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The Rolling Stones
Hersheypark Stadium, Hershey, PA
Saturday, October 1, 2005
The set list
Start Me Up
It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll
She’s So Cold
Back of My Hand
All Down the Line
(The Night Time is) The Right Time
Miss you (to small stage)
Oh No Not You Again
Get Off Of My Cloud
Honky Tonk Women (to main stage)
Sympathy for the Devil
Paint It, Black
Jumpin’ Jack Flash
You Can’t Always Get What You Want (encore)
Review by Dean Goodman
If the applause from the “On Stage” lookouts on Keith’s side was an accurate indication, the Stones turned up in a van less than 5 minutes before the lights went out. Despite the drive-by nature of their first show in the area since 1964, they once again proved themselves absolutely incapable of delivering a dud stadium performance. Highlights included a small-stage resurrection of “Get Off Of My Cloud,” which was possibly dedicated to Ian Stewart, and an extended version of “(The Night Time is) The Right Time.” The venue resembles SBC Park in San Francisco in that the seating areas do not meet the stage – not a great situation for people in the seats. On the floor, things were very relaxed, with some people two to a chair thanks to lax security.
Beck, once again, began proceedings, entertaining as usual, and wearing a yellow Stones t-shirt. Tonight, he performed a few verses of “No Expectations.” This is the first time I’ve heard an opening act cover a Stones song since a local band played “She’s a Rainbow” in Mexico City in 1998. Alas, Mick admitted that the Stones did not catch his show, saying they were far away getting ready. He noted a newspaper report that the Stones played just 11 songs during their show at nearby Harrisburg in 1964, and jokingly promised to try ramp up the tally this time around.
From my vantage point on the floor, the vocals seemed very high in the mix. Mick once again was loose and relaxed. During “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll,” he improvised, “I bet you think that you’re the only pussy in Hershey.” He managed to miss the opening cues for both “Tumbling Dice” and “Rough Justice.” On the former, he riffed, “that’s what you got to do, girl” during the “Roll me” bits at the end. “Midnight Rambler” boasted an improvised bluesy Keith solo in the space between Mick leading the crowd through the “oh yeahs” and its climactic finish. Afterwards, Mick said, “I’m definitely not gonna do any Hershey jokes. You’ve been such a great audience.”
Many people knew the Stones would be covering Ray Charles because a picture of the “Genius of Soul” accidentally popped up on the video screen while the stage was being prepared between sets. Lisa was as unsubtle as usual during her spotlight segment, and Mick grinded his crotch into her backside. The song was over, or so we thought, when Mick led a few chants of “bay-bee!” Charlie picked up on it, and then the rest of the guys did and the song was underway again, much to Mick’s amusement.
During the small-stage set, I was six feet away from Mick, but could hardly hear anything he said. Some guys nearby waved a professionally constructed banner requesting that the Stones dedicate a song to “your friend and mine, Ian Stewart.” Mick saw the banner and beamed. Ronnie and Keith were also thrilled, with Keith kneeling the ground to collect himself, and then he appeared to wipe a tear from his eye. Mick preceded “Get Off Of My Cloud” with a comment about the banner, but I didn’t catch what he said. Maybe he did dedicate the song to Stu? Anyway, what a fantastic addition the set list, and I was surprised that he seemed to know the verses. Everyone sang along on the choruses, as if we were at a football game.
I stayed near the small stage for the rest of the gig so that I could take in the spectacle. Mick gave the fans his seal of approval by telling us we had been “a fucking great audience.” For the two-song encore, security allowed the people on the back of the floor to rush towards the stage, which was a nice gesture. Sadly, Keith’s guitar was turned down for the opening of “Satisfaction,” as was the case in Columbus. Something to work on.
The local paper, “The Patriot News” handed out free “concert editions” after the show. Probably just as well, as I needed something to occupy the time while I was stuck in the car park for an hour, and I got off lucky since I was out the gate as soon as the fireworks exploded. Something for the Hersheypark people to work on.
Review by Mike Markiewicz, Downingtown, PA
This was our 8 year-old son’s first concert and what a great way to start him out. He danced and sang with almost every song (yep, he knows most of the words – I’m so proud.). It was a wonderful autumn night in Hershey with a very mellow capacity crowd that literally spanned the ages from 5 to 75. We arrived around 7:30 and apparently missed Beck’s opener. It must have been a real short act and, judging from the crowd, we didn’t miss a whole lot. (Sorry, Beck but everyone seemed pretty listless when we arrived.) The Stones’ set-list was nearly the same as Milwaukee and they did finally manage to get the crowd fired up with Get Off of My Cloud. From that point, the show rolled nicely, although Keith did not play with quite the fire we saw in Phila. for the 40 Licks tour. He and Ronnie seemed to have some sound glitches and a few solos were rougher than usual. Still, Mick was spectacular and Charlie was, well, he was Charlie! Simply awesome! Not quite as good as the Licks tour, but a great show nevertheless. I’m glad my son got to see them while they’re still on top of their game.
