||STONES' NEW 'LICKS' STILL
HAVE FANS LAPPING IT UP
By DAN AQUILANTE
September 27, 2002 -- THE genius of the Rolling Stones'
Licks tour - which celebrates the band's four decades in
rock - is that the package is simple and uncomplicated.
At Madison Square Garden last night, Mick Jagger, Keith
Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts knew it was only
rock 'n' roll - but they like it, and in turn, they made the
sold-out house love it.
From guitarist Richards' opening slash 'n' burn chord
change-ups for "Street Fighting Man" through the encore, the
band pulled tight the string of original and cover songs - and
never let up the tension.
The band is too old to sweat over the music, but still young
enough at heart to pump blood into ancient songs.
As you might or might not expect, these Brits played a
pounding rock show that cemented their title as the greatest
rock band in the world.
The band played hits such as "Honky Tonk Woman," "It's
Only Rock 'n' Roll" and their much-loved ballad "Wild
Horses" with enough edge to make up for the lack of
The tunes kept rolling for two hours and held the house in
velvet chains. After the music started, hardly anyone left
their seat for beers, dogs or even pit stops.
Sure, there were occasional signs that time isn't always on
their side - such as when the band played a cover of the
O'Jay's "Love Train," complete with Mick in pimpadelic
glory. But the stumbles were few.
Ignore when Richards and Wood stepped on Jagger's vocals
during "Rocks Off." Forget that Watts' backbeat was too
powerful in the sonic mix on "Honky Tonk."
Those slight missteps were acceptable. In fact, it made the
show seem like it was crafted for New York rather than a
high-polish choreographed concert that plays like a carbon
copy at every tour stop.
For New York, the Stones snatched familiar favorites, but as
it was at the Boston opener earlier this month, the mini-set
from the band's masterpiece "Exile on Main Street" featuring
"Lovin' Cup," "Rock Off," "Wreck the Joint" and "Tumblin'
Dice" was the heart of this concert. It was in this quartet of
songs that each band member best showed off their stuff.
Do they still have stuff to show off?
Yes, they do.
Although the show Saturday at Giants Stadium and Monday
at Roseland are sold out, there's still a couple more chances
to check out the Stones' licks when the band returns to the
Garden Jan. 17 and 18.
||Wreck This Joint?
Come on Dan, you know better than that! (I hope)