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It's Only Rock'n Roll

Amsterdam ArenA
Amsterdam, Holland
Monday June 29, 1998

Review by Ed Beaver

The Amsterdam ArenA is a closed dome-like stadium with a transparent glass roof, so the cold weather and danger of rain didn't bother the concert.

This was the first of five shows in a row in the brand new Amsterdam ArenA, only used for few months for the city team AJAX and other events.

By 2pm there was approx. 500 people queuing at the two gates for the field, and later on during the days thousands queued to get the best spot in the front area.

Keith opened up with Satisfaction as usual. The sould was not the best, due to very hard acoustics, too much glass and steel made lots of echo. Charlie's drums were very strong due to the echo and the acoustics...

After Flip The Switch the monitor showed the text: Latest score: Holland - Yugoslavia 1 - 0. Needles to say, the roof was about to lift off when 50,000 Dutch fans cheered wild and long. Mick loved it!

Anybody Seen My Baby was performed in a fast and funky version, and again with Charlie's drums very strong. After Saint Of Me there was another message up on the monitor: Latest score: Holland - Yugoslavia 1 - 1 Sad message for the fans!

When they brought Mick's electric piano up on stage just before they showed the Web Choice display, I knew they would do Memory Motel. Great version, and the echo was actually fitting nicely in for this song. Keith got ovations every time he did his verses.

By the time of Miss You it was getting dark, and the stage effects and lights worked better. Mick forgot about presenting Bobby Keys during the presntations, but did so after he presented Darryl. Bobby smiled his widest smile, as he probably didn't like to be forgotten.

The small stage was very popular, as the crowd really seemed to enjoy the performance out there. The guitars could barely be heard on the first half of You Got Me Rocking.

After a great version of Sympathy For The Devil the monitor said: Latest score: Holland - Yugoslavia 1 - 1. The crowd went wild. From that point and one it was just amazing. The crowd was one of the best I have seen in a long time, as 25,000 pairs of hands were up in the air on Start Me Up, as the entire field jumbed up and down.

The Stones did a great show, suffering a bit from the acustics, but the home win in football made a great mode in the crowd. Four more shows to go - see you on Wednesday for the next show!

Start time: 21:40
End time  : 00:05

The set list:

  1. Satisfaction
  2. Let's Spend The Night Together
  3. Flip The Switch
  4. Gimme Shelter
  5. Anybody Seen My Baby
  6. Bitch
  7. Saint Of Me
  8. Out Of Control
  9. Memory Motel (web choice)
  10. Miss You
    -- Introductions --
  11. You Don't Have To Mean It (Keith)
  12. Wanna Hold You (Keith)
  13. Little Queenie (center stage)
  14. You Got Me Rocking (center stage)
  15. Like A Rolling Stone (center stage)
  16. Sympathy For The Devil
  17. Tumbling Dice
  18. Honky Tonk Women
  19. Start Me Up
  20. Jumping Jack Flash
  21. Brown Sugar (encore)


Review by Bart de Grood, Holland

Finally it was June 29th. Finally the Stones came to rock Holland. They did it superb. At first it looked like it was going to a somewhat awkward show. Because Holland played the same evening to Yougoslavia at the World Cup. So al lot of people kept close to a radio or mobile phone to catch up the latest score. As if the Stones waited for a first goal they entered the ArenA a few minutes after 'we' made the first goal. Mick and Charlie dressed in Orange T-shirts (Mick also with orange scarf) got everybody's attention. Keith as almost usual in leopard coat. Ron thought he was stil in Belgium wore something red. They all used the enthousiasm of the first Dutch goal to open the show. But soon everybody forgot the match, we saw the Stones in perfect shape!

As usual it was 'Satisfaction' for start. The sound is pretty bad in the ArenA because there is to much steel and glass but it sounded good enough.

After 'Flip the switch' the score was put on the screen and again everybody went crazy, although we all knew it already! Lisa was great on 'Gimme Shelter', fooling around with Mick and the rest of the band she stole the show for a moment!

I hoped for 'I'ts Only Rock and Roll' but it was Bitch that followed a great version 'Anybody Seen my Baby'. Mick had to think a moment about it ("what's next..., O yeah") and introduced it as a "somewhat slow song". The rap part in with Bernard blurred away in the echo...

