It's Only Rock'n Roll
The Rolling Stones : 10:15pm - 12:15am
Let´s go with the show:
We had a real good time, though the show wasn´t the best I´ve ever seen, we had the chance to see a very special show. The good things? Ronnie was excellent on guitar and he had to play more than in other shows. Why? Becuase in the 1st hour, Keith played not as well as usual he was a bit dispersed and disconcerted.
The sound in the beginning of the show was bad, and the wind didn´t help to solve it a quick as they usually do. If you join this to the setlist chosen for the first part of the show, this made that the audience wasn´t as hot as they are in Madrid. In Madrid, everybody shouts, dances, have fun and sing the songs along with the band, but maybe not all the people in a Stones show, knows the lyrics for Monkey man, all down the line, she´s so cold or Sway. This made that most of the people stared at the stage but they didn´t sung as usual.
Jagger was excellent as the best frontman in the world that he is, good on vocals, making people have fun, and made one of the best songs I´ve ever heard with Lisa Fischer: night time is the right time, in a special tribute to Ray Charles.WELL DONE Lisa!!!!
Keith woke up when he had to sing his 2 songs, GREAT in "You got the silver" both Keith and Ronnie and good on "Happy".
"Miss you" was the song chosen for the travel to the BStage and it wasn´t very good, great "it´s only rock and roll" and Satisfaction was , as usual , one of the best songs in the night.
Keith forgot the rythm in the beginnig of "Honky tonk women" and made Charlie go crazy, but they solved it very well and made a great performance, as well as "Paint it black": strange beginning but good performance.
The last hour was great, everyone played excellent, Chuck Leavell made a great solo in Honky tonk women , jumping jack flash hadn´t saxo and trombones (I missed them) and Brown sugar was great to finish the show with a great Bobby keys . on stage.
See you tomorrow at El Ejido and have fun. For one minute (as you can see in the picture) I felt like a Rolling Stone, hugging Charlie and laughin with Keith.
I saw them in Barcelona last week and I also enjoyed the set list very much ("Ain't Too Proud To Beg"!!!!), but Madrid really beats it. Like many others, I find strange they did not play any song from "A Bigger Bang", but it was ok for me as long as I can listen to so many classics for the first time.
The second half of the show was the usual bunch of warhorses (although "Paint it Black" still feels like a surprise to me, I love that song so much...), including the B-Stage. With ups and downs due to Keith, but good anyway. JJFlash was great, I must say. No matter what, Keith is unable to play bad on that one! Probably the best moment for him last night. He seemed the Keith we all know, bashing his guitar like hell, throwing powerful chords to our faces. Terrific.
The performance: well, mixed emotions here. Mick and Charlie never fail, that's for sure, so I won't say anything else. Outstanding as always. About Keith I'm sorry to say that he's obviously ill. It's painful to say that since Keef is like a God to me, but he's not well. He seems to be lost on stage for long periods of time. I was in the first row, and I could see clearly how Ronnie had to stand in front of Keith with his guitar, showing him how the chords were on "She's So Cold". Later,during his own set he almost fell on his back during "You Got the Silver" and completely messed up "Happy", missing the lyrics, not knowing when the solos came (you could see the worry on Ronnie's face when Keith told him to do the solo before it was supposed to) and making evident gestures for the band to finish the song as soon as possible. At least he seems to be aware of his own lack of punch, but it's sad to see him suffering that way. I don't know what's going on with him, but I hope he gets well soon.
A detail here, it's touching seeing the rest of the band giving ol' Keef as much warm as they can. Even Mick sometimes gets close to him with supporting gestures. For me, one of the most beautiful moments of the show came when Ronnie took Keef by the shoulder to the front of the stage so the audience could show their love for the man. It's odd but I remember Ronnie so messed up in past gigs with Keith supporting him, and now It's Ronnie the one taking care of his mate.
So the point is that Keith's playing was a mess sometimes (more than usual, I mean), but he was correct most of the show. And, like in the past, when one of the guitarists has a bad night, the other one is perfectly able to go on with she show on his own, as Ronnie did in Barcelona and Madrid. Ronnie's the man on this tour and that's good news after all, since he's been through very bad times on stage in previous tours.