Review by Robert Bagel
It was an unusual evening, with the Rolling Stones playing Hershey,
Pennsylvania, home of the famous chocolate brand and a short drive from the
Three Mile Island power facility, site of the worst nuclear accident in
United States history. Hershey Park Stadium is very old (it hosted Dwight
Eisenhower's birthday party nine years before the Rolling Stones were
formed), and the huge A Bigger Bang stage was positioned in the venue so it
was like no other Stones show I have seen: while the field was packed (and
the relaxed security let people fill the aisles leading toward the front),
the stage was thirty yards away from the start of the stands off the field.
This meant that the side walkways that Mick and Keith use so brilliantly to
connect with the audience did not have the effect they usually do, as the
only audience members nearby were those on the sides of the pitch, with
empty space above and to the side where fans usually are. It was interesting
to see the Stones adjust to this, working more with those directly in front
of them, playing more than usual to those in the 'on stage seats', and
simply just enjoying the music and interaction within the band.
After Start Me Up kicked things off, It's Only Rock 'n' Roll was especially
energetic, with Mick taking the opportunity to scowl 'I bet you think that
you're the only pussy in Hershey', rather than the most often used 'woman in
town' choice of words. The new songs continue to go down extremely well,
with a rousing Rough Justice followed by the best version of Back of My hand
so far. Mick played guitar and sang like the junior version of Muddy Waters
that he can be when not mugging and dancing up a storm, and as if to prove
how much the first part of the song is mostly Mick (complimented by Keith's
sparing guitar), Ron Wood casually ate a banana while Mick carried the song.
It is a wonder that the band has not inked a promotional deal with Chiquita
brands for the way Ronnie has been seen snacking on a banana during this
tour. The tribute cover song was Ray Charles' Night Time Is The Right Time,
which unfortunately was no surprise as before the Stones came on, pre-show
checks included flashing the Ray Charles pictures on the large video screen.
This is the first time I had seen such pictures before the show began, and
it definitely removed some intrigue from seeing the set unfold.
Even when the moving stage went into the field, it did not seem to go as far
back as places like Soldier Field or Rentschler Field. This did not diminish
the tremendous effect the small stage has, especially when the big surprise
of the evening was delivered: for the first time since the No Security tour,
we were blessed with a great version of Get Off Of My Cloud! This time the
lyrics were not 'five pounds' but 'twenty five dollars' for 'his kind of
detergent pack.' Another delightful detail attended to here in the middle of
Once back on the main stage, the Stones nicely tapped into the darkly
danceable with Sympathy for the Devil and Paint It Black. Before we could
take a breath, the show concluded with an encore of a beautiful You Can't
Always Get What You Want and a rocking Satisfaction (though again with the
problem of Keith's guitar volume being too low for the opening riff).
Stretching out in the afterglow of another great Stones show, we stayed on
the field and waited for the bulk of the crowd to file out. Maybe I was
lucky enough to not notice this previously, but as Bob Marley's I Shot the
Sheriff played on the sound system, the large video screen had a Mercedes
Benz commercial that is a promotional tie in with the Rolling Stones,
pushing the R-class (?) Mercedes. If you do not believe this, a website is
provided: www.rockther.com , complete with Mick, Keith, Charlie, and Ron
posing with the German vehicle. Just as we find the Stones will be doing a
tie-in with the U.S. soap opera Days of Our Lives, we get an auto
commercial! This is not to be condemned in any way, it just makes clear the
fact that the Stones musical genius is only rivaled by their genius for
enterprise. Recall Jovan first sponsoring a rock'n'roll tour in 1981, or the
way Microsoft was coerced into paying through the nose for Start Me Up when
launching Windows software. It is funny that minutes after Satisfaction
concludes, you can watch a car commercial and think, 'Wow, if such
promotions did not take place to defer the cost of the tour, my ticket
tonight may have been $450 or more, not the mere $350 I paid.'
So while Get Off My Cloud and other songs blew me away tonight, the Mercedes
commercial was the master stroke. While the Rolling Stones are musical
idols, they are also economic idols. God knows we need such examples, if for
no other reason than to be able to afford the next tour.
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