One of the best BTB songs, 'Saint OF Me', was followed with bad news on the screen: Latest score 1-1. Everybody boo-ed, Mick laughed a bit about it. But there was a show to run with another great BTB song 'Out Of Control'. The whole place got wild at the fast parts! I also liked the pictures on the screen...

Then it was time for the Webchoice. During Mick's introducting a keyboard was set up at the front of the stage. It looked a bit sabotaged with more than 25% but what the heck! Nice to see Mick also play instrument's... Keith on backing vocals and mime was also pretty good.

During the introducting Mick forgot (as a joke??) the outstanding Boby Keys. He was introduced after Ron. When mick left the stage in charge of Keith again good news on the screen. Latest score 2-1. And again the whole place went wild. Keith laughed a lot and waited patiently until everybody cooled down. At last he asked if he could go home so we could party on. He didn't, he played a good version of 'You Don't Have to Mean It'. Then another good message on the screen: Final score 2-1, and again..... Keith this time: "It's nice to be in a new house. Specially when it's in the winning mood." Stil every was wild. "I have a job to do" Keith said and 'Wanna Hold You' followed

I carefully ignored all description's about the setting and the extra's of the stage. So it was a complete surprise how the bridge to the center stage worked. It was awsome. Again Charlie got the most attention when he walked over the bridge...

As I stood right before Darryl, pushed against the fence, I first heard the sound of the monitor's and later the sound from the stage. But the songs sounded great. It was really cool to see the band play as if they are in the room next to you... The whole place was singing along with 'Like A Rolling Stone'. Stones magic struck again....

From that point the show got better and better. Mick fooling around with the crowd around the center stage while the rest was on the main stage preparing 'Sympathy For The Devil'. During 'Tumbling Dice' Ron got wild when they switched on his guitar camera! Nice shots...

The crowd enjoyed 'Honky Tonk Women' and sang allong. Mick running wild from left to right. Chuck invited Keith to cooperate with the keyboards so he did some pushing around. Finishing with his right foot. Chuck was proud of him...

With the third guitar strike Keith smiled and started 'Start Me Up'. Still the crowd was wild and jumped up and down. My voice finally gave up...

'Jumping Jack Flash' was great. The fireworks a nice extra. Backing vocals from Lisa and Bernard were outstanding but sounded a bit soft...

Keith went wild during the glitter-rain. He made a sliding on the right wing with all the gold and silver. Everybody YeahYeah-OOO-ed along with the band. They gathered a long well deserved applaus from Holland. And they probably will do the same for the next four shows in Amsterdam. I hope I have my voice will be back when I see them in The Hague again...


Review by Dirk Snapper, Holland

June 29th. Finally The Stones made it to the Amsterdam ArenA!

It was a nice day, not too warm, but the sun was shining most of the time. It was long before the gates opened: 6 p.m. ! We arrived at 11.30 a.m. and there were lots of people already. We heard that the first in line were there from the night before. But it was nice. We met a lot of old friends from all over Europe (nice to have met you again, Ernst from Vienna!)

The roof of the stadium was closed, so it was our first indoor show. The Dave matthews Band opened at 8 p.m. and they played exactly 45 minutes. The Stones began at 21.40 and the show was over just after midnight.

The band was in good shape, they played marvellous. But the sound in the ArenA was awful (as expected, especially when the roof is closed) :-( I hope they manage to change it technically, so that it will be better next Wednesday.

You could breathe the tension in the ArenA because of the soccer game of the Dutch team in the Worldcup, which was played at the same time as the Stones' performance. The score was shown on the Stones' video screen. And when the first goal for Holland was made, there almost was more noise than the Stones could produce! Just before Keith was to do "his" two songs the soccer game was over and Holland won. The crowd went crazy and Keith had to wait for almost 5 minutes before he could play. He asked the audience: "Does this mean I can go home?"

After the opening (Satisfaction) Mick did his best to speak Dutch ("Het is goed in Holland te zijn") and I must say he must have practised; we understood what he was saying :-) Then, after the usual Let's Spend The Night Together, Flip The Switch and Gimme Shelter, they did Anybody Seen My Baby and -quite a surprise- Bitch! I didn't hear this one before and it was played a little bit slower than it used to. And I liked that.

