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Name: Travellin' Man
Subject: Rebel Yell & 3 Gassers "On A Cold Chicago Night!"
Date: Saturday, October 14, 2006
Time: 3:02:48 PM
Remote Address: 126.96.36.199
Message ID: 200939
Parent ID: 0
Thread ID: 200939
Great reviews by SRW and Undercover have already been written on Wednesday nights' show in the Windy City. I will add only a few extra thoughts on the show itself, because I find their reviews "captured" the essence of the Chicago show so well.
Mainly I want to express my gratitude to Keefer and Undercover for making my time in Chicago such an interesting and enjoyable experience. Undercover brought a "Whiskey River" of 'Rebel Yell' with him for our consumption. It is delicious stuff, btw! A slightly sweet aftertaste. Similar to Crown Royal in the smooth department. (We enjoyed the stuff all day and consumed extra greedily as we walked to Soldier Field!) Keefer expertly choreographed travel and Hotel arrangements. He was waiting for me at the gate in O'Hara when I stepped off the plane. Doing things like that make him second to none in the "classy" department. I really cannot say enough about Keefer. One unbelievable guy who enjoys nothing more than a good Stones party and will take on the headaches of making it happen anytime... anywhere!
Those two Gassers even came to Chicago bearing gifts for this ol' Road Warrior. I will "get them back" in time. The gifts were incredibly generous. Finding two better Stones fans to take in a Stones show would be impossible. I have found the company you keep at the show can make a difference in the enjoyment factor. I can be a Lone Wolf when it comes to making a Rock show. That's still fun. Taking in a Stones show with two die hard Stones fans is as good as it gets.
We three found ourselves at 2120 S. Michigan Ave in the very studio the original Stones recorded so many of their great songs from 1964-65. With the magic flask being passed about, it was easy to picture a young Brian and the rest of the Stones "ripping it up" during recording sessions. The old Chess Studios! I felt privledged to be there.
Some of Ronnie's artwork is hanging on the walls in that old studio room. Keefer took a picture of 'Undercover' and myself on either side of a self portrait of Ronnie. At the time I was wishing the painting could have been of Keith or the entire band. Yet by the end of the night's show I thought how perfect it was that Ronnie was the one above and between me and 'Undercover', in that shot for posterity.
Some quick impressions: O'Malley's was small and very crowded. It was difficult to buy a round of drinks. One guy looked like a 40 year old Keith. Even had the eye make up. A shiddobee was handing out Mardi Gras style Stones beads to everyone. He was decked out in all green. Including his Stones baseball cap. Incredible positive Stones energy flowed from this smiling Stones fan of 44. Keefer would later give him an extra ticket to see the show. The guy was elated. Saying he tries to spread a few ashes of his brother at every Stones show he rolls to. Thanks to Keefer's generousity he would be able to do so at Soldier Field.
*Laughing and joking with other fans walking towards the Stadium.
'Undercover' offering anyone and everyone a drink of Rebel Yell. One "scalper" was particularly pleased with the "warm up" properties which came from the bottle.
It was cold and very windy. But thanks to Undercover and his Rebel Yell we barely noticed the elements at all that night.
The Show itself. We found ourselves 20 rows from the stage. A4 Middle section slightly on Ronnie's side. The wind was not that bad for the Floor crowd. Yet on stage the scene was positively surreal!
White smoke made it easy to SEE the swirling, gusty cross wind moving from right to left. It seemed the wind was trying to blow the Stones off the stage. The boys stood firm with their clothes and coats being ripped at by the powerful gusts.
Keef was wearing a light gray ball cap with black skull and cross bone insignia. He looked colder than the rest. Smiles did not come so freely this night for Keef. The weather seemed to make playing difficult for him. Particularly in the early going. Yet I would call his performance on this night, "courageous". He forced his stiff fingers to do the right thing when his input was essential. The grimace on his face revealed certain notes and chords were quite painful for him to play. He didn't walk around with his normal energy either. Yet he was smiling more and playing better as the night progressed. A gutsy performance by Keith.
Ronnie seemed to play better in the cold. For me personally. He went from the status of Rock Star to Rock Super Star. He played more fluidly than I had ever seen him. His hands and fingers cover by red and orange clothe drivers gloves, were working expertly the entire show. MAN did he ever step up for his friend Keith. When Keith needed him most! Ronnie looked sharp in an Admiral's long coat and turquoise scarf. He played 'Sway' about as fluidly as MT. Seriously!
Keith was able to deliver when he was needed the most. I felt privledged to witness the the live debut of 'She Was Hot'. Keith's Berryesque solo in the middle of that one was exceptional and added something to the song the studio version does not have. That was one great version of that song! The finest of many highlights the show would offer.
I was lucky enough to get past security and plant myself 4 rows back at the B stage on Ronnie's side near the front.
What an awesome view from there. I tell you. Ronnie Wood looked and played the part of an absolute Rock God from there. No unecessary showboating and taking "small breaks" on this night. He was in complete control of his instrument like it was a part of his body and he played the thing with exceptional flare! Simply perfect. To do it under those weather conditions amazes me.
I thought to myself then and there. I will defend Ronnie with zeal if anyone ever puts down his "abilities" again. He was a master that night. I now know completely, "what he can do".
Ronnie B. Goode indeed!
I became a GrandDaddy at 11:47am the day of this show. If that beautiful little 9 lb. girl, I would be holding in my arms the following night, had been mine. I would have named her, RONNIE! But Makayla is a fine name too. lol.
I bet the Stones never schedule an outdoor show in October again. Not up North anyay!
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