It's Only Rock'n Roll
The Crannberies (warmup) : 7:10pm - 7:55pm The Rolling Stones : 8:43pm - 10:50pm
PS. The ticket said Cranberries 8pm and Stones 9:30pm, but the curfew of 11pm changed all of that...
The show started up pretty standard. The crowd was singing and dancing, but nothing spectacular., San Siro Stadium was pretty packed. A stadium that takes may be 80,000 people during football games had may be 65,000 - 70,000 people inside. It was packed on the floor, and most of the sections seated were sold out too.
The change came during Don't Stop. Everybody knew the song, and everybody was singing along. Then Miss You, a short version of only 5-6 minutes. The crowd loved it. Lots of O-o-o-oh all over the stadium. Then it was time for a little rewind back to the Babylon tour. We got Out Of Control, for the first time on this tour. But the Italians missed out in 1998, so that was ok. Great version.
Angie was played duringt the twilight. The sun had not gone down yet, but it was pretty close. Everybody was singing "Angie", and when you have 60,000+ in a stadium singing Angie, it is just great. Thousands lit their lighters, and lots and lots flashed their cameras, making it all a sort of candle light song. Very sweet mood, and everybody loved it. And many kisses and love stories were shared during that song.
Tumbling Dice finished the first part of the show. Then the introductions. Keith got such a great ovation. You have to go to South America to get something similar. Everybody was singing. Keith was breathless. He stood just right there up front smiling for a long while. Then finally he said: "It's a miracle! I missed you last time!" Then he said he had a show to do, on with the show, and we got "Thru and Thru". Then Happy.
By the time "Sympathy For The Devil" was on it was getting pretty dark. All the visuals worked great, and the crowd loved it. Then time for the B-stage.
The packed front section shifted towards the small stage as the band moved down there. The first two songs were popular, but did not make it that hot down there. It seemed like the crowd was either on or off. It wasn't until "Like A Rolling Stone" everybody was on again. Lots of singing, dancing, screaming and shouting. A real great mood, and the B-stage worked perfectly.
Then the big hits as the finale. Satisfaction was the one that made the biggest success, but by then I think they could have played any songs and had great success. It had been +35 degrees C hot during the day, and it felt like that still as it was now completely dark. By the time the Stones had left the stage, more than 60,000 fans were singing all over the stadium. As the final bow was over, I rushed to catch the underground, but I am sure there are many fans out there at San Siro still, singing, waiting for the Stones to come back. Club shows may be special, but nothing can beat a stadium with a fantastic crowd like tonight!
PS. Mick did a lot of talking in Italian. As I love Italy myself, it all sounded great, and by the reactions of the crowd, they all understod it as well. His Italian accent was perfect!
I think that the show was fantastic. Nobody can be better than the Stones, even if
they are 60 years old. I arrived in S.Siro from Venice at 3 p.m. and it was too hot.
The gateway opened at 5.20 p.m. and to enter it was difficult and very long. But at
the end I was in first line, just under the Stones (I couldn't see Charlie Watts).
The Cranberries were on time, and they are a great band. Then, the Stones. They arrived at 8.45 p.m. and the first song was a Brown Sugar. The crowd started immediately to sing. Then Start Me Up (great) and You got me Rocking, and the atmosphere was the greatest. Don't Stop was well known by the crowd. Miss You showed like Mick's voice is still fantastic and sharp, although the age. In Out of Control Mick was a fool: he run all over the side! He is always young! Then Mick announced, in a good Italian, the calm: and here Angie, really exciting, and the incredible You can't always get what you want (and I wanted Wild Horses too...).
A good version of Tumbling Dice and then the introductions. Then Keith, that laughed from the start to the end, sang Thru and Thru and his classic song, Happy. After that, the best moment of the show: an incredible Sympathy for the Devil. The big screen showed flames and Jagger sang very very good. A great song. In the B-side I saw not much: I was in the last line! It's Only Rock & Roll, good as ever, Mannish Boy, Muddy Waters' song, and the classic Dylanian Like a Rolling Stone.
Then return to the A-side and here Gimme Shelter (with the great chorister Liza) and Honky Tonk Women (great the big screen with a funny cartoon). Street Fighting Man was probably the moment "not so much" of the evening. But here Satisfaction, with special effects and the encore, the eternal Jumpin' Jack Flash. An unforgettable show.
