Rocking with The Stones: December 2012 Brooklyn & May 2013 Los Angeles

Some of my friends and certainly my husband thought I was insane to want to see the Rolling Stones play again in Los Angeles after having just seen them in Brooklyn, New York when they performed in honor of their 50th anniversary.

Not crazy, at all.  Of course I’d want to see them perform again as who really knows when their last show will be and I want as much as I can get given the amount of joy and rocking out I express (poor folks behind me) during their shows.  (Remember, you can’t always get what you want etc. but get what you need!)  And, in case you’re wondering, no, the tickets are NEVER free and yes I do pay top dollar for them! And, having just spent a year working on my Stones enhanced e book, my commitment to the band is everlasting now and I’m willing to pay as long as they’re doing it.

The Rolling StonesPhoto Courtesy of Mike Montana

All that aside, the Stones delivered again at Staples Center, home of the Lakers who I assure you, as Mick quipped, not many were thinking of when the Stones took the stage.  When the band strolled out onto the stage out under a set of giant red lips they brought down the house and when the UCLA marching band punched up the Satisfaction chords, pandemonium!  The entire night had a different flavor than Brooklyn because in the fall, the band had been rehearsing continually to prepare for the London, New York and Newark shows. They were tight! It was a more casual show here, more fun and fit LA like a glove. Okay, they were a little sloppy for a few bars here and there but LA didn’t care. The fans were just happy they came.  LA occasionally suffers from the syndrome of big bands like Cream who might play at Madison Square Garden for example but not get to LA for a while during their reunion tour. Therefore, when the heavy hitters show up in Southern California, people are just ecstatic.

Mick Jagger Ronnie WoodPhoto Courtesy of Mike Montana

The high notes of the evening besides Keith Urban and Mick Jagger up in each other’s faces and Mick Taylor and Mick Jagger nose to nose, was once again the inclusion of a college choir, this time from Long Beach State, who opened, You Can’t Always Get What You Want – a cappella — and besides sounding great, it’s fantastic to see these young people just dying over the reality that they are singing behind and onstage with the Stones. And then of course, there is just the band, doing what they do best effortlessly and defying the reality of the time that’s elapsed since their arrival in 1962.

Mick Jagger and Keith UrbanPhoto Courtesy of Mike Montana

The only false note for me, and it WAS a dud to be sure, was Gwen Stefani, who in my opinion has neither the chops nor the authority to sing with Mick Jagger.  In Brooklyn, Mary J. Blige sang with Mick on Gimme Shelter and she burned down the house, the stage, the city.  Here is LA Gwen Stefani, (who sang Wild Horses with Mick) dressed like a Cyndi Lauper clone stuck in the 80s, couldn’t deliver the voice, the attitude or the authority and was clearly nervous and way out of her league.  Snide that I am, I still felt for her. She’s a nice woman but no doubt, a pop performer. The duet could have given her a career bump up but it didn’t go up that way, it went down. I just watched the YouTube clip with Mary J and Mick, and the difference, well, is startling.  You see, it takes a certain confidence to be up in Mick’s face and singing or playing with him, Tina Turner, Mary J. and the Stones astonishing back-up singer Lisa Fischer can do it….but you need to be commanding in the face of his power and experience to pull it off and enjoy it too.

Ronnie.KeithPhoto Courtesy of Mike Montana

The rest of the show, well it was perfect, how could it not be?   The Stones invented it – the big show; the theatrical show; the creative sets; the amazing visuals and they did not disappoint.  Whiners and complainers there will always be – why are ticket prices high, why are they still performing, and on.  And in case you think it was an all AARP crowd it wasn’t. I brought my kid, he was in the pit, and there were thousands of kids in the audience.  Their parents didn’t want them to miss the band that invented the delivery of giant rock experiences and are still doing it, against all odds, except rock n roll odds apparently. There’s a reason they are still considered the greatest rock band in the world, they just are.  It’s the songs, the body of work, the energy, the commitment, the impossibility that it’s still happening and they are still on the stage.

It remains an honor for me to be in that audience and applaud and shriek and let this band know how much they’ve contributed to my life.  Rock and roll.  The Stones.  From LP to iPod, every format.  Satisfaction continues.

Here are a few more pictures from the show on May 3rd – they are not the best shots ever (from my phone) but they ‘ll give you a taste of The Stones experience that night!

3 responses to “Rocking with The Stones: December 2012 Brooklyn & May 2013 Los Angeles

  1. Hello There. I found your blog the usage of msn. That is
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  2. I’ll keep going as long as they keep performing. That’s a no-brainer! Thanks for the great review. I’m doing an e-commerce startup in NYC & have no visibility now, or I would’ve already bought a ticket. Soon, I hope. I also want the Tongue seats.

    • Live In Texas ’78 is probably the best Stones corenct DVD. I might like the Exile era better, and so really enjoy Ladies And Gentlemen, but the sound, camera work and intimate atmosphere combined with the energy of this show makes it the better film I think.

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