So, a very good show, with a killer first half, powerful sound, great audience and magical moments. If you ask me if it's still worth to attend at a Rolling Stones concert, I'll answer yes without thinking it twice.
One last thing, the first supportin act: Loquillo y los Trogloditas. A living legend in spanish rock, they were wondeful yesterday. They deserved hitting the stage after Jet, not before them. During Jet's boring set, many people still asked for more Loquillo. Significant, right? If you are not from Spain and want to know how good spanish Rock & Roll can be, check this band!
Greetings from Madrid to you all.
Great to meet Paulywaul, Beast, Susanne, Isabella and others from this board and stonesfrk I am so happy you got front row on the rail for your last show even though you are sunburnt and have sore legs. Rock on Boys! Sarah, aka Sparkly Top
Indeed, the whole band seemed to be in a good mood at this show - they were joking and laughing with each other. Sometimes Mick moved his bandmates like figures on a chessfield. He clapped Ronnie´s ass ("great solo, man"), he took Keith´ arm ("move forward, they want to see you"), always with a smile on his face, and he kept everything going.
Keith was Keith himself, as usual. He seemed to be a little tired, so Ronnie took over more of the guitar parts. This time also "You got the silver" was not as soulful as in the last shows. Keith sang it way too slow and Ronnie really had to work hard to keep the rhythm. When Keith danced around him during the solo he got on his knees and almost fell behind - but he managed to get up again, smiling over the whole face and gave Ronnie a big kiss. After the song Ronnie acted like throwing his guitar on Keith´ head - of course he did not do it... And Keith, when will you learn the verses of "Happy"???
Later, on the B-stage, Keith messed up the intros of "HTW" and "IORR"; But in the meantime we are used to it :-))
Ronnie was superb again. His slide playing on "Monkey Man" went through and through. Y a la batteria Charlie - powerful and relieable as ever. The setlist was covered from last year; at least we got 3 new songs on this summer leg: "Sway", "YCAGWYW" and "The right time (Day and Night)", hommage to Ray Charles.
Keith Richards, who looked like apathetic and dull in Barcelona, and not very motivated in Donosti, from the first moment appeared on the scene of Vicente Calderón, smiling, rocking and doing it conscientiously. For the first time in their concerts in Spain, an intense "Happy" instead of "Wanna Hold You" gave to us, and next to authentic and rediscovered master of the Slide Guitar as Ronnie Wood has been revealed us, it returned to move to us with a "You Got The Silver" to take everybody to the seventh heaven. That is our Keith!
"Monkey Man", "Sway" and a vibrant "You Can´t Always Get What You Want" were the most remarkable new songs of the set list next to a version of "Night Time Is The Rigt Time" of Ray Charles whom replaced the traditional "I Go Crazy" of James Brown, with Lisa Fischer singing and dancing in her traditional erotic way with Mick, a thing that I missed of the previous tours.
And in the final part, the "Jumpin´Jack Flash" more energetic, strong and sweeping that I have seen them and listened in all its Spanish tour. I always come up that never I can be one hundred objective percent nor one hundred percent aseptic journalist when I speak or I write on the Stones because I cannot avoid that the heart and the emotions of fan control to the supposed coldness of which approaches them like mere journalist. And trying to see them like a simple rock group, like spectacle, even with the critics that can be done to them or the deficiencies that can be indicated, when Mick Jagger dance and sing the verses of "Sympathy For The Devil" or as the group attacks with all the force of a hurricane "Brown Sugar", with the age whom they have and the punished thing that are, I cannot by minor return to astonish to me before them and to render my sincere respect to "The Satanic Majesties".
And now, in a few hours, we go away towards the Ejido. History follows, and rock´n´roll don´t stop...
We were weary, but Loquillo y los Trogloditas did a few songs and made us to have some fun. Then, Jet. I must say that it’s an awful band. They are just too noisy but with no sense anywhere. They are not worth watching at all. I hated them. And more than any, I didn’t like the singer. He just shouted and nothing else.
