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Licks World Tour 2002 - 2003

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Topic: (Boston 9/3) Full Review! Return to archive
09-04-02 01:50 PM
TheSavageYoungXyzzy (For the 'short version', scroll down to the section entitled "THE CONCERT")


Alright, I have a confession to make. While I maintained a fair amount of confidence that I would get into this show, I didn't know for sure until 4 pm (1600 to you Europeans and Drill Saergents [sp]) yesterday, when my father called to tell me we had two seats in the balcony, section 302. I didn't care where they were - I was here to see the Stones! Turns out it was Keith side - and of course he never stayed there, so it wound up being "Darryl's Side".

My father is *not* a Stones fan, so I owe him big time for going. He likes The Eagles, and, at best, The Band. He owns one Stones album, Steel Wheels, which he says is 'decent'. (It's an old CBS copy, too!)

I got on the train to take me into North Station. When I got on, I saw a group of guys about 10-20 years older than me in Stones garb. They whistled a bar of "Before They Make Me Run" at me. I laughed and walked on.

I don't have a Stones T-Shirt, so I took a New Balance T-shirt that reads "Endorsed By No One" and covered up all the New Balance logos with Stones stuff. I even put that header picture from '97 on the front - leaving up the Rocks Off Watermark so everyone would know! It was all taped together and looked very "Exile"-ish - the Documentary Film Crew filmed me and the shirt, getting a full shot of the Rocks Off Logo! We may well be in the new documentary!

While waiting for my father, I stood with a group of people who were filming for WBZ-4, the local CBS station. We were on TV live several times, and I was on the 6 and 11 o'clock news, proudly leading people 10 years older than I was ('cept for one little girl, eleven years old and this was her *third* Stones concert - I hope her father covered her eyes during "Honky Tonk Women"!) in a rousing acapella version of "Satisfaction".

As I was walking to get in line, the guys from WZLX (100.7) gave me a T-Shirt, saying "You deserve this for what you did". Sweet! It has the ZLX logo on the front and on the back "got stones?" with the dates of the four concerts.


So we get into the center. ("If I'd known it was this easy," I told my father, "I would have brought a camera!") We find our seats. I sit down, next to some guy who I think's running for either governor or lieutenant governor of Massachussetts (never did find out - didn't want to bug him - but everyone around him was all taking about "Oh, your platform's interesting" and so forth). We talked for awhile - he'd seen them in '65 and '69 at the Garden. I told him that the opening song, on information not 100% secure, would be "Street Fighting Man" and the theme for the night was Exile. He was psyched. (This is the guy who had his doubts about "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" without Mick Taylor - I'm not voting for him!)

So the Pretenders get up on stage, and they *suck*. Hardcore. The last two songs they do are alright, but overall, just massive suckage. They turn their volume down, that's how embarrased they are.

My father leans over to me, says "How much you wanna bet there'll be a new act in January?"

So they finish, and there's polite applause. Then we wait 50 minutes. (gahh!)


At 8:52 PM, the Stones take the stage.

The FleetCenter goes dark and there's an ominous beating of drums... then the stage lights up with purplish lights, the huge TV screen (still covered) begins flashing... and Keith Richards hits the opening chords of "Street Fighting Man".

Bam! Everyone starts dancing. Mick runs out, blue jacket and all, and we're rocking.

Great rendition of "Street Fighting Man". Guitars are up, Chuck is down, blows away the "Stripped" version. The screen in the background displays shattered fragments of London signs, with arrows, x-es, and occasionally one that says "Girls! Girls! Girls!", in faded black and white.

"If You Can't Rock Me" - Ronnie shines on this one, Keith begins to prance about, but I notice he's not really playing a whole lot... Interesting effect, The RonnieCam comes into effect. Ronnie's got a camera on the end of his guitar, and they switch to it when he solos, so you're looking down the fretboard at his fingers.

"It's Only Rock'n'Roll" - Not bad version, but the energy is starting to fade from the crowd, Mick clearly wants them up, they're not quite feeling into it.

"Don't Stop" - The energy in the place gets snuffed. Out like a light. The fact is, it would have been much better recieved if it was placed later on in the show. But right after "It's Only Rock'n'Roll"? Doens't cut it. It was a great version of it, too! No bass line, though, just kind of a drone.

"Stray Cat Blues" - snarling, menacing, *loud* version. Keith plays with Ronnie this time, and the energy starts to come back.

