Posted: Aug 2, 2006 3:29 pm
they played here 2 weeks ago. people here either said it's gonna be lame or were to lame to go, so i figured i might just go alone & try to see them cheap and upfront once in my life. i didn't have any big expectations on the setlist & the performance, but i've always loved the stones on record & old videos and the only time i saw them was 10 years ago, lame, 150 meters from the stage, so what the fuck. a week before the show i bought two "front of stage" tickets (which were normally 135 euro each) for 140 euros on ebay. 2 days before the show i sold one of them for 160 euros.
i was at the stadium at 4, just before the doors opened, and it was no problem to get to the very front. the ultra fans of course were all lined up on keiths side already, but i got to 2nd row & 1st by the catwalk on the other side with an easy walk. i sat down for a while, then asked some other people to watch my stuff and went & hit the bar. there i spent the extra money i had made with the tickets on beers & met a couple friends i hadn't seen in years. nice afternoon. i was drunk when i got back to "my place", i had missed most of the crappy support band "starsailor" and had only one hour to wait now. from where i stood, i could basically only see stage, it's like 250 feet wide and 60 feet high - and it was the first time for me to see something like that from up close, so it was pretty interesting. all the big speakers, fans, monitors, lights, firework things it was ridiculous.
i lighted up a big joint when the show started ("bigger bang" on the big screen, so it made boom! and there were animations of explosions and tongues and lips getting sucked into black holes and shit - along with some real explosions on the stage), and my brain was fixed right when charlie sat down and keith started into jumpin jack flash. now, there were like three rows of girls in front of me - nobody between me and the catwalk - and i'm pretty tall myself so it was just perfect. drunk & high and there's the stones like 15 feet away, then playing "it's only r&r", "let's spend the night together" and a new song in between ("oh no, not you again"), which was actually very good too because they played it with LOTS of energy, plain and simple. plus, the sound was very good, loud & clear. the guitars were high in the mix, drums & bass made a nice rumble. i pretty much smiled all the time for the first 20 minutes, because it was all exactly how you would imagine they were in their best times - only looking a little older: ron wood running around making faces and playing some great stuff, keith posing and hitting a couple wrong notes now and then. mick doing hilarious ballet moves and singing REALLY good and strong. and charlie, well you can figure yourself. from up so close, it wasn't even so much of a stadium thing, they were just like a bar band, but the greatest there ever was. i almost shit my pants.
they played tumbling dice & midnight rambler. then it got a little lamer, because they played that new ballad "streets of love" and "night time", which were very boring except for the part of their black singer, she sang great and looked sexy in a hot, short dress. "as tears go by" was nice, keef playing good on the acoustic and mick standing on one spot & moving his arms and legs like a ballet fag again. then keith got his 2 songs, sadly no "happy".
they started into "miss you" and the whole middle of stage moved through the audience to the other side of the arena. now, imagine a small stage with the stones on it, moving past you about 5 feet away from you, playing that ridiculous disco beat of "miss you". when they came back they played honky tonk women and keef was on my side playing his solo. now, the worst part of the whole show was the audience - they were very quiet except for clapping now and then. so there i was, drunk idiot among an otherwise quiet audience, keith richards 5 feet in front of me noodling his solo. of course, i screamed "KEEEEEEF!!!!!!! YO KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEF!!!!!!" (cause i thought that's just what you do at a stones show when he comes past, and well - maybe he throws his guitar at me?). he finished his solo and then looked at me annoyed and said "i saw you". i was pleased.
next up was sympathy (with keith messing up his solo, but huge fireworks and explosions - good cover up), that stupid "start me up" (which actually sounded pretty raw - NOT like the superbowl version!), brown sugar (which got REALLY messed up by keith again, all the others standing together looking like "what the fuck is he doing?" - but it had the original bobby keys on sax, playing just like on the record, and yes, when it comes to THIS song - I LIKE SAXAPHONES. they finished with "you can't always get..." & satisfaction. big fireworks again.
i just realized it took me almost an hour to write this - so go ahead and see them, schooley or whoever else. make sure you get a good ticket & cheap (right before the show you're maybe gonna get one for $50, or do it like me and use ebay in a smart way). and keep your expectations down, if you think it's gonna be like that altamont video you'll be bummed. it's gonna be nothing if you're somewhere in the back and sober and paid big bucks for that shit, but it's gonna be lots of fun if you're up front and shitfaced. and as i said: here, the audience was VERY lame - i dunno about that in nola, but try to take some stupid friends along and it should be fun. it's the STONES man! peace out