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Performing "Rock me baby" with Buddy Guy
Orpheum Theatre, Boston September 8, 2002
Scanned from IORR No. 45, photo by Kevin Mazur

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Topic: Review from Reuters Return to archive
10-01-02 07:56 AM
TheSavageYoungXyzzy Playful Rolling Stones End N.Y. Concert Trilogy
By Dean Goodman

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Rolling Stones pulled more tricks out of their bag on Monday as the band wrapped a series of three surprisingly diverse concerts in the New York City area with a theater show for 3,200 lucky fans.

On the eve of the North American release of a new album, the two-CD compilation, "40 Licks," the band appeared in a playful mood during a sweaty two-hour set at Roseland.

Guitarist Ronnie Wood, the resident joker who had seemed sullen on the previous 12 stops of the tour following a few stints in alcohol rehab, became the life of the party again.

Not only did he get a chance to display his prowess on such songs as "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" and "All Down the Line," but he also pinched Mick Jagger's bottom, flicked cigarettes into his own mouth, twiddled a knob on fastidious drummer Charlie Watt's kit, and generously pushed guest star Jonny Lang into the spotlight during the cover of "Rock Me Baby."

Jagger also let himself go at times, with a passion not seen in years. His head almost flew off during a powerful rendition of "That's How Strong My Love Is," an old R&B cover the group had not played since the 1960s.

Stalking the stage like an old-time gospel preacher, a crimson-faced Jagger seemed headed for a breakdown as he sang the title line over and over again with increasing intensity.

For the first time in its history, the band gave a live performance of the ballad "She Smiled Sweetly," with guitarist Keith Richards supplying backing vocals.

The song, an organ-tinged track from the 1967 album "Between the Buttons," was recently revived in its entirety during a scene in the film "The Royal Tenenbaums," as Jagger reminded the crowd. ("Can't You Hear Me Knocking" also was dusted off for the movie "Blow.")

Other rarities included "Stray Cat Blues," the band's 1968 tribute to underage groupies; the 1972 country tune "Sweet Virginia," with both Jagger and Richards on acoustic guitars; and a cover of the Temptations' "Ain't Too Proud To Beg."

As they did at their previous club shows in Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia, the Stones omitted "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" from the set list. Fans who saw the band's earlier New York area stops were treated to different versions of the old nugget: without brass (Madison Square Garden, Thursday) and with brass (Giants Stadium, Saturday).

In all, the group played 47 different songs over the three shows, with only "Start Me Up," "Honky Tonk Women," "Brown Sugar" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash" common to all three.

As veteran artists like Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney stick to the same set lists night after night, the Stones are going in the other direction with a fresh approach for each performance.

But some things never change: Richards managed to flub his lines when he sang "Before They Make Me Run" at both Madison Square Garden and Roseland. A smiling Wood scolded him with a wag of the finger on the latter occasion.

Blues guitarist Lang opened the Roseland show, while the Pretenders opened the other two. Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde said the gigs were the highlight of her life.

The Rolling Stones have three days off before playing back-to-back shows in Washington, D.C., and Hartford, Conn., on Friday and Saturday. Their next theater gig is at the Wiltern in Los Angeles on Nov. 4. They are scheduled to return to New York for three shows at Madison Square Garden in mid-January.

It's a bottom-pincher! Watch out for your bottoms, Keith!

-tSYX --- That's how strong my love is...
10-01-02 08:08 AM
stonedinaustralia thanks Xyzzy
10-01-02 08:10 AM
nankerphelge That's How Strong My Love Is is such a powerful song -- Jagger musta been on fire from that review. Damn I wish I'd seen it!
10-01-02 08:14 AM
Maxlugar That was one of the more informed reviews I've read.

