Re: Re: Re: Re: Denver Show Review

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Posted by more... on February 04, 1999 at 13:06:38:

In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: Denver Show Review posted by WRH on February 03, 1999 at 23:45:41:

Legendary Rolling Stones rock a sold-out crowd in Denver

By Jay Dedrick
Camera Entertainment Editor

DENVER— It's been decades since the Rolling Stones proclaimed themselves the World's Greatest Rock 'n'Roll Band.

Tuesday night at McNichols Arena, a sold-out crowd of 17,500 roared its testimonial on behalf of England's oldest hitmakers. And the performance by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ron Wood was equally convincing that the title still is deserved.

Luckily, there was no need to add a tongue depressor to the famous lips-and-tongue logo. The spry Jagger didn't look like a 55-year-old on the mend after a bout with flu and bronchitis that forced the cancellation of two weekend shows in San Jose, Calif. And if his recent, nasty split with longtime wife and/or companion Jerry Hall has him distracted, it didn't show.

"Don't you want to live with me?" Jagger snarled in "Live With Me," as cocksure as he's ever sounded. That horn-spiked gem followed the show opener, a fiery "Jumpin' Jack Flash," with Jagger adding a more melodic twist to the chorus.

Jagger exercised karate moves and boxer punches, dressed in a black jacket, white shirt and black jeans. And yes, he knew what city he was in.

"Congratulations on the Super Bowl," Jagger said as if he were addressing the Denver Broncos football team. "You made it look too easy."

For a man who's frequently described as "walking death," Richards looked very much alive. An odd assortment of beads braided into his gray mane of hair bobbed about as he sawed away at his guitar.

Ron Wood's lead guitar lines were crisp and bright, while Watts, looking as blase as ever, powered a merciless 4/4 beat throughout the night.

Besides the four core members, the musicians on stage included bassist Darryl Jones, keyboardist Chuck Leavell, a trio of backup singers and a four-piece horn section.

Perhaps to avoid the damning label of "nostalgia act," the Stones, as on past tours, refused to simply deliver a greatest-hits set. There was no "Satisfaction," no "Ruby Tuesday," no "Miss You."

Instead, the group dusted off some sturdy, if little-heard, tracks to surprise the audience: "Some Girls," which sounds even less politically correct than it did 20 years ago; "Memory Motel," a bittersweet ballad, and a cover version dating back to the Stones' debut album of 1964: "Route 66."

That last song was performed on a small satellite stage at the opposite end of the arena, where audience members in the immediate vicinity enjoyed the atmosphere of the Rolling Stones playing on a small club stage (a touch left over from the "Babylon" tour, most likely inspired by U2's similar device on its "PopMart" tour).

Opening the show was Canadian rocker Bryan Adams, who also appeared at the Boulder Theater on Monday night. Adams performed a 45-minute set of his tuneful, guitar-driven pop hits.

Tuesday's show was the Stones' first appearance in the state in more than four years, and its first time in an indoor arena (rather than a outdoor stadium) since two 1972 shows at the Denver Coliseum.

The ticket prices — topping out at $150, considered the highest ever for a non-benefit rock show in the metro area — are a reminder that Jagger was a student of the London School of Economics. The Stones may insist that the excitement of playing at a few indoor arenas on last year's "Bridges to Babylon" tour lured them into launching a more intimate arena tour. But they took advantage of supply-and-demand reality by raising prices accordingly. (When the Stones last performed in Denver, at Mile High Stadium in 1994, most tickets sold for about $50.)

The '99 tour is named for the Stones' latest live album, No Security, an account of the "Bridges to Babylon" stadium tour of 1997-98, which played to 4.5 million fans around the globe. The "No Security" tour began Jan. 25 in Oakland and is set to run through April, followed by some stadium shows in Europe this summer.

And then what? Watts, the oldest of the group, will turn 58 this spring. Richards is 55, Wood 51. Can retirement be far off? Time may not be on their side anymore, but the fans sure are.

February 03, 1999

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