October 27, 2014

Match-fit Stones reach us in blistering form

The Rolling Stones
(with special guest Jimmy Barnes)
14 On Fire Tour
Adelaide Oval
October 25.
Duration: 130 minutes.
iEG Entertainment, Frontier Touring and AEG Live.
Bookings Ticketek .

The Rolling Stones have arrived – like a crossfire hurricane. Their tour is called 14 on Fire and, for once, the description matches the product. With their March dates cancelled because of the tragic death of Mick Jagger’s girlfriend, L’Wren Scott, the band only returned to performing in Europe in late May, continuing into July. Now, taking the stage at the Adelaide Oval, for the first show of their re-scheduled Australian tour, the Stones are thoroughly match-fit.

From the first familiar chords of Jumping Jack Flash, struck with magisterial authority by Keith Richards, the Rolling Stones command the giant stadium stage. Writ large on a massive tryptich of video screens, decorated like art nouveau picture frames, the live video feed of the band combines with a succession of animations, file photos, and copious other images for more than two hours of sight and sound immersion.

Always in the frame are the Four; the three originals – Jagger, Richards and Charlie Watts – joined by the forty year new boy Ronnie Wood. Let’s just say this once. Three of the band are over seventy, and Wood is not far off. The cameras reveal every crag and wrinkle – but also the energy, ease and sheer style of the world’s greatest rock band. It’s a grandiose title, but after more than fifty years, most of them at the top of the game, it is theirs to claim.

They dip into their catalogue and it’s a very deep bag. Let’s Spend the Night Together, with photo-collage of the band from the sixties, Tumbling Dice, and a plaintive version of Wild Horses. There is a new song, Doom and Gloom, and, the only cover, Dylan’s legendary Like a Rolling Stone, features Richards’ guitar, Jagger on harmonica and keyboard player Chuck Leavell. Richards adds his ragged vocals for Happy and Just Can’t Be Seen With You – Keith, Charlie and bassist Darryl Jones in splendid accord.

An extended version of Midnight Rambler is a highlight, with guest guitarist Mick Taylor reminding us of the golden period of Sticky Fingers and Let it Bleed. Slim as a whip, brimming with theatrics, Jagger is brilliant, traversing the stage, playing with the lyrics like a cat with a mouse. Gimme Shelter, with a soaring vocal solo from Lisa Fischer is also a knockout .

Sympathy for the Devil is a cauldron of red light and stage smoke, and Brown Sugar another band tour de force. This show excels at every level, the detail, precision, pace and spectacle exhilarating. The Stones close with You Can’t Always Get What You Want and (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – 54,000 delighted punters totally disagree.

Murray Bramwell

“Match-fit Stones reach us in blistering form” The Australian, October 27, 2014, p.13

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment