Legendary comedian Bill Hicks was joking about Keith Richards and cockroaches being the only ones to survive a nuclear war as early as 1990. Here we were 23 years later and despite all the hard living, the indestructible Keith was still touring with The Rolling Stones to celebrate their 50th Anniversary. That was not a typo. 50 years! As in five-oh. Of course The Rolling Stones cemented their place in rock and roll history long before Keith Richards became the punch line of jokes and I was not about to miss my opportunity to see them. I was a late bloomer when it came to the Stones as I did not really start getting into them and appreciating them until Lucinda introduced me to the Hot Rocks double CD with some of their early hits.
Through many online attempts I was able to secure a ticket for me, Ingrid, her dad and her youngest sister to the closest date of the tour in Los Angeles, which also happened to be the opening night of the tour.
The show started with the UCLA Marching Band walking around the perimeter of the floor section while performing “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” then the legendary band took the stage for “Get Off of My Cloud” and never let up. Mick Jagger was bouncing around the custom stage that resembled the famous tongue logo with the space just under the upper lip acting as a video screen and the middle of the tongue housing some very lucky guests. In all the concerts I have seen I have seriously never seen a singer with more energy than Mick and here he was pushing 70! He was there to make sure you had a good time and did a damn good job doing it. These guys were giving everything that was left in the tank and apparently that tank was not even close to empty.
There were different special guests slated for each stop of the tour. Our first guest was when Gwen Stefani came out and joined the performance of “Wild Horses.” Keith Urban was next when he joined the band for “Respectable.” I am not a fan of Keith Urban’s music but he shredded on the guitar. Later in the show Keith Richards took over vocal duties for “Before They Make Me Run” and “Happy” before they brought out the guitar player from the Exile on Main St. era Mick Taylor for a raucous/extended version of “Midnight Rambler.”
I read somewhere that this was the first time they ever performed “Emotional Rescue.” I fell in love with that song the first time I ever heard it so first time for the Stones performing it or not I was loving Mick’s falsetto. They came full circle to close out the show with “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and I left feeling like I had just been run over by a freight train. Younger bands could learn a thing or two million from this band.
SETLIST: Get Off of My Cloud, The Last Time, It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It), Paint It Black, Gimme Shelter, Wild Horses, Factory Girl, Emotional Rescue, Respectable, Doom and Gloom, One More Shot, Honky Tonk Women, Before They Make Me Run, Happy, Midnight Rambler, Miss You, Start Me Up, Tumbling Dice, Brown Sugar, Sympathy for the Devil, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction