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Seven songs into the Rolling Stones'
set at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, last night, a
roadie handed Mick Jagger a printout. "We're going to do a request,"
Jagger said, adding that fans voted for a song of their choice on the
band's new mobile app. The winner? 1964's "Around and Around."
"That's an old one, isn't it?" Jagger said. "We haven't done that one
in a long time!" (According to fan site It's Only Rock and Roll, they
last played the song at Toronto's El Mocambo Club in March 1977). They
tore through the Chuck Berry classic, Jagger clapping upward and dancing
furiously as if channeling his old T.A.M.I. Show performance, Keith
Richards and Ronnie Wood weaving double-string licks as the song swung
in a way it never really has before. "Yes!" Jagger said with a grin
afterward. "That's right!" The Rolling Stones 1963-1969: Behind-the-Scenes Snapshots
The Stones got loose last night, their fourth of five
50th-anniversary shows this year. Without the high-profile guests of the
other recent shows (Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton), the band seemed to revel
in playing with each other. Charlie Watts grinned ear to ear as he
pounded the brooding intro to "Paint it Black," Wood nearly bounced out
of his chair while nailing the pedal steel lines to "Happy" while Keith
belted the song with such glee he appeared emotional. Jagger was chatty
and personable between possessed performances, at one point reflecting
on playing Newark in the summer of 1965. "Thank you for 50 years of
coming to our shows," he told the crowd. "Thank you very much."
Like the other recent shows, the set began with largely early- to
mid-Sixties cuts; they played "Get Off of My Cloud" with machine-gun
attack, and were triumphant on "The Last Time." It's a marvel to see
them play these songs, all sounding fresh again after years of
The night's first truly bone-chilling moment came during "Gimme
Shelter," when the band conjured a dark musical storm while backup
singer Lisa Fischer howled lead vocals alongside Mick for the first time
since the Bigger Bang tour, reminding us no one does the job better.
(Mary J. Blige sang with Jagger at one of two London shows and in Brooklyn, and Florence Welch handled the other London show.) "I love you!" Jagger told Fischer afterward.
Jagger soon welcomed John Mayer for "Respectable," a welcome surprise
song choice. Mayer delivered with a manic, wicked solo; Ronnie Wood
matched him with his own, grinning as he effortlessly pointed his guitar
neck toward the crowd. Richards went next, firing away rhythmic blasts
with intent focus. But Mayer took the last word with a frenzy of flashy
notes. It felt like bad form, but Keith didn't seem to care, flashing a
giant grin – this was a party. They soon flashed forward, nailing the
new time-shifting apocalyptic workout "Doom and Gloom," a new live
"New Jersey is the only place you don't have to be working out to
wear a track suit," Jagger joked. He also made reference to the "12-12-12" benefit
at Madison Square Garden the night before. "We had an amazing time,"
Jagger said. "We even had Bruce open up for us." (Springsteen joins the
band on Saturday in Newark). The night's only weak moment was "One More
Shot" where everybody seemed so lost it nearly fell apart, the band
looking at each other for cues. Afterward, Keith shrugged at the crowd
But there was nothing quite like seeing Mick Taylor play with the
Stones again. For his first time playing with the band on U.S. soil
since 1981 (he played with them in London late last month), he emerged
unassumingly and unannounced, but as soon as Richards launched into an
11-minute "Midnight Rambler," Taylor unleashed flourishes of virtuosic
greatness that were unmistakably him. As Jagger howled furious harp
lines, Taylor rocked back and forth, grooving harder than he did on the
entire 1972 tour while the band gave him plenty of room to stretch out.
"Mick Taylor!" Jagger said afterward. "He's great! Really good!"
It was a marathon from there, the band nailing the slinky air-tight
groove of "Tumbling Dice" – Keith played the riff eyes-closed, as if
meditating in it and a raucous "Brown Sugar." The guitars blared full
force in "Jumpin' Jack Flash," with Richards grinning with each riff
stab as Jagger punched the air as he sprinted the catwalk tirelessly;
after a heavy "Satisfaction," Taylor returned to take a bow with his old
Earlier in the night, during his solo set, Keith Richards referenced
Hurricane Sandy while talking to the crowd. "I know you guys had a rough
time. We admire the way you stuck with it. Keep on trucking, you know?"
We felt the same way about them. Set list
"Get Off of My Cloud"
"The Last Time"
"It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)"
"Paint It Black"
"Respectable" with John Mayer
"Around and Around" (first since El Mocambo March 5, 1977)
"Doom and Gloom"
"One More Shot"
"Honky Tonky Women"
"Before They Make Me Run"
"Midnight Rambler" with Mick Taylor
"Start Me Up"
"Sympathy for the Devil"
"You Can't Always Get What You Want" with The Choir of Trinity Wall Street
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
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lord, bring Mick T. back to the band. . . one last album, he would
bring all of the ballads up to a beautiful level, they need a
melodically gifted player like Mick Taylor to balance out the solid
rockers the band has put out with some tasteful playing. . .
