"stoned" a mile high

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Posted by jaxx on February 03, 1999 at 18:00:45:

There's nothing like getting "stoned" a mile high.., well not literally..i watched marijuana as well as tobacco smokers get busted in what appeared to be gestapo tactics.

but, few things in life surpass your wildest expectations...A Rolling Stones show is one of those rare events. Catching the Boyz in the intimacy of the McNichols Arena after being dwarfed in stadium shows this past decade was surely a treat for this hardcore stonesbabe.

The crowd was eclectic....I counted 4, possibly 5 generations of folks gathered for the sold out event.

I laughed at my first impression of the stage. It looked quite phallic with that catwalk jutting out from the main stage out to the smaller stage 2/3 of the way back.This mini stage even had the "proper" shape of such a tip..oh, the irony.....From my $150 seat, on the left side of the stage, I could see everything from a close proximity....I could just about read the plexiglass of tunes with the help of my binoculars that surround Charlie. Body guards lined the front of the stage as well as the runway to the smaller set.

The main stage was circular about 8 feet high and about 15 feet from the front row of floor seats. It had a "Stanley Kubrick" starkness about it.....bare except for Charlie's drums, and the keyboards. A black and yellow striped catwalk surrounded the sides and back of the stage, slightly raised up, giving mick plenty of room to cajole and prance about the perimeter of the stage as well. All the sound equipment was high above the stage and of course there were video screens.

Brian Adams and his 3 piece band took the stage promptly at 8 and played a tight almost impressive 45 minute set.......the sound was excellent....the main event was near.

about 9:15 the screens showed images of the Boyz making their way through the catacombs backstage---I was laughing at loud....this was reminiscent of that scene in Rob Reiner's film "Spinal Tap.....

Breathless with anticipation, I fnally hear the rambunctious chords of Jumping Jack Flash...it was finally here...the stones in MY town in this "cozy" arena. Mick's wearing a black leather jacket, white guinea t-shirt and black pants. He looks fantantic, rested, mischievous. He was all night long with those naughty boyish antics...and the muscle tone of his arms and abs...to DIE for....most important however....his voice sounded GREAT. I immediately immerse myself into my "dancing with Mick" fantasy....

Keith was sauntering about, in a silk pink and white muted check jacket...he was sporting feathers in his hair and an armband that also appeared to be adorned the same. When he finally took his jacket off, you could see he had the "matador" thing going...a red scarf as a belt....what a howl.

Charlie was chipping away in his plexiglass box...dark gray shirt for him, very smart in black pants...snorting and banging snorting and banging...

Then there was Ronnie....he appeared to to have a bad cold...but that didn't seem to curtail his guitar playing abilities, nor his incessent smoking.

After a howling JUMPING JACK FLASH, Mick congratulated Denver on their Superbowl win and suddenly the raunchy chords of LIVE WITH ME flooded the arena.Then, Mick..picked up his guitar and launched into a rather mellow rendition of RESPECTABLE. Keith was on his knees during YOU GOT ME ROCKING....we got stuck with MEMORY MOTEL...but my disappointed was quickly dissipated as I became entranced with Mick's heartfelt passion as he crooned away that melodramatic tune. I have to add that it was a pleasure to hear Keith, sans David Matthews, sing his bit.

Mick again grabbed his guitar and this time his harmonica and he began to wail out the opening notes of SWEET VIRGINIA.,ever sooo sweetly....then he did a Mr. Hyde, still with guitar, and venomously spit out a nineties version of SOME GIRLS...oh Mick, yes, this is YOUR life. Then onto the electrifying weave of the opening chords of PAINT IT BLACK...what a rush! The adrenline is flowing freely now!!

HONKEY TONK WOMAN provided the backdrop for the now expected Mick/Lisa stage antics..needless to say, their bumping and grinding really got the crowd going. Mick did the intros then it was Keith's turn to take center stage. The bluesy riffs of the slide guitars inYOU GOT THE SILVER were not disappointing, not one little bit. Ronnie had his guitar placed strings up on a guitar stand, playing his instrument almost like a zephyr.... Keith commented he hadn't played that tune in about 30 years....then Woody's daughter joined the backup singers for a very "cool" THIEF IN THE NIGHT . I'm starting to feel relaxed in the catatonic beat.....

Then a cage is lowered onto the stage, the opening chords of OUT OF CONTROL bolted me out of my Keith reverie....and up from a trap door in the floor pops Mick-- into the cage. The tune takes on a cool, jazzy feel as Mick, now dressed in a red guinea-t with a light chocolate brown shirt over, slinks around like a caged animal....again I had to laugh out loud as he bent the bars and broke out of the cage....this gets the prize for the "cheesiest moment", hands down.

The Boyz take the catwalk while a jazzy bit is played to the small stage about 2/3 of the way to the back of the arena...the sound is a bit garbled at first, but that's quickly remedied. It's starting to feel smokey bar roomsy as they bang out ROUTE 66 and (JUST MY) IMAGINATION...I notice Keith is topless under this filmy leopard shirt he now has on..nice pecs Keith...again Mick grabs the guitar and a harmonica and they start a bluesy MIDNIGHT RAMBLER which by the end of the tune was rocking heavily.

Charlie throws his guitar sticks into the crowd, the Boyz head back to the main stage and I can hear the opening chords of SAINT OF ME......really rocking, really clean....Mick had the crowd sing "oh yeah, oh, you'll never make a saint of me"..in a rock anthem chant and at the end of the tune passionately declares in acapella..."no, no, they'll NEVER make a saint of ME...." and i'm yelling to him....no kidding, Mick!

I was surprised that the horn section didn't participate in the ever popular ITS ONLY ROCK AND ROLL. Mick however was dancing and jumping all over the stage, so spastic that at one point he actually WIPED OUT on the stage as as he was singing, "I like it..." Stunned but without missing a beat, he got up and continued on like nothing happened....They stampeded into START ME UP and then a very rocking BROWN SUGAR. Our encore consisted of a very funky SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL. and the whole house rocked right through the final curtain call.

The SetList:

Jumping Jack Flash
Live with Me
Respectable- Mick guitar
You Got Me Rocking
Tumbling Dice
Memory Motel
Sweet Virginia - Mick guitar/harmonica
Some Girls - Mick guitar
Paint it Black
Honkey Tonk Woman
You Got the Silver - Ronnie and Keith use Slide
Thief in the Night - Ronnies daughter sings backup
Out of Control
Route 66 - Small Stage
(Just My) Imagination - Small Stage, Mick guitar
Midnight Rambler - Small Stage, Mick guitar/harmonica
Back to the Large Stage
Saint of Me
Its only Rock and Roll
Start Me Up
Brown Sugar
Sympathy for the Devil - encore


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