After Saint Of Me and Out Of Control came the Web choice: Memory Motel. Mick's keyboard was placed at the edge of the stage (and before you could even see on the screen what song it would be). You sang very nice, too, Keith!

Then of course Miss You ("Willen jullie meezingen?") and the band introductions (Charlie was our favourite!). Keith did You Don't Have To Mean It (I like that one, it gets better every time) and Wanna Hold You.

On the center stage (which was included IN the ring for the first time) they played a great Little Queenie and You Got Me Rocking (which I missed because there was a fight going on; some drunken asshole even hit MY nose) and Like A Rolling Stone (Please drop that one guys...) They gave us a great final of well known hits which the crowd very much approved:

Sympathy For The Devil
Tumbling Dice
Honky Tonk Women
Start Me Up (during this one Woody broke a string)
Jumpin' Jack Flash (which was better since a long time!)
and again (only one) the encore Brown Sugar

For me this was like they were playing in my back yard :-) See you Wednesday!


Review by Ellen de Jonge, Holland

I was born with the Stones and I love them. My parents take me and my brother to Stones concerts, Ďcause theyíre huge Stones fans and they want to share it with us. This concert was my second Rolling Stones concert, my first one was in Germany in May 1990 (Urban Jungle Tour), but I donít remember very much of it, as I was only 7 years old.

The concerts supporting act was The Dave Matthews Band. They were very good but the audience didnít really react. They we were all waiting for The Stones. With the concert there was another important event for the Dutch people: Our footballteam had to play in the 1/8 finale of the Worldchampionship against Yougoslavia. People had taken little televisions, radios and telephones to know the score. With the first score form Holland the crowd went wild and just after that the Stones came on stage.

They started with Satisfaction, it was very spectacular with fireworks and light-effects. Everybody started immediately singing and dancing. The next song was Letís Spend The Night Toghether, another well-known song, so all the people knew it and sang along There was an enormous video screen and when The Stones played Anybody Seen My Baby there were parts of video clip on the screen. The seventh song was Saint Of Me and Mick played the guitar.

The Web choice of the day was Memory Motel and now Mick played the keyboard. The song after that was Miss You and all the 50.000 who were at the concert started singing: Oeh-Oeh-Oeh (I bet the audience does that on every concert). Now Mick started to introduce the band and after that Keith sang: You Donít Have To Mean It and Wanna Hold You.

A bridge came out of the stage and the Stones went to the small stage. Ron went all wild by then and started jumping around. Keith and Mick enjoyed too Charlie sat and didnít show any emotions as usual! The played Little Queenie and actually it was first time I ever heart the song. The also played You Got Me Rocking and Like A Rolling Stone. When they walked back to the main stage, they shook hands and waved. Meanwhile the game of the Netherlands-Yougoslavia was over and the final score was 2-1. Again the crowd went wild, Keith wanted to say something but it didnít work, the crows made too much noise, he just laughed and waited for the audience to calm down again.

The following song was Sympathy For The Devil which was performed fabulous. With the last song Jumping Jack Flash there was a lot of fireworks and the Stones went and came back for an encore: Brown Sugar. And again there were fire-works.

On the whole I found it a marvellous concert, the guys were great and the sound didnít sound that bad to me as some might say of the Arena. Less great was that we had to stand still on a parking lot for over an hour, afterwards!! It was 3 in the morning ( not 3 in the afternoon !!) when we came home ( Not very nice, when you have to stand up at 7 to go to school!) The only songs in the concert I missed were my 2 favourites: Angie & You Canít Always Get What You Want. I really have to do this over some time I canít wait for my next Stones concert!!


Review by Marko Boon, Eindhoven, Holland

It was the first concert for me from the Stones' latest tour, and it was incredible. After a good performance of the Dave Matthews band, the crowd was anxious to see the Stones. At half past nine Keith opened the show with a great version of Satisfaction. Mick was wearing an orange t-shirt, I don't know if he always does, or if it had something to do with the Dutch soccer team playing that same night.

