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Posted by Fleabit Peanut Monkey on March 12, 1999 at 04:11:58:


I'm afraid I've run out of superlatives to even attempt to describe what I saw tonight. I thought the last three shows I saw on this tour were as good as it got, but the Stones kicked it into overdrive tonight.

Before the show Michael Cole walked past us. "That's the guy who signs Mick's paychecks," I said to the kid next to me. My seat (with Derik the Junkie) was in the fifth row, Woody's side, and from this vantage point I enjoyed the Corrs' opening spot even more than in DC. They won the crowd over fully, although other friends in the stands noted "a wave of revulsion" during the Fleetwood Mac cover. They should replace that with more tin whistle & fiddle instrumentals. Be that as it may, this stint opening for the Stones has won them quite a few fans stateside. I noticed one very pretty girl in the front row dancing and singing along to "We Are Young", and thought, "hmmm. Someone knows their songs." More on her later.
After the Corrs I walked back to scout out the B-stage. Keith's side looked to be the best spot with some open floor space. Then back to our seats, and soon enough the whole ride started again: Jumpin Jack Flash, black leather & shades. They sounded incredible. The horn section filed out next, so I knew it wasn't going to be "Respectable", and it wasn't...it was "Bitch". And it KILLED. Lethal. Then "You Got Me Rockin'", and THEN....Keith started "Gimme Shelter"! They're finally DOING it, I thought, they're mixing up the setlist. Mick went back to the backup singers and laid his back against...BERNARD, running his hand over Bernard's butt. Lisa looked at him as if to say "what about ME?" and Mick laughingly pointed her toward Woody. Lisa wailed on this one, holding the last note of her solo verse an impossibly long time.
In the middle of "Honky Tonk Women" there was a moment for me when everything stood still, when I could take in my surroundings and realize for a moment just what I was seeing. Keith was down in front playing his solo, Charlie was kicking the hell out of his drums, and Mick was causing waves of hysteria to roll clockwise around the omega ramp; I watched as he pointed two fingers into the stands, followed the line to see that whatever invisible rays he was beaming up there was making every woman WANT him BAD RIGHT NOW. Half the men, too. Palpable lust emanated from section C.
A roadie brought out a piano. I had read somewhere that the band had rehearsed "Fool To Cry" in DC , so I amazed everyone around me by psychically predicting this. And it was absolutely gorgeous. I used to hate this song. Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now. It was sheer magic. Mick was ON FIRE tonight. You know what it's like when he puts a little effort into his work. No one can touch him. Not just his singing and dancing, but also his piano, guitar, and especially harp were superlative.

While they played "Fool" , I saw the girl who'd been dancing to the Corrs, and realized where I'd seen her -- it was Leah Wood. She'd sung on Keith's songs Monday night in DC. I borrowed a pen from an old security guy and went over to her. "Could I have your autograph?" I said, not thinking for a minute how silly such a giddy gesture might seem for a monkey of my advanced years. "ME??" she said incredulously. She's just a wee slip of a girl, very pretty and very young. Her equally young girlfriend started giggling. "You're Leah Wood, aren't you?" I said politely. "Yes...." "You were great in DC," I said, offering her the pen. A security guy must've been alarmed because her friend said "No, it's okay," to someone behind me. Leah signed a printed schedule of Monday's DC show which I'd found on the floor by the soundboard. She seemed stunned at having been asked.

Meanwhile the audience SAT DOWN en masse, but obviously to listen more intently. They stood back up for "Saint Of Me", Mick cheerleading from the catwalk. Remembering Charlie's brilliant ending flourish from DC, I told everyone around me to pay attention. He does an incredible ten second roll which says more than any pompous drum solo. Loud chants of "Charlie! Charlie!" come from Row E.
"Some Girls" just gets more vicious every night. Mick actually looked PISSED OFF bad while he spat out the words.

"Paint It Black" builds to such an insane pitch that for a second I feel like I'm levitating.

Keith sits on his stool. "This is 'I Got The Silver'....er, 'You Got The Silver.' Well, somebody's got it!" again, raggedy, torn & frayed, sublime, timeless. Here is the beating heart of this tour.
Then "Before They Make Me Run", sung and played better than I've ever seen it done. Keith looked tired tonight, but his playing and singing were NOT. No one in MY section left for the loo during Keith's set.

During " Out Of Control", which was stellar, I stealthily made my way to the b-stage, positioning myself at Keith's corner just as they ripped into "Rt. 66". Jesus. They are RIGHT THERE. I snap some pictures. Keith WINKS at me. That's a little scary. They're into "When The Whip Comes Down". It is IMPOSSIBLY good. Mick Keith & Woody stand facing each other bashing out the chords. Then a tech hands Keith his Les Paul Jr...it is a few feet away and I can see where the paint is worn off in a ragged circle, the bare wood shining through. I KNOW what's coming and I'm not sure my heart can take it. Midnight Rambler. I'm ten feet away from Keith Richards.
The problem with moments like this is a) they end and b) then it's hard to believe it actually happened, but I took pictures so tomorrow I'll have proof. Suffice it to say: it was a dream come true of the highest order.

I wander back to my seat, where security has relaxed, so I watch they Inevitables from the second row and take one last picture of Mick as he poses above me.

I strongly suspect that tonight's show was the best of the tour so far. Anyone who has a tape or video: PLEASE CONTACT ME. NOW.

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