"Wild Horses" - Bernard and Lisa come in, they sing, it's quite good, actually. Ronnie, again, ruling the guitarwaves. Energy has subsided to a dull murmur.

At this point, Mick said "We're gonna do a few songs from Exile on Main Street!" I cheered! Exile show, baby, yeah!

"Loving Cup" - Gets my vote for worst song of the night. Just one of those numbers where they've lost too many original people to make it great. Chuck's piano intro was abysmal, Darryl didn't get that high-octane Taylor bass-riff (Is that Taylor, Keith or Bill in the studio version? It sounds like Taylor) at all, Mick didn't sing it with quite his usual luster. Only Bobby and Ronnie (Charlie goes without saying) were on top of this one, and that wasn't enough to pull it through.

And then... "This one's called "Rocks Off"!

Tremendous explosion!

"Rocks Off" - gets my vote, tied with another coming up, for best song of the night. The video screens played strange, drug-addled wanderings through wrecked city streets and the urban ghettos while Ronnie made this song his bitch. Listening to him tear this song apart absolutely blew away Perth 72's bare-bones version. This song was muddy, with one instrument bleeding into another, rollicking along with Charlie grinning like a maniac for the first time (looked a bit like Keith Moon for a second!) and Keith playing a solid if somewhat subdued rhythm guitar. The horns were raunchy, in-your-face... just... absolutely beautiful. And this was *before* Ronnie's solo - everyone started yelling for him.

This was the turning point of the show. Before hand, I was feeling "Hmm... these are the Rolling Stones, then... they're quite good." After, I was feeling "ROLLING FUCKING STONES! WHOOOOOOOO! YOU GUYS FUCKING RULE! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! RONNIE, YOU'RE THE FUCKING MAN! WHOOOOOOOOOO! I'M GOING TO HAVE A FUCKING STROKE! WHOOOOOOOO!"

"Rip This Joint" - Like the studio version, except better. The video screens with a strange bar-code type static underneath shots of the band helped the overall feel. I was still coming down off of "Rocks Off", so this one's a blur for me. It was great, though.

We got band introductions. Charlie got the most applause, as usual!

"Tumbling Dice" - The lights ran themselves over the audience, and we all sang along during "You got to ro-o-oll me, and call me the tumbling di-iiice!" Once again, Ronnie Wood, taking the FleetCenter hostage with his 'ax-o-goodness'. At the end, the screen swirled... and familiar sketched letters appeared on it.



And Mick sent Keith up to sing. Keith looked out at us, laughed a bit, gave a little banter - he did sound a bit nervous, corgi! He thought about it for awhile, and then decided on...

"Slipping Away" - Many chose to get up now. Their loss. Keith played the intro beautifully, then... took off his guitar.

I didn't understand it.

He sat there, singing away, but his guitar was just... sitting there, at his side. He kept playing with it, alternatively hoisting and lowering it, but not actually *playing* it. And he sang beautifully, sure, but this was Keith "I invented the windmill and that bastard Townshend saw it and took it" Richards we were talking about.

And then...

"Happy" - This was one of the most lackluster renditions I've heard. Nothing compared to the raw energy of the 70s renditions. Keith finally put his guitar on halfway through it, but once again, Ronnie saved the day with a nice lap pedal! It wasn't bad... but it wasn't good, either. The crowd sat down halfway through it. I think that sucked the life outta poor Keith. But at least he got the message.

"Love Train" - Mick runs out, looking like Anthony Hopkins at the end of "Silence Of The Lambs", and launches into "Love Train". The audience giggles, then kinda sits there... then gets into it. "This one's a real Stones song!" my father tells me, laughing the whole way through. Mick was really having fun with it - you could tell.

"Undercover" - Without Bill and whoever was on organ at the time, it wasn't worth it. Darryl's bass was lackluster on this one, plugging away. They showed strange blue-tinted videos of police chases, while the live Stones showed up over them as red sillhouettes - very cool! The strobes flashed rhytmically for the whole 'curl up baby, curl up tight' bit, a nice touch.

The lights went down... Mick walked up to the microphone... "We're going to do one that we haven't... umm... haven't done often for you... 's called... "Can't You Hear Me Knocking"!"