But at 10.15 PM, after long waiting, the scenery lights turned off and alter the usual video on the screen, the chords for Start Me Up sounded. The crowd got crazy. They did a great performance in this one. Alter that one, Let’s Spend the Night Together, known by everyone, was played. It was really fun and the guys were on fire. Mick running all around the stage and the rest of the band playing their best. When it finished, Mick spoke a few words in a really acceptable Spanish apologising for what happened last year.
Then the first surprise, She’s So Cold. Much fewer people knew this one, but they played it amazingly and it was one of the best of the night, for me. The two that came alter that one, All Down the Line and Monkey Man…………….wow. The first sounds of this second one were just like music from heaven. They got them back to their best era. I was totally excited, because some reviews I had read about the other shows this year told that Keith wasn’t playing too good, or that the band had got old……… That’s a lie. The Rolling Stones were best than ever. Everybody’s in great shape. Maybe Keef has got old, but he still does his best and always has a smile on his face for us.
Alter all that, maybe the best present Mick could have given us: You Can’t Always Get What You Want. It hadn’t been played before during this tour, so with this one the crowd really got ecstatic. It’s such a beautiful song. One of their best, certainly. Everybody sang all the chorus with Mick at the end of the song. They made a long version, so we enjoyed more than ever. Then another one played for the first time this tour: Sway. I would have never thought that they would play this one, but with the first chords, it was great. What an amazing setlist, so far!
Then, instead of I’ll go Crazy, which they have been playing in all the concerts in Europe this year, they played Night Time is The Right Time, from Ray Charles. I think it was even better than when they play the James Brown’s one. Keith Richards sat down next to Charlie Watts, on front of the drums, maybe because he was tired. Never mind, he maybe did his best performance of yesterday. That’s what he likes, playing old rhythm and blues. Lisa Fischer later came to sing in this song and she was one of the most cheered of the night. She has the best voice I’ve ever seen live. What a great singer, the Stones are lucky to have her! One of the hits last night, for sure. Mick later spoke some words in Spanish. He was really trying to please their fans.
Then Tumbling Dice, as good as usually. And after it, Mick presented the band. With Lisa and Bobby the crowd cheered really loudly. Then, of course, also with Ronnie, who was really funny, as he always is, and Charlie, who did a solo.
Alter that we all cheered for Keef. He was really smiley and offered us You Got the Silver. I swear, he sang better than I’ve ever seen him sing. Ron played the slide guitar, and while he was playing solo, Keef got next to him and looked at his playing until he almost fell down. But he just laughed more and more. Then Happy. He didn’t sing it so good, but it was quite nice to listen to his best song. I think it was the best set for Keith so far this year.
Then, going to the b-stage, they played Miss You. Later, there, IORR. They both sounded as they did thirty years ago. It’s amazing how they still have the flame to play like that.
Right then, I must say, the absolute greatest hit of the night, Satisfaction. The crowd cheered louder than with any other song and they did the greatest version I have ever seen onstage. The solos were clear and perfect, and everybody played great. Thank you for this one, Stones.
With Honky Tonk Women, Keith committed some little mistakes doing the solo and at the beginning, but the song itself was great. Sympathy for the Devil was fantastic, specially Mick’s singing. Keith had a good performance on this one.
Paint it Black had a weird beginning by Keith, but he managed to get his edge and finally played better than on most of the others. It was great listening to this oldie. Back to the glorious days.
With JJF, everybody was on fire. Keith felt so into it. He was more participative than ever, and did some wonderful riffs. Maybe the most enjoyable of the night. It rocked all the place!!!
Finally, Brown Sugar. They did a really long version, and Mick ran all along the catwalk. A stunning ending.
As a conclusion, I must say that It was the best I’ve ever seen. They are the greatest rock and roll band of all time yet. The best spectacle on Earth…whatever. Everything is few compared to the feeling you have when you see them play. They still can rock, as great as always, and they will go on for a long time...
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Photos by IORR.