babylon. He belted out Thief In The Night and You Don't Have To Mean It. Keith is just a pleasure to watch. Keith is pure fun!
Now it was time to get Out of Control. This song just kicks ass live. It has a certain divine spirit to it. Mick is just crazy during this song. This is when I wish I could be Mick.
Then it was on to the small stage. WOW!!! NO SECURITY! This party began with a killer version of Route 66. The Stones gave the MCI Center what they wanted. It was a bigtime atmosphere with the feeling of a small club. The second small stage song was Just My Imagination. Mick jammed on his guitar on this one. I have to say that they really did honor to the Some Girls selections. The last track was an absolutely killer version of Midnight Rambler. Need I say more. An amazing jam session on the small stage.
Now it was back to the main stage. Tumbling Dice was the beginning of the NO SECURITY finale. This song just gets me going each time my boys play it. Ronnie really seemed to enjoy himself during this song. It's Only Rock'n Roll was next on the set list. Then came Start Me Up. This was the best live version of this song that I have heard in the eight times that I have seen the Stones. The power from the band was incredible. This just blew me away. Brown Sugar was the final song song before the encore. The band at this point was so tight that they just were jamming away.
Sympathy for the Devil was a fabulous choice for the encore. It had us dancing in our seats. The Rolling Stones simply rocked D.C. on this Monday night.
The show was now over. The party was not. As we headed out of the MCI Center this night, we carried the party into the D.C. Metro system with thousands of fans. We had our own jam session on the train.
The drive back to Philly saw us pumped up because of the show. As we arrived back in the city of Philadelphia, we soon realized that we ( two high school educators ) would be attempting to educate our students in less than four hours. We both accomplished our task on no sleep. Why? The Rolling Stones had us pumped up and psyched out of our minds. NO SECURITY! Rocks! Rocks! Rocks! NO SECURITY! That was the lesson of the day at our high school. Could there really be a better lesson?
Now Philadelphia awaits!!! NO SECURITY! NO SECURITY! NO SECURITY!
God bless us all!!! NO SECURITY! NO SECURITY! NO SECURITY!
Thanks to Olaf Reuthebuch and each and every one of you for supplying links to online newspapers, and reviews, of course!
Read all about the "No Security" and "Bridges To Babylon" tours of 1999 in the It's Only Rock'n Roll magazines. New issue IORR 35 out Jan 20, 1999, and the complete No Security guide in IORR 36 is out April 23, 1999.
It's Only Rock'n Roll 1999 -
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