And in we went! Keith played a killer beginning bit, then handed Ronnie the reins. The lyrical section was all right - Needs Keith! Where are ya, Keith? You and your high harmonies! Then the jam section came in. It was a bit slower than the studio recording, but that improved it, made it more menacing, like "Rambler". Keith and Ronnie's guitars snarled at each other, and then Bobby came in. He blew and blew for a long time, and the audience was held in thrall. Charlie was having a great time, dishing out the jazz beats. Then Mick picked up a microphone - "Oh, God, not new lyrics!" I muttered. But he put his harp up and began to play. He's still got it - never lost it! - and was very very good. But the star of the show?

I'll give you three guesses...

...And the first two don't count.

Rah-humana-humana-ronnie Wood!

He picked it up, made the Taylor solo his own, rather than trying to copy it note for note. The crowd's energy started to build... and build... and build... until we were at a dull roar. I was on my feet - so was the floor and a few others up near me - and when he started to bang out that second-to-last section that goes "bah-dah-dah *DAH* dah/bah-dah-dah *DAH* dah..." we started cheering like maniacs. The last little bit went off with Ronnie and Bobby playing with each other... and then it was over, and everyone started screaming. "Ronnie! Ronnie!" Mick held up Ronnie's hand, and he danced a little jig!

If you haven't guessed, this is the one that ties "Rocks Off" for best song of the night.

"Honky Tonk Women" - Them Stones, they are still a-shocking. An Japanese-animation style woman in nothing but a thong and boots walks onto the screen, and goes for a ride on the Stones tongue, which, as she does so, begins spitting 'saliva' from the curve underneath it. She was... *ahem*... well-animated, shall we say, and therefore people found it hard to pay attention to the Stones themselves. She was thrown off once, got back on, and then was eaten and spit out by Kali's lips.

The song was also excellent.

Of particular note was Chuck's piano solo, which was noted for its absence of suckage.

Keith, now awake, begins playing along with Ronnie, and the weave kicks into high gear.

"Satisfaction" - a light show, and the most hard-rocking version in awhile. No horns, however, just Keith 'n Ronnie fuzzing away. Both of them solo, both do it well, and Mick is in top form, throughout.

The drum beat begins to play... the B-Stage rises up... Mick runs down the catwalk, says hello to people, runs back up, gets the band together, and takes them down. They're surrounded by adoring fans, Keith waves hello to the mass of screaming ones near him, Ronnie leans right down over them, Charlie just sits there with Darryl and Chuck. They get handed up their guitars, Mick takes out his harmonica. I say "Rambler"... but it's actually even better! (Well, better for the B-Stage. You know what I mean. Shut up.)


"Mannish Boy" - Oooooh yeah! Ooooh yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah... everything' gonna be all right... It worked really well, except Billy wasn't there to go "Whoooooo!" after Mick yelled "I'm a mayyyyyyyn..." Still, you can't always get what you want. Keith and Ronnie weave so perfectly it's almost messianic (or a trifle too satanic...)

"Neighbors" - Better than the studio version. Rollicking good fun, not the somewhat sterile 'big drum beat' version on Tattoo You.

Bobby Keyes gets up there... aaaaaaaaaand...

"Brown Sugar" - Everyone stands up. Keith and Ronnie, once again, run away with the weave. Bobby plays the same way he did 30 years ago... and it's still great. The lights help us out when we sing the "Yeah... yeah... yeah... Whooo!" by ourselves, then with Mick, then without him again as the band just jams away. All of a sudden, it's over, and Mick says "OK, that's it, g'night!" Everyone goes 'huh?' It's the musical equivilent of pulling out. They run off stage, through the crowd (except for Charlie, who walks... he looks dog tired now). The lights are still down. I start chanting "We want the Stones! We want the Stones!" Red lights pop up... we hear a distant drumbeat... aaaaaaaaaand, after keeping us waiting for about five minutes, they pop up again on the main stage....


"Sympathy For The Devil" - Great version, kind of a mix of the studio and old live (Ya-Ya's, Love You Live) guitar versions. Keith plays a blisteringly good solo. The tongue logo is outlined in flames on the screen. Charlie looks absolutely exausted.

"Jumping Jack Flash" - Snarling, menacing, everything we wanted and more. Like a combination of the outstanding singing on Ya-Yas and the outstanding fast playing on Love You Live. All I could ask for outta this song. Keith & Ronnie, Sweethearts Together! What a pair they are now, finally, after Ronnie saved Keith's capering ass in the first half. Keith is forgiven, he's finally playing now and we understand why he's the best rhythm guitar in rock'n'roll, weaving seamlessly with the incomparable Ronnie Wood. Rose petals (alright, pieces of paper) get fired all through the center, right as I was wondering where Mick's basket was. And that's that. Charlie staggers down from the drums... I was really worried that he was gonna collapse then and there... but Mick helped him over, and he looked out, saw the crowd and smiled as they bowed. I heard Ronnie's name more than anyone else's. We keep standing and clapping, hoping they'll come out... but no, a pair of lips kiss the screen, leaving a lipstick smudge... and the lights come up.


