Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Rolling Stones, 50 and counting

The online pay-per-view cost only USD9.00, with good, non-laggy video quality to boot, and a better-than-decent sound mix that put Ronnie Wood on the left and Keith Richards on the right speakers. Tonight's Newark concert was PHENOMENAL, to say the least. It's the same 'ol Stones really....they still bring with them that unique rawness and looseness. Age did little to slow them down. Mick Jagger still sexy as ever, prancing around the stage like it was 1973, his voice in tip-top condition. The (primarily greatest hits) setlist is similar to their previous shows on this small tour, with a few 'curve-balls' thrown in. Dead Flowers, by request from the online community was very unexpected and very cool. I voted for this song too, and thought maybe the majority would've voted for something more well-known. The blues covers were great; John Mayer and the next big thing, Gary Clark Jr., proved they could stand shoulder to shoulder with Ron and Keef, especially Gary Clark Jr.; this young man's gonna go places soon.

And Bo Diddley's Who Do You Love couldn't have been a better tune for the Black Keys to guest on (wouldn't have known it if it weren't for The Last Waltz). The superb pair of new songs, Doom And Gloom and One More Shot sounded much better live than on record. Now, talking about Lady Gaga...I never cared for her and her music at all, but I was pretty much floored by her powerhouse vocals and weird dancing on Gimme Shelter. Actually the fact that she was dancing wildly while wearing a pair of high heels without missing a step impressed me more. Then you got Bruce Springsteen, sharing vocals with Mick on Tumbling Dice -- that's one of the last Stones songs I'd think he would sing on. But Bruce has a knack for singing in soul/R&B style, and weirdly his gritty voice complemented Mick's. Not perfect, but not too shabby either. What a sight it was to see a recharged Bruce and Mick playing off each other.

But I tell you what -- Mick Taylor guesting on Midnight Rambler is worth the price of admission alone. He has grown fatter while the band has grown thinner. But the way he played the Les Paul.....holy shit,'s as if he never left the band. He was really having fun onstage, and it's rare you see him move so much and getting a bit goofy up there. Mick Taylor absolutely KILLED on the guitar. And it was so nice to see him taking the final bow with the four Stones at the end. Bassist Daryl Jones doesn't get much appreciation when he should. Charlie Watts' drumming seems to get increasingly better. Can't say the same for Keef's and Ronnie's playing, but it's the rough edges that make the Stones still the greatest Rock & Roll band ever. Hits like Honky Tonk Women, Start Me Up, Brown Sugar and Jumpin' Jack Flash never sounded more fresh. This was a fun and high-energy gig, clocking in at 2.5 hours, long by the band's standards, and one which I didn't want to see end. Here's hoping for a full-on world tour next year.

1. Get Off Of My Cloud
2. The Last Time
3. It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (But I Like It)
4. Paint It Black
5. Gimme Shelter - with Lady Gaga
6. Wild Horses
7. Goin' Down - with John Mayer and Gary Clark, Jr.
8. Dead Flowers
9. Who Do You Love? - with The Black Keys
10. Doom And Gloom
11. One More Shot
12. Miss You
13. Honky Tonk Women
14. Before They Make Me Run
15. Happy
16. Midnight Rambler - with Mick Taylor
17. Start Me Up
18. Tumbling Dice - with Bruce Springsteen
19. Brown Sugar
20. Sympathy For The Devil

21. You Can't Always Get What You Want
22. Jumpin' Jack Flash
23. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction