It's Only Rock'n Roll
Wide Mouth Mason opened. They have a big fan in Ron's daughter Leah Wood. She watched the entire set and was very supportive of the band. It seemed like the crowd was receptive too.
The Stones start off the show with four powerful rockers. The whole show is so good that it's hard to say one song is better than another. Sweet Virginia, Paint It Black and Out Of Control seemed to stand out tonight.
During It's Only Rock 'n' Roll, Bernard, Lisa and Darryl have a little dance going on. They're obviously having fun. Actually, we were close enough tonight to say that we could see constant interaction among everyone on stage, and it looks like everyone is having a great time.
This tour is very strong, and it's a very exciting show to watch. Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ron just ooze confidence and it results in an amazing show.
The set list:
This was the first time I've heard the band in an arena setting, so it was neat-o to hear Respectable and the other numbers they added, especially Some Girls, which is brilliant even when the band deliver a less than perfect rendition.
Along those lines, it seemed to me the band were somewhat sluggish from a physical standpoint. Keith, Mick and especially Ronnie did not move around much more than they had to. Moreover Keith's seemed quite morose, especially early on.
That said, You Got the Silver was phenomenal despite - or perhaps because of - its sloppiness. Ditto Before They Make Me Run.
The B-stage set came off a little funny. Keith and Ronnie stood right next to their amps until the breakdown on Midnight Rambler; I'm guessing their monitors were out and they could't hear themselves. Consequently When the Whip Comes Down and Route 66 were a little bit wayward. Midnight Rambler did come off well though, probably cos of its more improvisational nature.
The band did a commendable job appearing interested in the last segment, from Tumbling Dice through Brown Sugar. It was less sloppy and more concise than I'm accustomed to in the stadium setting.
Lots of people got up to leave before the encore. If I'd have known they were going to leave I would have traded seats with them; mine were a lot closer to the exits to be sure!
Not the best Rolling Stones show I've ever seen, but easily worth the price of the biology class I had to drop to be able to afford the ticket.
After many grips about the "hollow" sound and the hugeness of the Silverdome, (where the Stones usually perform) the many Stones fans, from far and near, were treated to a super and intimate concert delivered by the GREATEST BAND EVER... The ROLLING STONES!
Keith came out on stage and the night took off with Jumping Jack Flash! The near capacity crowd took to its feet and most of us stayed on our feet the remainder of the night!
Keith's riffs were sharp and clear as usual, Mick was having a great time keeping the show moving along at a record pace! Ronnie was his usually good spirit self, clowning around and Charlie's drums were the best! Charlie was cutting up and dancing over to the B-stage as well as the rest of the Stones were. The whole band was into a fun night which delighted all of the audience.
The only change-out song from the previous show was, "When The Whip Comes Down." Here is to a great show STONES! Thank Ya very much!
At around 9:15pm the lights went down and that somewhat hokey, yet enjoyable video played. This really got the crowd pumped. Before long, Keith was out ripping into the first chords of "Jumping Jack Flash". This version was tight ala '69 tour and it lacked that long drawn out ending from the Babylon shows. "Live With Me" and "Respectable" were very similar to the versions heard on "No Security". "You Got Me Rocking" was also well recieved, yet the crowd was still warming up. "Honky Tonk Women" finally got the crowd really into it. By this time the sound was near pefect in my opinion.
The volume had been lowered since "JJ Flash" to a less peircing roar. Keith & Chuck did the stupid bit for the 1,000,000th time to a loud cheer from the crowd. (You know the one I'm talking about) "Memory Motel" was up next as Mick said "we're gonna slow it down a little." The crowd enjoyed the version, especially Keith's vocal parts. Up next was "Sweet Virginia" which was very popular with the crowd. It was obvious that many had never heard it before, yet they liked it. "Some Girls" definitely rocked even if "some people" had never heard it before.
"Paint It Black" brought the crowd right back into it. The introductions were routine yet local dude Tim Ries got an especially big applause. Kieth's set was up next and the slide was pulled out for "You Got The Silver" which, again, left some wondering. They were expecting two versions of "Happy" I guess. I really loved this song. Very laid back and very relaxed. Most had heard "Before They Make Me Run" and I also really liked the version. Keith's vocals really don't sound that bad. I mean, on the CD they can do amazing things to make him sound decent. But I was surprised how good he sounded.
Those who had went out for beer returned to Ron's wah-wah and Mick shooting out of the floor like a cannon for "Out Of Control". Awesome version, however I would have enjoyed some super jamming at the end, but it was relatively short. Mick went crazy, but not as crazy as I've seen him go on "Out Of Control". Towards the end security started beefing up inside the runway on my left. I also was becoming crushed by the massive amount of people who were trying to get in good handshake positions. Stones personell, roadies, and bodyguards all headed for the b-stage followed by the band itself. I managed to shake Keith's hand but was soon crushed by psycho women trying to get at Mick.
