Thursday, June 4, 2015

Concert Review: The Rolling Stones at TCF Bank Stadium, June 3, 2015

The sky was pretty dramatic over TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on June 3, 2015. Fortunately, the rain was done by the time the Rolling Stones took the stage. Photo by Mark Taylor.

Ronnie Wood, Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards at TCF Bank Stadium on June 3, 2015. Photo by Jeff Wheeler of the Star Tribune.
It’s been almost 52 years to the day since The Rolling Stones released their first single, a cover of Chuck Berry’s song “Come On,” on June 7, 1963. Amazingly, the band is still going strong, and they delivered an excellent concert last night at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. It rained heavily earlier in the day, but the skies were starting to clear by the time the Stones took the stage around 9:20 PM. The band played for a little over two hours, and they revisited many of their greatest hits. I’ve been a fan of the Rolling Stones since I was a teenager, and I’ve seen them three times before in concert, at the dreadful Metrodome in 1997, the Target Center in 1999, and at Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field in 2002. The Stones never fail to entertain and put on a great show. 

Musically, the Rolling Stones are still excellent, with Charlie Watts providing the rock-solid beat that he’s always been known for, and Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood nailing the iconic riffs throughout the show. I was really impressed with Wood’s playing last night, he took several impressive solos and he played some great lap steel guitar on “Happy.” Mick Jagger is still one of the most charismatic performers in rock and roll, and it looks like he hasn’t gained a pound since 1964. At 71, Jagger still runs around the stage like a young kid, and he worked all sides of the stage, running from side to side, and then out on a smaller platform that extended into the audience. Jagger’s still a mass of kinetic energy on stage; the only time he stands still is when he’s playing the guitar. The main Stones were ably supported by the backing musicians who tour with them, including longtime members Chuck Leavell on keyboards, Bernard Fowler and Lisa Fischer on backing vocals, and Darryl Jones on bass. 

The set list was heavily weighted towards favorites from the Stones’ “classic period” with 13 of the 19 songs coming from between 1968 and 1974. But there were some nice surprises, like a terrific version of the beautiful “Moonlight Mile,” the last song on 1971’s “Sticky Fingers.” Mick threw everyone a curve with 1997’s “Out of Control,” which is a song I haven’t thought of since 1999. The song featured many of the classic Mick Jagger dance moves. Other highlights of the show were a funky version of “Miss You” that proved that Mick hasn’t lost any of his upper range, and a menacing “Midnight Rambler,” featuring excellent harmonica from Jagger. Jagger was also very in tune with the local crowd, as he humorously listed some of the many things to do in Minneapolis, working in as many “m” words as he could-“Minnehaha Falls, the marvelous Mall of America, and the Minneapolis Art Museum.” (It’s actually the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, but I’ll cut Mick some slack.) Jagger even mentioned the very first time the Rolling Stones played in Minnesota, when they appeared at Danceland at the Excelsior Amusement Park on their first U.S. tour in 1964, saying, “There were only 243 people and none of them liked it very much.” That appearance was only their 6th show in the United States. Jagger was obviously in a good mood, and he led the audience in singing “Happy Birthday” to Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts. (Wood’s birthday was on June 1st, and Watts’ was on June 2nd.) 

Here’s the set list from last night:

Jumpin’ Jack Flash
It’s Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It)
All Down the Line
Tumbling Dice
Doom and Gloom
Moonlight Mile
Out of Control
Honky Tonk Women
Before They Make Me Run (Keith sings lead)
Happy (Keith sings lead)
Midnight Rambler
Miss You
Gimme Shelter (with Grace Potter, the opening act, sharing vocals)
Start Me Up
Sympathy for the Devil
Brown Sugar
You Can’t Always Get What You Want (with choral group VocalEssence)
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm seeing them on the 17th in Nashville and have been reading all the reviews. It's my first time seeing them and I'm so happy to know they are still as great as ever! Thanks for the info!