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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Like a Rolling Stone

Loads of local musicians are getting together this Saturday at the Fillmore in Silver Spring to pay homage to one of the longest running bands in rock: The Rolling Stones. Should be quite a party- a kind of busman's holiday for musicians- and the $25 ticket, though high for DC Rocks, is lot lower than what the real Stones charged when they rolled through here last June. The Bandhouse Tribute show is well worth the ticket price; take a look at the line up which includes Tommy Keene, Jon Carroll and loads more. 

And if you missed the Stones' show, or just want to get psyched for this weekend, here's the Holbert Report, a local fan's take on the Verizon Center concert  June 24th, 2013: 

Saw the Stones last week for maybe the 20th time and probably the last time. They ended the North American leg of their tour here in DC, maybe the last show they'll ever do on our side of the pond?  Who knows, figure they grossed 8 - 9 million on this DC show alone.  They might come back to grab some more of this crazy money. 
I had some reservations about going to the show, not wanting to pay the crazy money for a ticket being number one, but broke down and grabbed one at $250.  Close to the stage, but way high up.
Had read that they had been coming on promptly at 9.  My crew prepped appropriately, jumped into a cab and arrived around 8:30, got in, got our beers, and looked at the incredibly expensive Stones swag for sale. Only had to wait a bit before they came on.
The lights go down, the sold out crowd on their feet screaming. First a ten minute or so retrospective of their 50 year career on the video screens.  Very entertaining.  They appear.  First song, a real oldie, "Get Off My Cloud. " Don't think I have ever heard them play it before.  This version was real muddy, as most first songs are at concerts. Mick, Keith and Ronnie gather together on stage, kinda pushing each other, and they kick into "Its only Rock and Roll".  Sound still sloppy, but then, the clarity appeared.  You could hear the fantastic guitar interplay, bass and drums distinct, and man, they rocked that song.  Mick in good voice here and throughout the night. 
Next, "Paint it Black".  Amazing.  Keith playing this fill, mimicking Brian's sitar from the original, but also stamping his own style onto it.  They end the song and a second later kicked into "Gimme Shelter".  Always a highlight live.  Background singer Lisa gets a solo part singing the female lead from the original.  She still has an amazing voice.  Great job- even those of us in the cheap seats were still on their feet.
A real surprise, a song I have always admired and never heard them play live, "Worried about You" from the Tattoo You LP.  First non-famous song of the night, and many used it as "a good time to get  beer." And maybe it was. As much as I like the song, I didn't think they did a good job with it, but I appreciated them digging deep into their catalogue.  It also gave Mick a reprieve from his continual running and strutting. They parked him in front of a keyboard. (At 69 he probably can use the break.) 
When Mick did the band intros, Charlie was pulled from behind the drums to acknowledge his standing ovation. He looked bewildered about his reception.  Mick left the stage, and it's now time for that other guy to sing. Keith singing without a guitar accompanied by Ronnie on steel; they did an amazing performance of "You Got the Silver".  
Mick comes back, starts on harmonica.  Then Mick Taylor appears, the only guitarist to ever leave the Stones and live. "Midnight Rambler." And it was glorious with Mick T on scorching slide guitar.  I will always think the Stones were at their best when he was in the band.  To me, this was the highlight of the show.  Mick J asks the crowd to give Mick T some appreciation, but I kinda sensed that Mick J still resents Mick T for leaving. 
Took a walk around the concourse checking out how the other fans were doing. Saw a woman my age take a serious header. Her friends pulled her up, and she seemed to be OK. Tired of beer, I looked for the cocktail concession.  
Get back to my seat for the start of "Brown Sugar," a song I never really liked live, but it sounded fantastic tonight. Mick disappeared from the stage, and they kicked into "Sympathy." Mick comes back in a long black cloak and starts a fantastic vocal.  What can I say?  Again a great rendition. 
Mick thanks the crowd.  They all leave the stage.  Everyone knowing they would re-appear.  After maybe 10 minutes, the Washington Chorus files onstage and begins to sing the opening choir part from "You Can't always Get...."  Shivers down my spine, it was so beautiful. They continue to accompany the Stones through the song. The best live version I have ever heard. 
Now the closers, "JJ Flash" and "Satisfaction," both done really well. I sat down during those and almost started crying thinking that this was most likely the last time I would ever see them, the last time I would ever experience the rush of being with 20,000 people singing dancing and smiling through a Stones show. Show ended with a final bow of the long timers together at center stage.  Mick J, Keith, Charlie, Ronnie and Mick T.  Nice moment. 

(The Holbert Report is a semi regular feature of DC Rocks. Check out the last story covering Neil Young and Patti Smith here.)

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