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Topic: Jagger, Wood keep Stones a-rocking Return to archive
09-12-02 10:02 PM
moy yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssssssssssss!!!!

By Greg Kot
Tribune rock critic
Published September 12, 2002

They may be entering their fifth decade, but the Rolling Stones still have a few surprises left. Here are a few from Tuesday's concert at the United Center, the opener of a three-night Chicago stand (details to follow):

Mick Jagger still gives a toot (or at least does a good job of faking it).

The Stones realize they've written a few good songs besides the greatest hits they've been flogging on recent tours.

Ron Wood lives!

Jagger sounded testy, and that's just the way Stones diehards like him.

"If you can't rock me, somebody will," he growled. The song, which kicks off the 1972 "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll" album, is more of a threat than a plea: Get it on, or get out of the way. On this night, it was as if Jagger were directing it at himself.

The Stones came out like they had something to prove, and indeed they did. On their 40th anniversary, they're charging the stiffest ticket prices ever for a rock 'n' roll tour. Little wonder Keith Richards at one point knelt before the folks in the $370 seats as though in the presence of royalty.

The fans have given the Stones a pricey stage on which to dance, and the band did not take the responsibility lightly. On past tours, one could always rely on Charlie Watts' spare but propulsive drumming to drive the tunes, and for Richards' guitar playing to splice the beats and keep the rhythm oil flowing, even when the rest of the Stones were phoning in the hits.

But on this night, Jagger twitched, twirled and gestured as if electro-shocked back in time. Watching the wiry singer, one appreciated again how much he borrowed from James Brown, Jackie Wilson and Tina Turner, and how much he gave to a future generation of rockers, from Iggy Pop and Patti Smith to the Hives' Howlin' Pelle Almqvist. As opener Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders jokingly said: "We owe them so much: our clothes, our haircuts, our drug habits."

Jagger's voice swaggered with virility and purpose, and he delivered a long, growling harp solo on "Mannish Boy" that would have made band patriarch Muddy Waters smile. Is this man really 59 years old? If he could bottle his secret, Viagra would be in trouble.

The second reason Tuesday's show was a cut above for the latter-day Stones was that the cartoon known as Woodie has rejoined reality. Ron Wood has been known primarily in recent years for flopping, flailing and grinning like a drunken buffoon. But fresh out of a recent stint in rehab--the whiskey bottle he once hoisted has been replaced by bottled water--Wood affirmed why the Stones hired him in the first place to replace Mick Taylor in the mid-'70s.

He laid down a wicked slide solo on "All Down the Line," played whining pedal steel on "Far Away Eyes" and "The Worst," and locked into the riff that runs down the spine of Otis Redding's "I Can't Turn You Loose" with the kind of glee that once inspired the Replacements to pick up their guitars. His solo on "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" earned a slap of the palm from Jagger, but it was his jousting with Richards throughout the evening--the guitars tangling like stray cats in an alley fight--that lubricated the Stones and allowed newcomers to glimpse what the glory days must have sounded like.

It was encouraging to see the Stones cover not only the late Redding, who once did the same to their "Satisfaction," but dig out the ode to illicit carnal knowledge, "Stray Cat Blues," and explore their 1978 masterpiece, "Some Girls," in some depth (the flippant country ode "Far Away Eyes," the big spacious groove of "Shattered" and a hammering "When the Whip Comes Down," as well as the obligatory "Miss You.")

There was just enough juggling of the set list to at least pique the renewed interest of the more discerning Stones fans, while those seeking hits and nothing but got a big dose at the beginning and end of the 23-song, two-hour show: "Street Fighting Man," "Honky Tonk Women," "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)," "Sympathy for the Devil," "Jumpin' Jack Flash." Unfortunately, the Stones didn't exploit the possibilities of the smaller second stage in the middle of the arena floor; after "Mannish Boy," they performed the rote anthem "You Got Me Rocking" from the 1994 "Voodoo Lounge" album and "Brown Sugar"--not particularly adventurous choices.

Here's hoping the Stones open it up even more on the final nights of their stay, Friday at Comiskey Park and Monday at the Aragon Ballroom.

