Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Live Review: The Rolling Stones 8/1/19 Met Life Stadium, NJ

The Rolling Stones
Live @ Met Life Stadium
August 1st 2019

It was during the third song of The Rolling Stones performance when it clicked as to why it is still worth checking the band out at their advanced age in mega-stadiums with hundreds of thousands of fans buying every tongue logo-ed thing in site. The first two tunes, “Street Fighting Man” and “Let’s Spend the Night Together” were both passable, if slightly sluggish, but then “Tumbling Dice” magically coalesced and kicked everything into gear with dazzling rock and roll clarity. It was a reminder that this is still a real band, pushing and pulling like so many others, searching for those right notes and sound; they just happen to be the biggest band in the world.

Opening were The Wombats from Liverpool who used their upbeat pop rock in the vein of Fun or a more mainstream Arctic Monkeys, to start the night. Their big drum hits and huge choruses certainly perked up a few ears to the early arriving crowd as tracks like “Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)” and “Techno Fan” rang out; the latter was the song Mick Jagger recently danced to, proving he was back in fighting shape. The big marching combo of “Turn” and “Greek Tragedy” brought out costumed Wombats to close their set with overloaded production and flair.

Their polished, produced sound stood in contrast to the aging Stones hit laden set. Even with their oversized stage, massive HD video screens and musically aided by backup singers (Sasha Allen, Bernard Fowler), a horn section (Tim Reis, Karl Denson) and piano players (Chuck Leavell, Matt Clifford), the Stones still seem to wing it in the moment. At this point in their career they could lip-synch to backing tracks and most fans wouldn’t care, but there they are, up there still trying to work their way through the riffs and runs, getting sloppy and tight from tune to tune.
Ronnie Wood’s killer solo and the brass work in “Tumbling Dice” electrified things before the fan requested “She’s A Rainbow” was met with Mick’s wry comment, “Probably because it is in a lot of commercials these days”. Jagger himself was singing with power, commanding the stage extraordinarily for someone who just turned 76 and recently survived a health scare.

An early dramatic “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, with another excellent Wood solo, was surprising before the core outfit of Wood, Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts walked down to the center of the playing field for acoustical renditions of “Sweet Virginia” and “Dead Flowers”. 

Richards ringing riffs dominated a loud and heavy “Sympathy for the Devil” after all of the musicians were back on stage, even if Richards himself may have forgotten to rip into the solo for that song. The slower mid set clanging of “Honkey Tonk Woman” and an ill placed and dragging “Paint It Black” never truly hit their strides but a Richards focused “Before They Make Me Run” with snaking guitar work caught a 70’s glam rock groove with ease and sped out into the night. Speaking of groove, Darryl Jones bass took center stage as the group morphed in a funk dynamo for an extended “Miss You”, one of the many highlights while Watts’s snare (along with Jagger’s harmonica) gave motor to “Midnight Rambler”. 

The group nailed the finish as an energetic “Jumping Jack Flash” displayed dynamic interplay before the set closing “Brown Sugar” found everyone locking in again with power and joy as Denson led the charge on saxophone. Richards contributed his strongest guitar work during the encore of “Gimme Shelter” and his most famous riffs during “Satisfaction”, ending the night via fireworks and screams from the sold out crowd. It is amazing that the Stones can still pull off a tour of this caliber in 2019 as No Filter is proving these old rockers are still rolling strong.
RtBE said a ton about The Rolling Stones back in April as they were part of our Masters series. Catch them live, it's worth it and peep some video below:

1 comment:

  1. The Stones rocked me like never before! It's easy to see & Hearwhy the Rolling Stones are the greatest Rock n' Roll band in history!!!