What else can one say? To be honest, my expectations for the show were very low. Despite the fantastic reviews, I feel as if there was always something missing in the previous shows I've seen on this Licks tour (tired crowd in NY, Keith in Munich etc.). How could "sleepy Milano town" make a difference? Well it did!
As soon as I walked into the stadium I knew something special was about to happen. The energy coming from the wall of people before the show was absolutely incredible, and when Keith hammered the opening riff of BS San Siro simply exploded!
What followed was 2 hours of the most devastating show by the greatest rock and roll band in the world and 60.000 wild back up singers! Any discussion on the set list would be useless: the truth is that yesterday the Stones could have played anything, even "o mia bela madunina", and still rock like nobody can!
One final notation for all of you who seem to be concerned about Keith's current playing: no need to worry he was A B S O L U T E L Y SUPERB (Keith's "crescendo" at the end JJF was worth alone the price of the ticket) I got go and buy some Alka Seltzer now ...
It's a great impression seeing this stadium sold out not for AC Milan but
for the Stones, in this hot summer night. The Stones hit the stage a few
minutes past 08:30 delivering a thunderous version of Brown Sugar with the
crowd ready to sing and clap hands along with Mick; then, again open G and
we had Start Me Up followed by the infamous You Got Me Rocking, a song I
wouldn't like to be played again but ... "Buonasera Milano" Mick greeted the
audience with perfect pronunciation ... Don't Stop, with Mick on guitar, is
much better played live than in studio, with nice camera views from Ron's
Stratocaster peghead: a good version, longer and tougher. Then Miss You,
with Darryl's bass lines on the spot, funky / disco to get stoned all nite
long with the crowd getting back to Mick's falsetto, absolutely astounding.
I wasn't expecting them to perform Out of Control, I think is a tour debut, wonderfully played by everyone, so far away from what I've seen during B2B and NS: great, with Ron and Keith interchanging fills and solos . Acoustic guitars for both and Keith strummed the first chord of Angie, definitively a crowd pleaser, well sung and played. The bone introduced YCAGWYW, a great performance by the whole band, with a swingin'end followed by Tumblin'Dice, a song they could play even sleeping ...
Band intro with ovations for everybody then Keith' set, Thru and Thru, soulful and sweet with Happy to follow. Congas and maracas kicked off Sympathy, Keith on the spot delivering his nervous solos as usual. Mick was the first, followed by Chuck, Charlie, Ron and Keith, to get the b-stage: a berry-styled intro by Keith for It's Only Rock'n'Roll , great choruses by both the band and the crowd and, yeah, then it came Mannish Boy, highlight of the nite ,with Ronnie playing a wonderful Dan Armstrong Lucite. B-stage set ended with Like A Rolling Stone, a song I cannot stand no more ...sorry! High fives on the way back to the main stage while Lisa became to moan the melody lines of Gimme Shelter, her song !!!
Gorgeous Keith hit his Tele to give us Honky Tonk Woman, with cartoons on the video screen, with a joyous impact on the enthusiastic crowd; just a breath then Ron embraced a marvellous sitar shaped Danelectro for a powerful rendition of Street Fightin'Man ... what a song !!!
A tremendous Satisfaction earthquaked San Siro, red confetti all over the field, vigorously played and sung by everybody, with Keith playing his new baby, a metallic Telecaster with purple neck and peghead, a gift from ZZ Top guitar maker. "Good night" but we all knew it wasn't over. A short break before ending with Jumpin'Jack Flash, played with the devil inside ... fireworks and lights on. As you can guess a very good show, with a weird setlist, a great audience and the Greatest Rock'n'Roll Band in the World !!! Ciao a tutti
Marco aka colditalianpizza
The last 2 tour I'd got to drive in Switzerland , otherwise... no Stones. (but, why they don't tour in the Chocolat country this time?) In 1998 Jagger miss the concert in Milano, this time I crossed my finger, I was afraid they didn't again the concert !!! I am a fan of the Rolling since "Some Girls" (I am 37 years old, now) , I bought every record, single, VHS, DVD of my favourite group THEY HAVE A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL !!!