What's clear is that the Stones still have the will and firepower to deliver the kind of high-energy show their ticket prices demand.

Copyright 2002, Chicago Tribune

[Edited by moy]
09-12-02 10:24 PM
Martha Fabulous review..thanks Moy!

I can't WAIT!!!!

Go Ronnie go, go, GO!!!!!
09-12-02 11:27 PM
steel driving hammer God Damm Moy!

A man can only take so much wine!

Stop the posting, it's too good!

Yer driving me crazy!
09-12-02 11:45 PM
Stop the posting, it's too good!

Bite your tongue!!!
(...or come back up here and I'll do it for you, lol!)

Moy...Please ignore him, he was having a moment.
(...we can always count on you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!)
09-12-02 11:49 PM

It's only Rock&Ron but I like it!
09-13-02 12:15 AM
Riffhard Wow!Now that's a review!It's so nice to see the press give these great reviews.Not only that but this Greg Kot guy from the Chicago Trib "get's it".How much you wanna bet this guy has read the Stones message boards?Hell,I'd be willing bet he has even visited this very locale.

Hey,Greg if your reading this I'm sure there are quite a few folks on this board who would like to buy you a pint!

Thanks moy!That was great readin'!

09-13-02 12:33 AM
gotdablouse off to a shaky start with "...1972 album IORR...", but a very good read, not the usual shit you read all over the place. I think it's the first time that I see a journalist actually saying that was a "drunken buffoon", which we all agree he was. Of course it's easier to say now that he's come back from the dead, but still, it had to be said.
09-13-02 12:42 AM
Riffhard I did not even catch the '72 reference to IORR.I just blew right over that mistake.He does,however,really drive home the Woody point.Which is why I'm convinced this Greg Kot guy researched his review and facts by lurking on Stones message boards.

09-13-02 12:55 AM
Rescued Greg Kot is a true believer. Please check out Thanks for a great post Moy. Those pictures are fantastic. Believe the hype. The band is performing better than I could have possibly hoped.
09-13-02 12:58 AM
ChrisEditor Well, for Kot to give it a good review you know it must be good. I know the guy and he is okay, but he hasn't given good reviews the last few tours...A lot of 'sellouts' talk, etc...
He tends to compare EVERY new Stones album to Exile...Which of course they will never achieve again...

Hey, my first post and I think I was able to avoid pissing anyone off.
09-13-02 05:54 AM
Pants Make the Man Kot also made another error besides the I.O.R.R. faux pas. That one line he quoted actually goes, "If you can't rock me, the Stones will." An otherwise great review, so we'll let it slip.
09-13-02 11:24 AM
sirmoonie I'm no expert, but I don't think it was just a "glimpse of the glory days" - this is the glory days. I can't imagine them being any better at any time. Were they? When?

Just thinking more and more about what I saw at UCie, they were so much better than when I saw them in '97. Different band almost. One thats alive with power and grace. And these guys are still warming up!

Hope the media coverage picks up steam as the tour does. I want all the casual observers to see what is going on. And move all the idiotic music thats hot right now to the sidelines for an extended period of time. Maybe the fucking world can learn how to rock again!

Man, I hope they are avidly reading the reviews, especially Ronnie. Nothing like a pat on the back to motivate one to even greater achievements.

CYHMK - who'd a thunk??!!!!

Fuck, I'm all over the place. Too much fun for one man to be having.
09-13-02 11:32 AM
jb The big problem is the tempo of the songs..they are just too slow....SFM, in particular, is way to slow...listen to Ya Ya's or Brussels...that's the tempo...same for "Rocks Off" and "All down the Line"...
09-13-02 11:46 AM
sirmoonie Really? I'm kinda the opposite. I like the slower tempo because Jagger can do the "vocal licks" that I think are the true triumph of the Stones. Otherwise, he's verges into just shouting out the songs and we aren't getting what Nanky called the "Jagbonics." Same is true to a somewhat lesser extent with the guitar licks, but that problem seems to have been more taken care of with the ressurgence from the grave of Ronald Bernard Taylor.

Thats just a small difference of opinion, though Josh. Brussels is some fine music. Whenever I hear it, I piss like a fishrat on helium. Its uncanny!