19 August 2013

The Rolling Stones Un-reviewed

This is a belated report on the recent Rolling Stones gig I attended. Recent being July! I know, I've been really bad in keeping up with the demands of the blog; I do apologise to those very few people that check it very rarely!

Now, as per the legend it is the Stones, a review in the traditional sense is not appropriate now, is it? Still, we, common humans are entitled to an opinion (I hope).

Just to give a bit of a background, I may or may not have posted a really indignant piece on the price tags for the Stones mini-tour last year. Truth is I was broke, didn't have £300 to spare even for the Stones, and quite bitter I could not attend. Being hypocritical as we all are, I did spend money to watch them after all; this time though it was £100ish. Quite reasonable for such a legendary band, right?

This was a festival sponsored by Barclays bank (enter irony [here]) and for those unfamiliar it entails a number of useless opening bands before the good stuff come on stage. In this case the useless bit was infused with brit-pop, alt-"rock" (or whatever they are) bands.

These are bands that:

a) Somehow think that by putting a "The" in front of their name makes them reach the standards of legends like the The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Animals, The Who etc etc. It doesn't.

b) Probably invented the whole worthless hipster sub-culture. I am sorry BUT wearing glasses when you can see perfectly is... well.... kindly put.... messed up!

c) Sound the same. Seriously, copy.... paste.

d) Are more mundane than Steven Seagal's acting. Kidding! Who doesn't like the odd Seagal marathon with 50-year old dad.

Back to the Stones. This was their first gig in Hyde Park after 44 years. I spent about £20ish of my ticket (the part that I guess goes to the above-mentioned bands) going to the toilet, queuing for beer, eating, relaxing, posing for photographs (!) and trying not to listen to background noise! I do have to admit Mr. Gary Clark Jnr., probably the only one worth seeing, was there and also played on stage with the Stones. For the blues fans out there, search for him, he is kind of amazing.

This is what I've been doing while "The" bands played; Unflattering, annoyed, beer-filled poses!
The Rolling Stones...What a show! Not surprisingly, they were (ridiculously) incredible. Charlie played the drums like the veteran that he is and Ronnie was being The Ronnie from all the legendary "The" bands he was part of in the past. Mick sang and danced and played his harmonica like he had the lungs of a 17 year old. Seriously, that energy, those moves! I thought he may dislocate a hip before the end of the gig but how wrong I was; that guy is F-I-T physically and vocally. And Keith, aka Keef, played his skillful blues, wore a green jacket, and kept being as cool as always. He is officially the best ancient "thing" I've seen live in my life. And I've seen lots of ancients like Ozzy, Lemmy, Tyler, Dio* and the lot.

All in all, I feel honoured and very very lucky that I got to see them. I felt like this was my last chance and I managed to do it! Now, considerably poorer from all the summer festivals, I get to take a break from gigs for a while. Ok, perhaps not that long; maybe 'till November when Lemmy comes back.

[*Disclaimer: Dio was and will forever be my top gig-attendance accomplishment. Period.] 

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