Let's spend the night together and Flip the switch were great, but Gimme Shelter exceeded everything. Lisa was extremely good tonight, singing much higher than on some versions I heard of the American leg of the tour. Anybody seen my baby sounded very good too, with a strong bass from Darryl and Bitch was a bit slow, but sounded perfectly. I wondered if they would totally ignore the fact that the Dutch team was playing at the same time, but they didn't. They showed the latest score a couple of times, much to the satisfaction of the crowd. They played Saint of me and Out of control, as always. Out of control is indeed one of the highlights of the show, although I thought Ronnies wah-wah-guitar should have been louder.

The web choice was Memory Motel, which was in lead since Saturday, and this was actually the absolute highlight of the show for me. They played a great version, and Keith got cheers from the crowd after his lines.

They played a very long version of Miss you. Mick ran to both sides of the stage, to make the crowd sing along. After the band introduction, they showed the latest score from Holland-Yugoslavia: 2-1, and the crowd cheered madly. Keith waited patiently until they calmed down, said that he liked being in Holland, expecially when they're winning, and played You don't have to mean it and Wanna hold you.

Then the second highlight of the show, besides Memory Motel: the set on the center stage. I read in the reviews that the bridge pops out of the stage, and I wondered how it would look like. It was very impressive to see the bridge come out, and see the Stones walk slowly to the small stage. I was standing in front now, just about six feet from the band, on Ronnies side. He was making strange faces all the time, pointing his fingers all the time: 2-1, and even reacted when we shouted for The Last Time. But they played You got me rocking, which was very nice too. The sound was not too well however, these couple of songs.

They finished very strong with the usual Sympathy for the devil (which I thought was not so impressive as during the Voodoo lounge tour), Tumbling Dice, Honky Tonk Women, Start me up (I like the way Keith starts this song this tour very much) and Jumpin' Jack Flash. The fireworks were great, but the confetti during Brown Sugar was even better. It was like golden snow all over the stadium. At the end of the show, they showed the winning goal on the video screen, and the crowd went wild for the final time. Everybody went home with a great feeling. The show had been great, and I'm looking forward very much to the next shows.


Review by Hendrik Mulder, Holland

Finally it's june 29. Because Berlin was cancelled this was my first European show of the BTB tour. I was at the gates at 09.00 because I wanted to enter the stadium as one first to get the best possible place at the front. There are two entrances; each entrance got eight small gates and I decided to choose the left entrance and the third gate and I was number three in the row. During the day I saw lots of friends: Bjornulf, Ben, Remco, Dirk, Jaime, Dieter, Peter, Kees, Hayo, Peter and more. At 16.00 you could hear the rehearsals: Tumbling dice and Respectable! The gates opened at 18.00; running for my life, take the stairs up, take a right, take the stairs down, there was the stage, a fast sprint and I entered the first section. I was standing front row, in the middle, left from the cat walk: I made it!

Support act was Dave Matthews: always hard to be a support act for the Rolling Stones but he was OK. At 9.38 the crowd heard that Holland - Yugoslavia was 1-0; everybody was cheering. At that moment the light went out and the intro started, the curtains opened and you could see the screen with all the stars; suddenly one star was 'shoot' between the other ones, Keith walked into front, 4 metres away from me, looking around and smiling. Then a flash of light and Satisfaction kicked off! Jagger was wearing an orange shirt (orange is the colour for the dutch soccer team). Because I was standing just in front of the four speakers the sound was there very good. You could hear both guitars very well and the drums were very tight.

After Flip the switch the sreen showed: Holland - Yugoslavia 1-0; everybody knew this already but everybody was still cheering. Song number five is the variable in the tour: they played this time Anybody seen my baby (we came to rock Amsterdam!) Getting ready for the rehearsed Respectable but they played to my pleasant surprise Bitch.

After a great version of Saint of me the screen showed Holland - Yugoslavia 1-1; too bad but no time to worry because the Stones were on the stage! The web-choice was Memory motel with Mick on piano; great version and everybody went wild when Keith sung his verses.

After the band introductions it was time for Keith to do his songs; he was walking up front, smoking a cigarette. Keith said that it was good to be back in Amsterdam. At that moment the screen says; Holland - Yugoslavia 2-1. The crowd went wild and Keith was enjoing also. He waited patiently till the crowd cooled down, threw his cigarette away and played You don't have to mean it.