The concert was great, finally, they are still VERY POWERFUL and I thanx again God for the light in the eyes of Keith the human reef. Now I have 2 wishes: 1) to find the tickets for Marseille (france) 2) they will finallly open the archives and sell some boxes because it's A SHAME we haven't a real concert in DVD or CD (like Grateful Dead or Phish or....). THE ROLLING STONES ARE THE BEST BAND IN THE WORLD (thank you Keith !)
Gates were opened only about 17:00. instead of 16:00 as stated. The fans that have been waiting under a “summer sun” for hours rumoured about the delay, but only for a while: just the time to listen to the music coming from the stadium. The Rolling Stones were playing the sound check! So we had the chance to discover in advance the songs that we would hear later and that weren’t put on the lists appeared on the web and on the newspapers: Out of Control, Miss You, Angie and Like a Rolling Stone. After these hot hours at last we came into the stadium and ran to get a nice place in the front row, on the right, Keith’s side.
Cranberries started at 19:45 and played until 20:10, a nice show; Irish-heart Dolores O’Riordan had a perfect control of the stage just like a veteran rock star.
At 20:40, when the sun was not down yet, the Rolling Stones jumped into the stage playing Brown Sugar, exciting all the people. Keith was smiling and Mick seemed particularly brilliant, wearing black glasses. All the fans began to sing and jump and dance. Start Me Up, You Got Me Rocking and Don’t Stop followed the first song in this burning part of the show. All the people sang the refrain of Don’t Stop, just like the oldest songs; it can be considered already a “classic”.
The Stones played Miss You and Angie probably because they are the best known songs for Italian public. Angie is the Stones most ever sold single in Italy; Mick introduced the song in perfect Italian saying “ora ci calmiamo un poco”. Among these two songs the very big surprise of the evening, Out Of Control, was played (for the very first time in Licks Tour 2002-2003!) Great work on harp by Mick.
During the “band introductions” Keith was impressed by the standing ovation dedicated to him from more than 60.000 enthusiastic fans. He appeared a little touched under his wrinkled face and he hesitated a bit before getting the guitar for his set. He proposed Thru and Thru and then an exciting version of Happy, with Ronnie sitting (and smoking) on slide.
Classic songs were played on the B-stage; during the performance there was an impressive view of the stadium when all the lights were lit and San Siro appeared completely full. Fantastic!
While the boys were coming back to the main stage, Lisa Fisher was already beginning to sing Gimme Shelter, introducing the song; Keith’s guitar and Mick & Lisa duet made it perfect. Lisa had her ovation too, not only for her voice! She looked very sensual but in the meantime full of sense of humour; she is another piece of Stone.
The final part of the concert gave us further unforgettable emotions.
Honky Tonk Women had great guitars and Chuck Levell played the piano at his best. Lisa left her usual place and came near Darryl and Bobby singing and joking, while Mick and Keith burnt the crowd.
Street Fighting Man was, according to us, the highlight of the show; this song has the same strength after 34 years! The guitar work was hard and heavy and in the final part of this song Mick, Keith, Ronnie and Darryl advanced close together to the edge of the stage, just as they were “marching and charging” … Unbelievable!
The last song was the hymn Satisfaction; Mick was wearing a red t-shirt, Keith showed an argent and fuchsia guitar. People became crazy when thousands of red petals were shot in the air!
The encore was the classic riff of Jumping Jack Flash.
This was not only a show, this was a great piece of the History of rock. And nobody could think that this performance has been “the last time” of he Stones in Italy, thanks to their brightness in this hot Milan night.
A last consideration: Milano has had finally its Stones show, after 23 years of waiting and a very long wrong tradition. In 1970 the concert at Palalido (only for 6.000, with request for 20.000) finished in riots with police charge. In 1998 the announced show was cancelled due to Mick Jagger’s health problems! At last in 2003 Milano has had the best show never seen!!!
Thanks again, boys, from us, three long time fans who have had the luck to see the show, just in front of the stage, at only two meters from the myth!
Then it come Mr.Lucifer in person that sing "Sympathy for the Devil" and all the stage is hot red. In the introduction all the people was for Keith. And he play "Thru And Thru" but I prefer "Thief In The Night". When they go to B.Stage i see they very very well and the three songs are fantastic with a fantastic version of "Like a Rolling Stone. Then one of my preferite song "Gimme Shelter" with a very very sexy Lisa Fisher and "Honky Tonk Women" with manga cartoon and "Satisfaction" end the concert. Then the last song is "Jumping Jack Flash". I think that was a fantastic show but cause i play the guitar i can't hear very well the two guitars, the level is low. But it's all right. I hope to see the Stones again in my life cause they are ALL MY LIFE.