the first time I've been able to make it through a live clip of the
Stones in 25 years. That was really, really good. Is there really not
room for 3 guitarists up there for the whole show? It's just a
natural-born fact - Mick Taylor makes the Stones better! Also Jagger is a
wicked harp player!
have seen The Rolling Stones six times in San Diego, CA. The best one
was in 1969 with Mick Taylor and Bill Wyman. Their first song was Jumpin
Jack Flash with the introduction that made Keith Richards songs so
original with Bill Wyman's bass runs. The second best was in 1981 when
Ian Stewart the sixth stone toured with them, he was their piano player
who died in 1985 of a heart attack. The Steal Wheels tour of 1989 which
finished off in Europe in 1991 was fantastic. It can be heard in it's
full set in the DVD titled The Rolling Stones at the Max. They played
2000 light years which was fantastic along with Mick Jagger's Rock and a
Hard Place which I think is one of their best songs.In 1969 they did
not switch guitars around all the time like they do now. They are tuned
different which makes it easier to play certain songs but like Jumpin
Jack Flash the way they did it in 1969 sounds just like the record. The
way they play it now does not! The four DVD set from Best Buy has four
DVD's. The first talking to the band members, the second at Madison
Square Garden, the third at a new stadium in London and the fourth at a
club type setting in Paris. Those two DVD's the Rolling Stones are at
there the other night, tightest they've been in decades. Buzz coming in
was "yeah...mick taylor", buzz was the same leaving only a bigger
"yeahhh". If this is about it for them, they should really bring MT
back, they are soooo much better w/ him
Fifty years. That's five times as long as the Beatles'
career, and quite a bit longer than most other bands (or marriages).
Rock 'n' roll was meant to explode and fall apart, so how humanoids like
Keith Richards, Mick Jagger
and company have survived the ringer this long remains a mystery.
Nevertheless, better the world's greatest rock band make it to 50 years
than someone else.
For the first New Jersey stop on this very-limited, very-pricey victory lap of a tour, the Rolling Stones not only didn't disappoint, they outclassed 50 years of successors, including rightful ones. Frills were few: John Mayer
hopped on early to roast his axe on "Respectable," and Mick's
mysteriously quick costume changes from sparkly to sparklier jackets
barely distracted from the well-aged thunderous canon (more like canyon)
of hits. Only the Stones could toss off Richter-scale levelers like
"Gimme Shelter" and "Paint It Black" in the first few numbers.
After Mayer's swift exit the band wasted no time bleeding every poignant note of "Wild Horses" raw and covering Chuck Berry's
"Around and Around" for the first time since 1977. The garage-y new
"Doom and Gloom" held its own with "One More Shot," and an extra-funky
"Miss You" provided some respite as an extended jam. Mick performed a
swiveling dance in the breakdown as both the snake and the charmer,
attempted to help the beer-guzzling crowd through those
"woo-hoo-hoo-oo-hoos" and yelled "where'd you get that New Jersey?"
before Bobby Keys' sax did its thing.
Jagger and Ron Wood circled the coincidentally-or-not mouth-shaped
stagepath. "Honky Tonk Women" was the only tune upstaged by the
backing-screen visual: An animated X-rated King Kong with the woman
replacing the ape as the role of skyscraper-climbing monster and
fighter-pilot monkeys trying to shoot her down. But as Keith took the
stage for the impressively-sung "Before They Make Me Run" and ageless
"Happy," the night never again turned its attention from the music.
The biggest story is of course Mick Taylor,
who appeared and ripped an elongated "Midnight Rambler" to shreds in a
giant onstage guitar huddle. The whole night tumbled into a vortex of
great rock history from there: "Start Me Up," "Tumbling Dice" and "Brown
Sugar" all in a row, impossibly hard-hitting even five decades on, with
Mick prancing around like he's 29 in a ridiculous blue waistjacket,
bantering a flag about and returning in a gigantic cape of fur spaghetti
to play Mr. D as the opening shakes of "Sympathy for the Devil" took
hold. Keef's solo suddenly sounded a few decibels louder than any of his
other playing Thursday night.
Not ones to waste time at this age, or as pleasing and demanding
showmen, the Trinity Wall Street Choir was quickly hustled up onto
either side of the stage for a tremendous encore of "You Can't Always
Get What You Want," for which Jagger strapped on an acoustic. Again, his
purple sparkling grandeur clashed with the natural musical forces
thundering throughout the Prudential Center, but the Stones invented
rock's absurdly sized contradictions if anyone did. But the sheer
overtaking pleasure of these classics at this point didn't require
answers, just dancers. Jagger won the crowd's participation after a
particularly torrential Wood solo and a rare bish-bash climax from the
normally fantastically controlled Charlie Watts.
Then without further ado, rock achieved middle age, came full circle,
lined up the planets, etc., -- whatever monster-truck metaphor have you.
The finest rock band in the world did "Satisfaction," the greatest rock
song. And to their credit, they still sound hungry. "All I hear is doom
and gloom," rightfully mocked Jagger's newest lyrics of the night.
These titans have been providing an alternative for half a century, and
there's no reason to think they'll stop now.