After Wanna hold you the Stones went to the center stage via the 'babylon bridge'. Unfortunately this was too far away for me but they did excellent versions of Little queenie, You got me rocking and Like a rolling stone. After these songs we got no further surprises except for Start me up which intro got three breaks; great! After the fireworks we saw the last three minutes of the soccer game where holland made the winning goal in the last minute. I was home at 2.00 AM and my ears were still buzzing; what a beautiful buzz!


The Power of the Queue
by Shirley Birenz

Runa wrote: meet Glimmers at 9, go shopping for necessities (food, water, strippenkaart) queuing at the Arena at 10 for 8 hours, run for 2 minutes, recover for the next two hours, try to survive 45 minutes of Dave Matthews, go wild during a great show until midnight....

Thanks Runa! Though I would like to extrapolate the queuing experience a bit more for the American UC'ers who have never done this. IMHO, queuing in Europe is necessary for an ultimate concert experience. On AMS 1 I had a seat on Ronnie's side, right by the ramp that Mick runs up on. I arrived at the arena around 4:00 PM to see the queues. By this time it was packed, roughly 20 wide and long. I went to the beginning of a queue (on the other side of the fencing) and asked a girl how long she had been waiting - she answered from 8:30 AM. I knew our Glimmers got there at around 1:00 PM. I couldn't find them in the crowd. At 6 o'clock they let the first batch of people in through the turnstiles and the security held back the next batch. Once through, you run, looked like about 50 steps, like your life depended on it! Holding back the second batch was not a good idea, it got nasty, but eventually everyone got through. Watched a while, met a girl named Jane from Australia. Then had one last real drink - a double Vodka with Bitter Lemon at the Sport Bar at the main entrance of the arena. The beer inside is only 2 1/2 per cent. In order to buy beer, you need to buy an arena card (debit card) - a collectible with a picture of the B2B lion.

I had a great view of the show. This was okay, but I quickly felt a loss. None of the excitement and tension of being on the floor. Some purists may argue that the soccer game interrupted the show, but I felt that it only enhanced the energy that was accumulating. The sport is so powerful, that if the Stones didn't acknowledge it, people would be watching small TV's, etc. anyway, so why not go with the flow? From where I sat, I could see the scores announced on the Jumbotron and see the swell of arms and hear the cheers in unison coming from the floor. It was fantastic. When the final score was shown while Keith was at his mike, even he didn't have the power to control it. So, he *kneeled down* and clapped along with the "Olay" chant - loud, strong, clear and long! Unlike anything I have ever witnessed in the States.

Only fans were on the floor. None of this, bitching and moaning to sit down. Pure Stones freedom. After AMS 1, I decided not to use my seat for AMS 2 (it was in the nose bleeds anyway) and take my chances with the Queue.

Having the limo's to whisk us away to the Maloe Meloe after the show was a great idea, if I do say so myself. We sang, finished off the whiskey and sherry, then the limo driver stopped for cold beer. The Maloe Meloe is a great Glimmer bar. Seems like we all have the same taste is bars. Great bartenders, music and friends. We sang and danced as usual.

We stayed there until the 3 o'clock in the morning ( no kidding!) -- that magical time when you know you are really partying and still have time to go. So, back to the Quentin Hotel and Glimmer Central - Room 15. "She got a mind of her own -- and she use it well, yeah, well, she's one of a kind. She got a mind of her own,yeah, and she use it mighty fine."

This brings me to my quintessential Glimmer roomie, Greg Cliffford (a.k.a., GC, da captain). I have met many Glimmers over time, but I have never met one that could honestly be my male twin. From beer to beer, martini to martini, DOIO to DOIO, no sleep, no shower, the queue for 10 hours, Dave Mason, working the crowd to the b-stage and back to the front (can you imagine!), more beer, more laughs, more partying...never tiring..what does a Glimmer really need? Not a whole lot. We did have small speakers with tape and cd player, coordinated music, alcohol and the Stones in concert. Thanks cap'n, I had a great time!

The room was a perfect combination of no frills and beauty. A large room with a low round table and two low wide chairs. Three huge Victorian windows overlooking the canal. Clean and comfortable. But many stairs, small ones that seem to never end. By now the table was loaded with everything in the world you can possibly imagine*. The Quentin Hotel, Q key chains, Keith painting in the lobby, Glimmers partying till the wee hours with music playing -- Room 15, truly a memory motel. (sorry, Dem!)


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