10-01-02 08:49 AM
stonedinaustralia yeah, it really seems that mick's had some sort of re-juvenation and he's finally worked out with himself how to do this rock and roll thing at his age and still come across with credibility (that "preacher-man" comment in the review is a telling clue imho)...

of course i haven't seen any of the shows - but i've read the various reports and heard a bit of the Fleet Centre and my current enthusiasm, which is running pretty strong at the moment, is based on (and i've raved about this before) the new track "Keys to Your Love" - mick really puts in and sings the thing with feeling, a great melody and with the sheer mastery of someone who has been doing it for a lifetime - again, as that review said, there's seems to be a "passion" come back there - (and i know you don't like that track tsyx but i don't think you're listening to it properly!! - how's that for a pretentious statement!! - for me it's straight out of the smokey robinson songbook with a dash of mr.jaaaaaaaames brown for a bit of grunt)...
it's like mick's let himself get back into the music simply for the love of it... rather than trying to figure out all the angles which has kind of been the impression he's given over the last twenty years or so - i wonder if the split with jerry has anything to do with it??

and the way they're really acknowledging their roots with all the blues and soul stuff in a BIG way is like they've come full circle

i dunno, maybe i'm talking out of my hat, but that's just the feeling i get...

[Edited by stonedinaustralia]
10-01-02 10:47 AM
Jaxx here's what the Daily News had to say...

Stones sparkle
in rare setting


Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones rocked Roseland last night.

For 3,000 Rolling Stones fans, last night's concert at the Roseland Ballroom was a dream come true.
The world's most celebrated rock 'n' roll band shoehorned its outsized legend into a New York nightclub and properly delighted the crowd.

After playing to 20,000 fans Thursday at Madison Square Garden and nearly 60,000 Saturday at Giants Stadium, the band made good on its promise to play a relatively small venue.

And in accordance with the laws of physics, squeezing the Stones' arena-sized sound onto a relatively small stage resulted in a predictable explosion of energy.

Stripped of their usual menagerie of gargantuan video screens and stage props, the self-described greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world fell back on 40 years of "ya-ya" outing, with an unflagging charisma that has made its live show one of the best in rock.

From the first moments of "Start Me Up," the Stones became responsible for hundreds of sure-to-be-sore calf muscles as fans went on tiptoes to see Jagger strut, point and shuffle across the Roseland stage.

The Stones' tendency to play songs built around staccato bursts of guitar and horns served them well in the notoriously mushy acoustics of Roseland. Ron Wood's slide guitar meshed perfectly with the brass during "On Down the Line" from "Exile on Main Street."

"Sweet Virginia" crackled with backwoods flavor as Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts delivered the kind of half-drunk, funky country that Nashville has largely forgotten how to make.

For the 40th anniversary "Licks" tour, the Stones set out to play a handful of theater and club dates, sending faithful fans into a ticket buying frenzy. Web sites offered $50 standing-room-only seats for $1,200. And outside, dozens of people held up signs seeking a ticket that could have covered five car payments.

Even for those who paid premium prices, the Stones delivered - delving into material they rarely play in bigger venues.

In fact, Jagger said, the group had never performed "She Smiles Sweetly" - the song featured on the soundtrack to "The Royal Tannenbaums" - in concert. Like the movie version, the group's take was bittersweet and strange, but also filled with offbeat charm.

From there, the Stones played a series of rare songs such as "Hand of Fate," from 1976's "Black and Blue" and "Dance (Part 1)" from 1980's "Emotional Rescue."

As the group pulled out its soul bag for covers of "Going to a Go-Go," and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," it wasn't quite a garage band but it was far from the mechanized, slick megagroup that headlined the Garden and Giants Stadium.

While it's possible the Stones will return to smaller settings on future tours, last night's show was likely to be the closest fans could get to re-creating the band's seminal 1962 shows at London's Marquee Club. And for those not lucky enough to nail tickets to the Stones' recent shows, there is still hope - the group returns to the Garden on Jan. 17 and 18.
10-01-02 11:03 AM
luxury1 "half-drunk funky country--only the Stones can do this--beautiful
10-01-02 12:14 PM

Mick was spellbinding. The show was 10x better than Tower and the crowd was well-behaved and very into it. I posted a review on Stonedoug's site. DearDoctor was with me and aptly stated that THSMLI could be the greatest live performance ever.
10-02-02 04:52 AM
mnewman505 I was at Aragon and Tower and there is no question that based on set list alone Roseland raped Tower. Something very special was in the air at the absolutely unbelievable show. Great GA crowd atmosphere like at Roseland. When all the boots are out and the dust clears i'm sure there will be a general consensus. Let's just hope all these theatre shows get in to heavy circulation and fast!!