So I leave, still in shock about "Rocks Off" and "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" but more so about the show in general. They were great, they were everything I wanted and more.

And I didn't even have to feed Mick Taylor to keep him away!

THE BEST: "Rocks Off", "Can't You Hear Me Knocking"
THE WORST: "Loving Cup"
MOST ILL-TIMED: "Don't Stop"
MVP: Ronnie *FUCKING* Wood, Rock deity and skinny little guy.

"2000 Man" (yeah, right!)
"She's A Rainbow" (though without Nicky or John Paul Jones, what's the point?)
"Dance Pt. 1" (Nooooo! Where was it? Replace "Undercover" with this one!)
"Around And Around" (A club show number, certainly)
"Before They Make Me Run" (Drop "Happy" or make it better, Keith!)
"All About You" (Drop "Slipping Away"... this one might be a club show number, actually.)
"Everybody Needs Somebody To Love" (Club show, almost certainly)
"Heart Of Stone" (see above)
"She Smiled Sweetly" (see above above)
"Sweet Virginia" (drop "Loving Cup" and do a sing-along)
"Torn And Frayed" (another alternative to "Loving Cup")

This may seem like a lot of "I wishes"... but the setlist I saw was just fine, thank you... in fact, more than just fine, it was simply phenomenal.

Go Ronnie go!

Ladies and Gentlemen, for what may well be The Last Time, please go and support the greatest rock'n'roll band in the world, The Rolling Stones!

-tSYX --- Hear me ringing... big bell toll...
09-04-02 02:26 PM
FotiniD Oh Savage, great review, thank you very much!!!
Will you be attending more shows? I love your reviews

And God, no horns in Satisfaction? GOD HAS HEARD MY PRAYERS!!! So have the Stones it seems At long last, give me a raw version of it, what's with the horns!!


"The last few Stones tours had been a little too precise and show-bizzy for comfort, but this show echoed the group's bar-band roots with a bold-face exclamation point."

Funny to read it from the fan club site, but I couldn't agree more with the part about the "precise" previous tours. I love the mistakes, I love the groove this new tour seems to have, I love the odd setlist selections, the theme nights (an Exile night, how great is that! Lucky you!!!) I love the loose feeling!!!! OH IT'S GREAT

Tell you guys one thing, I think we're in for a great, great, great tour. Possibly the best in years. Just wait and see, I have the best feeling about this and I don't think I'm the only one.

Thanks again Savage!
09-04-02 02:29 PM
Moonisup Well from Amsterdam to boston in a few weeks!!
09-04-02 02:38 PM
TheSavageYoungXyzzy Anytime, Fotini!

I'll try and catch them when they come back in January.

Oh, and I forgot - if anyone has any questions, I'll try and answer them - anyone else from the concert, feel free to chime in, along with correcting me on anything I forgot/misinformation - it was a loooong night and it's hard to pick out specific details!

-tSYX --- I can't even feel the pain no more...
09-04-02 02:50 PM
DiamondsDisease Thanks Savage for this great review. I have to admit for the first time in my life it took me a while to get that Stones fever back again, I even had some doubts if they could still do it. But after reading your review the fever is back again..:-).
Boy now I got a new problem, I will have sleepless nights untill they come to Europe. Can't wait
09-04-02 03:15 PM
Scot Rocks Thanks for taking the time to write that tSYX, great review from what sounds like a great show. These things are like oxygen for us here in Europe, they keep us going for next year!!!!!


09-04-02 04:30 PM
lonecrapshooter Thanks so much for that very "balanced" review. I heard a very similar review from someone else. Your recollection of details is impeccable. Did you have a notebook?

I'm less concerned about Keith improving than Ronnie if he had been subpar. We all have bad days at the office. All the elements are now there for a fanatastic sounding tour.
09-04-02 04:37 PM
L&A Thanks, Xyzzy, for that great review. What the f*** are we doing here in Europe, working at office... Let's just leave everything here and let's go to the US...
09-04-02 09:09 PM
Lacride Thanks Savage, I've read your lines like a captivating novel! Question: What about Lisa? Is she in a good shape? Well, I mean artistically, her singing... but, if you have infos about her "look" (only positive ones!), I'd be glad to read them!
09-04-02 09:31 PM
beer Excellent review! Best thing I've read in ages. Thanks.