The band (all of them) was energetic as steel and seemed to enjoy what they where doing (you don't cheat the big screens). Definitely not a sloppy performance, worth the (hefty as usual) price at 59 euros for my faraway place, albeit a little short (2 hrs 10 min = 20 songs x 6 min. + introductions).
A single review on an Italian newspaper described the show as old and predictable (it could have happened anytime in the last 30 years, it said) and without soul, as compared to other musicians such as Bruce Springsteen.
Well, a Stone concert has to be a Stone concert. You simply don’t go there to be puzzled and realize after three minutes that you’re listening to Mr. Tambourine Man - rearranged (it happened to most of the audience at a Bob Dylan show).
Yes, they were celebrating themselves a little, but, after all, the Opera fans still crowd theatres after Rigoletto or Aida. If you want to listen to a live performance of XX century classic rock music, what is best of the Stones themselves playing some of their best hits? They won’t be able to do it, that long, this way, and then we’ll be sadly alone with our cd players or summer cover-bands.
So I have seen them live several times in my life. The first time was in Genova in 1967, with Brian Jones (at the Palasport Arena: with an horrendous acoustics). I have seen them again in 1982, when they played in Turin in the afternoon (just the day that Italy in the evening won the football World Championship) and that “son of a bitch” of Mick Jagger in the middle of the show told to the audience “So che vincerete questa sera: 3 a 1”, I mean he anticipated the right score of the match. Then I’ve seen them again in the 90’s (in Turin again and in Paris). And now the 2003 show in Milan.
I went to Milan without a ticket, because I wanted to see the concert on the floor, closed to them and I could’nt find any ticket for this kind of places (they disappeared in a while, just after the start-up of the sale). So I bought the tickets from people around S.Siro (“i bagarini”) for en extra cost of 25 euros. I say tickets because I went there with my sister. She is a fan of Bruce “the Boss” Springsteen but she likes the Stones so much, either.
Back to the show, I have to say that at any time they do better and better. Maybe the technology, maybe the fact that they do not have any money problem (if they had some from the beginning), maybe they are so professional and have a band with so many professionals and just the same from a long time….. Yes I think all of these things, but most of all because I think that now they do it just for the pleasure of doing it.
You can feel that mainly from Keith, who appears to be so happy and plenty of good time ….. Also the athletics of Mick is something that sounds like a miracle …. As per the set list it was OK, I mean they did all their classics (but myself I missed Under my Thumb, Beast of Burden and Ruby Tuesday) even if the real fans would have appreciated some hidden jewels, like what they sometimes do in the Clubs shows.
What about the audience? Extraordinary, despite the fact that the acoustics was not really perfect: you could see people either really excited to the top by the energy of the group or humbled and moved by the Stones skill. I could’nt believe to my eyes as I always thought Italy does not love the Stones so much! And the variety of the people too: you could see both 15-y-old guys and 60-y-o men with their huge belly (not myself: believe or not my body is the same of Mick Jagger, the same whim of dancing, but of course with much less talent and with no voice either)!!!!
So I have just a dream now: to see the Stones in a Club show, for example at the Olympia in Paris. Maybe someone can help me (if yes he can contact me at this e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks in advance).
All the people sang, jump and made chorus during all the concert, a great tribute during the introductions for the band (Keef for first) and for Liza (We love you wonderful woman..) but every song and single moment people just enjoyed this kind of artistic masterpiece that is a Rolling stones show. Keith sang sweetly and spoke a little but He seemed very happy to be back here once again like all the guys. I just missed something like "under my thumb" "beast of burden" or "before they make me run" but it doesn't matter, 'cause it was all perfect just like the "stones way". As usual Mick (impossible not to follow him with the eye) spoke a little italian but very well indeed.
I hope the band could back in italy in this tour or next year, becuse italy answered perfectly to the Stones' call and because after 13 years we deserve it, more we need it!!!
Carlo Malchiodi and
Thanks to Patrick Attie and Giovanni Villani for news links.
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It's Only Rock'n Roll 2003 -
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