Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Rolling Stones -- Verizon Center - Jun 24 2013

The Rolling Stones - This is my first and most likely last time in seeing this band, even though they proved tonight that it may not be their last time playing live in the USA. Charlie Watts is the oldest at 72 and he looks and sounds the youngest and freshest of any of them. Keith Richards looks a bit more like he could next appear in a zombie movie as opposed to that Pirate flick, but his playing is as crisp and soulful as ever. Even his two turns on lead vocals went extremely well. Ronny Wood is weathered and affable as always, and still cuts a great foil on guitar making this the most natural Stones guitar pairing as well as the longest running of the three. And aside from the TV screens mistake in showing Mick Jagger's age in black & white close-ups (color was so much better), his fitness, energy, and vocal qualities are amazing. So we shall see if they do this again, but most importantly, they still offer a good couple of hours of rock'n'roll for a crowd that was much broader across the generations than I was expecting.
Musically, it was loose and ragged at times, but that is kind of what we all want anyway, so there were no real distractions in these expected arrangements. And they could tighten up and keep the riffs flowing, such as on "Paint it Black" where Ronny Wood took it up a notch. "Gimme Shelter" followed as part of an awesome 1-2 punch early in the set. Basically, all the songs came off as expected so it depended more on how much you liked it to begin with. "Honky Tonk Woman" seemed a little dull to me, as it always has, but the crowd went nuts, so what do I know. I was surprised that a newer song "Doom and Gloom" sounded about as good as anything tonight. One of the highlights was "Midnight Rambler" with Mick Taylor joining in. The three guitars mad this jammer even more exciting and all three guitarists danced and slashed comfortably in a sonic space almost as big as that stage.

Their long time partner Daryl Jones was there on bass, with Chuck Leavell on keyboards, and Bobby Keys on sax. There was also another sax, percussionist, and Lisa Fisher on vocals. But many songs had just the core 5-6 members churning out the rock. The sound was arena-good and the presentation was straight-up without anything overly fancy or out of character. All in all, this was much better than I expected and probably a lot better than what few peers they have that are out there doing this. And since the Rolling Stones along with the Beatles are my first two memories of rock music, it was nice to finally get around to seeing a live show.

Set List: Get Off of my Cloud - It's Only Rock'n'Roll - Paint it Black - Gimme Shelter - Worried About You - Street Fighting Man (request winner) - Emotional Rescue - Doom and Gloom - One More Shot - Honky Tonk Woman - You got the Silver - Before they Make me Run - Midnight Rambler - Miss You - Start Me Up - Tumbling Dice - Brown Sugar - Sympathy for the Devil -- Encore: You Can't Always Get What You Want - Jumping Jack Flash - Satisfaction

Quote of the Night: Since Chris Richards of the Washington Post scooped me (in print even!) with Mick Jagger's comedy line, I will pull out this by one of my favorite guitarists Richard Thompson...
"I try to keep my ticket prices 1/20th of that of the Rolling Stones."

And to add my Grandpa Simpson/Mr. Burns story to the night, my friend Jeff Luther provides this ticket stub to a show I attended exactly 36 years and one day before this one. Three other guys named Dave and I made it out that night, a few nights after our high school graduation. With merely the servicing fees I paid for tonight's show for a seat way in the back, all four of us could have gone to this Pink Floyd show, gotten two pizzas and two or three pitchers of beer to wash it down (and maybe had 2-3 dollars left which would have gotten us ten gallons of gas for the trip home).

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