Tuesday, June 11, 2013

It's only Rock and Roll but I like it!

Ah - I finally got to see the Rolling Stones in concert during their "50 and Counting" tour. Ticket prices were absolutely ludicrous, but being a huge Rolling Stones fan I managed to get $85.00 tickets back on April 20th through rollingstones.com. I had told a few of my Stones-fan friends about the $85.00 tickets but most weren't interested - saying that they would most likely be nose-bleed seats and wouldn't be worth the $85.00.

Wouldn't be worth the $85.00? We're talking about the Rolling Stones here guys!

I think it's a shame that they went overboard and that the best seats in the house were selling for $635.00 - that's steep....like crazy steep! Unjustifiably steep. It's comparable to back in the 70's when Madonna charged $32.00 a head for her show which was completely out of range for what we normally paid back then. I can remember my best buddy Steve who, upon hearing the $32.00 ticket price snorted "for that price she'd better be naked".

With Mick Jagger about to turn 70 on July 26th and Keith Richards turning 70 on December 18, 2013 I certainly didn't feel the same way that Steve did about Madonna. Actually I didn't know what to expect. Mick and Keith are 69 years old - Ron is 66 and Charlie is 72 years old!!! I can't believe they are still on the road. I can't believe they still have the energy. It's hard to believe they are still talking to each other after all these years.

It just blows my mind. I couldn't wait. Every few days I would check rollingstones.com to see what the set list for each city was. Every day I counted down how many days 'til I would get to see my beloved Rolling Stones. I didn't care where my seats would be, I would be in the same room with the legendary Rolling Stones, listening to them play. It would be awesome.

On the Friday before the show we got to vote for the 'by request' song of our choice. I had to chose Dead Flowers, which is one of my all-time favourite songs from the Sticky Fingers album (actually that whole album is great). I so wanted to hear them do Dead Flowers - words can't even explain...

Waiting for Sunday to roll around seemed endless. I can't remember the last time a weekend seemed to drag on so slowly. Finally it was time - we drove downtown and went to Firegrill for a steak supper which was great and helped pass the last interminable hours before we could go and line up to get our tickets.

Things were a disorganized mess outside of the Bell Center - as it always is prior to any show. We got into the line up for the box office and were then told that the $85.00 tickets were being assigned at different entrance so we moved over there. The line moved fast and when our turn came we were told that we were being given seats in the reds! Better than I had hoped for. We were given our tickets and security wrapped a bracelet around our wrists and we were off to find our seats.

I really couldn't complain - across from the stage, 12 rows up from the floor, we had a perfect view of everything. I was very pleased. Denis went to get a couple beers while I chatted with a couple who were sitting behind us. We drank our beer and 8pm came and went - not that I really expected them to start playing on schedule or anything, but it would have been nice. Each minute after that crept by slow as molasses. It was really hot in there.

Nothing to do but wait.

...and wait...and wait.

Come on guys!

Finally - maybe around 9pm...not sure exactly...the lights went down and we were treated to Get Off My Cloud as the show's opener. It was great - everyone was up and singing and moving and I had goose bumps all over. I felt like I was going to cry. This was it. I was getting to see the Rolling Stones! The next couple of hours would be monumental in my life and will stay with me forever.

The set list was superb - a great selection of their hits. It's Only Rock and Roll, Paint It Black, Gimme Shelter, Wild Horses. It was amazing - I was just loving it. And then the moment I had waited for and hoped for - the song that Montrealers had chosen by request was...DEAD FLOWERS !!! I stomped my feet and clapped my hands. Tears spilled from my eyes - I sang out every word at the top of my lungs, chills ran up and down my spine for the entire song. I was in heaven - this was worth way more than $85.00!

The show continued with The Last Time with special guest Win Butler of Arcade Fire. I kind of expected more. It was good - but not as great as it could have been. This was followed by Emotional Rescue which had the crowd on their feet again. Then they did Doom and Gloom and One More Shot which were good, but I couldn't sing along because I never really got into the new stuff on the GRRR album I guess.

Honkey Tonk Women was next and I loved it. After that Keith did a great rendition of You Got The Silver with Ron followed by Happy and the crowd showed their appreciation. Mick Taylor joined them for Midnight Rambler which was insanely good. Then they did Miss You, Start Me Up and another of my favourites Tumbling Dice. I wish I had been to their Dec 12, 2012 show in Newark when Bruce Springsteen joined them on stage for Tumbling Dice. At least I get to see it on YouTube - it's fantastic...I just love Bruce! That would have been the ultimate for me to get to see the Rolling Stones AND Bruce Springsteen all in one night. But you can't have everything I guess.

Based on the set lists for the other shows I knew when they started Brown Sugar that we were nearing the end of the show, followed by Sympathy For the Devil which was the last song of the show. It had been awesome but we all knew they were coming back for a three song encore so it wasn't over yet.

A local choir joined them for You Can't Always Get What You Want, then they belted out Jumpin' Jack Flash and Satisfaction with Mick Taylor for our listening pleasure. It was all great. I enjoyed this show beyond my wildest expectations.

The reviews in the newspaper were accurate I suppose. Yes I agree that Ron Wood carried most of the guitar work (and he was fabulous by the way) while Keith just played along from time to time - but I enjoyed seeing how happy he looked on stage and I had to smile when he said that he 'loves this shit'. Mick and Charlie have still got it - I don't care what anybody says. I would love to have Mick's energy when I get to his age (although I don't have it now so that will never happen). Seeing Mick Taylor on stage was a treat that I will always cherish.

Agreeably I never got to see the Rolling Stones in their prime - had I been in a position to compare perhaps I would have been disappointed. But I had nothing to compare to and I thought it was a great show and I am so glad that I didn't miss it.

You know, life is short. Shit happens. People pass away when they get to a certain age. Will they be back? Who knows. I think we were all blessed to be able to see them this time around. Sometimes you just need to be grateful for what you've got and keep your expectations reasonable. Everyone seems to be taking up a lot of writing space speculating whether they'll be back again. Why bother? Why can't everyone just enjoy the fact that they came, they were awesome, they've still got it and we all got to enjoy it?

$635.00 for the best seats with a sold out show? Yup, I think this proves that these guys have got the big end of the stick. They know it's only Rock and Roll...and we like it, like it, yes we do!

No comments:

Post a Comment