"Of particular note was Chuck's piano solo, which was noted for its absence of suckage"

Haha, fuckin funny!

09-04-02 10:06 PM
TheSavageYoungXyzzy Ahh... Lisa...

She was rather good looking, played around with the boys during "Honky Tonk Women" and "Love Train". After the racy "Honky Tonk Women" cartoon finished, the camera had a few interesting shots of her from the waist down...

"Scrambled eggs, I want to see your lovely legs..."

She did very well for herself singing, especially on "Wild Horses" and "Slipping Away". Her vocals on "Satisfaction", like Flashpoint's version, once again, didn't quite fit in. Oh well. At least Mick sang along with "Jumpin' Jack Flash"s chorus instead of speaking it. Made it much better.

In other news...

We have a bootleg... (we have!) Little Rocks Off! Why don't you stop your crying? Here comes Ronnie the Engine Driver to make you feel much better!

Someone in the front on the floor recorded it, calls it "better than average" audience bootleg.

Developing... more as it comes. The guy is over at Doug's board. I'll try and snag a copy ASAP for distribution - as I'm sure others on this board are.

-tSYX --- Ain't to proud to beg...
09-04-02 10:07 PM
lonecrapshooter wrote:
Thanks so much for that very "balanced" review. I heard a very similar review from someone else. Your recollection of details is impeccable. Did you have a notebook?

I did, crapshooter... but the minute they started I forgot all about it! So all I had were recollections of the train ride and waiting for the train written down...

-tSYX --- So let me walk, before they make me run...
09-04-02 10:16 PM
lonecrapshooter Amazing that you got all that detail...congratulations. What about posting this on so maybe the Boys will see it? I'm sure they will appreciate it...even a little constructive criticism.
09-04-02 10:21 PM
Lacride Thanks Savage, I can go to sleep with Lisa's scrambling legs in mind...
09-04-02 10:28 PM
lonecrapshooter wrote:
Amazing that you got all that detail...congratulations. What about posting this on so maybe the Boys will see it? I'm sure they will appreciate it...even a little constructive criticism.

Hahaha! I can imagine Keith sitting in front of a computer... "Cor! 'e fucking thinks I was nervous! Fuckin' 'ell, Ronnie, this kid wants to hump yer fuckin' leg or somethin'!"

-tSYX --- Dance! Dance little sistah!
09-04-02 10:52 PM
Martha Absolutely fantastic review Xzzy...I am amazed at your impeccable attention to detail and great memory. I hung on every word and cannot WAIT to see this incredible show.

I would be very interested in the boot if it comes around and can help to copy and distribute.

Time IS on our side.
09-04-02 11:05 PM
TheSavageYoungXyzzy Martha, I'm working on getting the boot right now, so I may call you on that. Would you be interested in being a heavy-duty distributor if I get it, since I cannot be?

-tSYX --- Let the airwaves flow...
09-04-02 11:42 PM
TheSavageYoungXyzzy wrote:
Martha, I'm working on getting the boot right now, so I may call you on that. Would you be interested in being a heavy-duty distributor if I get it, since I cannot be?

-tSYX --- Let the airwaves flow...

Yes! absolutely!!....., but let's not bore anyone with the details..let's work it out through private messaging.

09-04-02 11:50 PM
MidnightRambler Savage, what a great review. Reading your words makes me want to just jump and scream "Ronnie Rocks!!" I really wish I could just see the face on Ronnie when everyone was cheering for him! Just great! Keep your reviews comin'!
09-05-02 05:09 PM
glencar I enjoyed Tuesday's show. I loved what they palyed although it didn't have the best sound for quite a while. Mick's voice was somewhat flat for the first few
songs but things improved quickly. The guitars were very good. Ronnie is in top form. I like the new songs, the cover version of "Love Train" & the return to
"Mannish Boy"> I attended with a non-Stones fan & I think I made a convert! I didn't get to meet anyone because my bro-in-law had to work that night till 5PM
& we had a 2-hour drive to Beantown. It was quite misty there & their roads stink. But the crowd was good. Fortunately, the couple in front of us sat still like
wooden Indians & didn't interrupt our view from the nosebleeds. I look forward to the FUC...