Steve Raymond

Steve Raymond

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Concert Review: The Rolling Stones Philadelphia 6/11

"It's Only Rock N Roll (but I LIKE IT)!" And I did last night at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia! The Rolling Stones Hackney Diamonds Tour arrived to much fanfare and a jam-packed stadium of die-hard lifetime fans. Frontman and Rock and cultural Icon Mick Jagger came out strutting his stuff just after 9:30pm Est. Sir Mick is about to become the "senior-senior citizen" of the band when he turns 81 on July 26th. He came out Rockin, wailiin' and sprinting up and down a stage runway which had the rest of us AARP partisans looking at one another thinking about that expired gym membership. The band was introduced to the opening chords of Start Me Up! My personal air-guitar favorite of 50 years, It's Only Rock N Roll (But I like it) came next. I joyously shot to my feet showing my air-guitar prowess. The beauty of being the World's Greatest Rock N Roll Band is the unlimited song catalog. The band is celebrating a new album release, their first recording of original music since 2005's 'A Bigger Bang. Introduced in October, 2023, the setlist includes selections including the debut single, Angry, Mess It Up (a rocker!) and Tell Me Straight. Keep brother Keef off vocals please. We must keep him in his iconic lane. Oh, Keith sizzles on my favorite jam Happy, from the first ever Stones album I ever bought with my own pre-teen money, Exile On Main Street (1972). 60 years of hits and I am still floating from the experience. I apologize for any run-on sentences here. The core three, Mick, Keith and Ronnie were playful and rockin! They looked strong and joyous, appearing as loving what they do. The supporting musicians, most, veterans of the band for 30+ years were amazing. Bassist Darryl Jones, who once upon a time, replaced founding member Bill Wyman was and is a quiet force with chords driving the depth and cadence of the selections. Bernard Fowler, another silent force making the old guys' younger despite their advancing years. So the beauty of a 60+ year song catalog is a different setlist city to city. It appears there are rotating song lists. Longtime keyboardist, Chuck Leavelle is the musical director and collaborates with his bandmates and his legendary bosses to construct the tour rehearsals and nightly playlists. In Philadelphia, The band performed 1960's classics She's a Rainbow and Monkey Man. I would have preferred Bitch and Dead Flowers from 1971's Sticky Fingers. I was turned on to a new rocking selection from Hackney Diamonds, Mess It Up, but they omitted Sweet Sounds Of Heaven from the final encore. Chanel Haynes was another hair-raising experience with her backing vocals on Gimme Shelter! Haynes replaced the legendary Grammy winning vocalist, Lisa Fischer in 2022. I am personally so glad the band features Midnight Rambler as a staple selection on the nightly setlist. I first played the grooves off it on my Hot Rocks Volume I Double-vinyl album at age 12. My parents likely didn't care for the noise? This night was magic. The night! The lights! The music! The boundless energy! The players all seemingly at the top of their game in 2024! Sitting alongside longtime listeners (contest winners) from my radio show is a benefit I always look forward to! It was a major part of the magic. Eliminate the opening act. It's noise in a stadium setting. Just play rock classics on low. Well, probably an opportune time for a last minute bathroom run or a $24.00 cup of beer. The Rolling Stones (still) do not need a warm-up opening act. Just go on an hour earlier. It might be more convenient for us geriatric AARP members with a little left in the tank to rock! The vomit splashes on the upper level stairway down to the parking lot (it appeared to be greasy cheesy pizza), Keith singing on one too many and no Brown Sugar their biggest hit featuring a tantalizing Keith riff and sax solo, for political correctness reason lowers my score from an overall sensational concert experience: B+


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