I was about 20 rows from the b-stage, so I had a decent view. I enjoyed "Route 66" and so did the crowd, even though they weren't expecting it. "When The Whip Comes Down" was also strong, but it's not one of my favorites. "Midnight Rambler" was simply awesome! I don't think you really lived until you've heard Mick sing "Well you've heard about the Boston...........umf!" This really brought the crowd at the end of the arena into the show. More bone crushing on the way back to the main stage, but It was fun!
The intensity just started soaring as the greatest hits set went into full gear. Bang! Bang! Bang! and it was over! The crowd got really wild for the first time in the show "Start Me Up", "Brown Sugar", and finally "Sympathy For The Devil" ultimately blew the roof off. Mick was his usual self the whole night. Extremely energetic! He was posing, dancing, prancing, jumping, grinding and bumbing all over the place. I find it amazing how a man of 50+ yrs old can still find that much energy and enthusiam to put on a show like that after 35 years of touring. Mick is simply the ultimate performer. He has a special gift to truly entrance his audience. The rest of the group, too seems to be dodging the clock.
Keith is as feirce as ever and Charlie is consistently perfect every night. And Ronnie, well Ronnie is Ronnie. Other impressions of the show: The crowd seemed very slow at revving up. The sound was really awesome. Why do the Stones keep shortening the length of their shows? Why do they have to charge $300.00 for tickets when all of them are worth 100million+? Just some things I thought about as I stepped out into the frosty Detroit night with my setlist from a roadie in hand. Overall my impression was that it was one best concerts of my life (I'm only 18). Was it worth the $300? Probably not. Would I do it again in heartbeat? Yes. They certainly are the most important popular music act in history (next to the Beatles)and even though they might not be the best band around anymore, they still put on the best show on earth. I shot a roll of film which didn't turn out due to the Stones lighting gear fooling my camera, but the great memories from this concert will "not fade away".
Up to this point they seemed to be building a solid momentum with each song and were just about to peak when suddenly it was time for introductions. Keith's songs followed, then a quick run to the B-stage, and the final stretch and all too soon it was over. It seemed very rushed to me with one song ending and another beginning right away.
Overall the sound was not up to my expectations, I was behind and to the left of the stage but I had heard that when the Palace was built just a little over a decade ago, 1million$ went into a specialized ceiling for Rock music acoustics but there was little evidence of this, to my ears anyway. Keith's solo during Sympathy was almost inaudible.
I had Behind-the-stage seats and I must say I was quite surprised to find how close I was and with the sparse set and open stage you get a close-up view of everything going on, really nice seats actually. I wasn't able to see the screen because I was almost directly below it but I had a bird's eye view of everything else. Some quick observations from behind-the-stage:
- Lisa and Bernard seem to be having the most fun. They dance and laugh together and seem to really enjoy what they are doing.
- Bobby Keyes looks really old and out of shape, plays like a true professional though.
- What exactly does Blondie do? Sometimes he sings, sometimes he plays, mostly he kind of shakes around and stares into space.
- The cold shoulder treatment Keith and Ronnie were giving Mick that was noticed in Milwaukee last Friday seems to have continued in Detroit. Whenever Mick went back to jam with or make eye contact both Ron and Keith would just move away or turn their backs. It wasn't until Out Of Control that Keith even acknowledged Mick by creeping up behind him with his guitar and flashed a big grin as he brushed past him and not again until the closing bow.
- Charlie is so solid it's unbelievable, he's a drumming machine. Just one little flub on the B-stage at the beginning of Whip but nothing else.
- Mick sounds good and looks good.
- Keith a true legend, bending behind his guitars driving each song forward. Silver was a real treat to hear live.
- Ron got a big round of applause when introduced but it seems Mick waits before moving on to Charlie, maybe trying to combat some of the criticism Ron got on last year's BTB tour?
- Daryl Jones is the perfect Stones bassist at this point an no one could take his place, except maybe Bill.
Mick, Charlie, Keith and Ron - Thankyou for another tour, please come again soon.
Tonight Mick was better than ever, just like always. Kieth and and Ronnie were just as goog. And Charlie, still the best drummer never misswing a beat. This is why they are still and will always be the world's greatest rock'n roll band!!
The sound was clear from the start where we were at....just above the sound equipment. while they were a little less clear at parts (keith) than in milwaukee three nights earlier, there seemed to be more energy and movement by the band, possibly because of the good crowd reaction. they were solid from the start, and had everyone in their palms by htw. 'sweet virginia' and 'paint it black' were right on. this has to be keith's best set on the last few tours. 'silver' is right there with 'the worst' in his more recent performances. i enjoyed the energy of 'out of control' again, but missed 'saint of me'.....hopefully in chicago. again, 'rambler' was outstanding. then the 'hits' barage brought the place up another level as they returned to the large stage.
'sympathy' was a great way to finish (i have always felt a letdown in the past when that song was done, wondering if that would be the last time i would hear it live.). we could 'whoo, whoo' all the way home, as we drove for the next seven hours through the night, so glad that we have a couple more in chi to share with family and friends. mix it up for us in the two shows, boys...
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.
It's Only Rock'n Roll 1999 -
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