Stones – No Filter Tour – Gillette Stadium, July 7, 2019

So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
Use all your well-learned politesse
Or I’ll lay your soul to waste,

So here we are, my fourth (should be fortieth) Rolling Stones concert. I’ve seen two by myself, one with Mrs. Music Enthusiast and now this one with Sonny Boy. The “classic rock” bands he’s seen with me thus far have included The Who, Skynyrd and Marshall Tucker and  – for partial credit – a tribute band that included David Bowie’s producer and drummer.

Prior to going to the show, I’d been checking out the setlists of the three or four prior venues. While it was a serviceable list with all the usual hits, I was disappointed by the lack of deep cuts as well as the fact that they had (I thought) done NO blues. This from a band whose most recent album was a blues album! Fortunately, the Gods of Rock ‘n Roll heard my whinging and, well, I’ll get to that.

So how was it? Well, I can say honestly that it was a great show, full of – as we say here – piss and vinegar. The Stones were in fine form. And for a 75-year-old bloke who HAD A HEART VALVE REPLACED 3 MONTHS AGO, Mick Jagger moved like, well, Jagger. (Both the boy and I agreed that Keef looked rougher than usual, sometimes looking like he’d wandered in from the retirement home. Not smiling as much as usual, his playing kinda stiff.)

Highlight of the show? Well there were several. But to my great surprise, one of my least favorite Stones tunes, “Miss You,” turned out to be an ass-kicker. This song had been the Stones’ 1978 answer to disco. Jagger denied it but Keef said it was a “damn good disco record; it was calculated to be one.”

Here they are doing it from a previous show with a nice solo from bassist Darryl Jones at about 3:48. To make the year’s greatest understatement, I am no disco fan. But whatever you wanna call this, it’s got some punch:

Nick said he got “chills” when the band first came out. I had given him a playlist which he checked out and dug. It’s exciting for him to see these classic bands that have been around since long before he was on this earth and who will clearly outlive all of us.

The poor kid was surrounded by my fellow baby boomers, most of whom looked like they were on an excursion from a cruise ship and who had spent their spare cash on shiny new Stones tongue T-shirts. (I went totally contrarian with another well-known band’s shirt.)

“Midnight Rambler” may well be my favorite Stones song ever. No matter how many times they play it, it remains inherently evil, a blues from the crossroads that Robert Johnson might have written had he lived long enough. Keef fucks up at one point by coming back into the fast part too early; I fuck up at the end of the video by cutting it off a tad too early. What can I say? Time is not on our side:

The opening act was none other than blues/rock firebrand Gary Clark, Jr. (Previous opening acts I’ve seen were Sheryl Crow, Pretenders, Black Eyed Peas.) Now, I’ve been aware of Clark for a while but haven’t really followed him closely. I had always understood him to be primarily a blues guy. But based on last night, I found him to be much more in a Lenny Kravitz vein, kinda soulful rock with a blues feel.

He never at any point did a real blues and alas, while he somewhat won over the golf, bingo and knitting crowd with his muscular playing, for me he never really got out of 2nd gear (or for that matter, strangely, never varied the song choices beyond mid-tempo).

I think Clark is a fine player though and I’m pleased to say that the Stones brought him up for “Ride ‘Em On Down,” a blues they did on Blue and Lonesome. (And which, further research reveals, they also did in Chicago which is, of course, only fitting.) I by no means think the Stones should do an entire night of blues. But two or three of these would make me a very happy camper indeed. And if they announced a blues tour, I’d be first in line. Disco aside, they are essentially a blues band.

Here’s my other favorite Stones tune, “Brown Sugar.” For pure rock and roll, you cannot beat these guys or this song. This is my problem with a lot of rock today and in the past few years. It just doesn’t excite me like this. (Guys, move “Satisfaction” to earlier in the set and make this the encore.):

I’ll leave you here with “Sympathy for the Devil,” a song Mick wrote for Beggar’s Banquet many moons ago. It was inspired by a novel Marianne Faithfull gave him called The Master and Margarita. The story “concerns a visit by the devil to the officially atheistic Soviet Union.” More evil:

These shows cost a lot of money these days. Was it worth it? Sure, every penny. That said, even a music junkie like me has to draw the line somewhere. So I am passing on Queen, Santana and myriad others because well, I’m kinda burnt out on these live shows. I don’t have any lined up right now and I’ll probably be very choosy going forward. That said, I’ve already prepped Sonny for the next Springsteen four-hour extravaganza.

Because after all, it’s only rock ‘n roll. But goodness gracious I do enjoy it.

Main Stage

Street Fighting Man
It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)
Tumbling Dice
She’s So Cold (by request)
Ride ‘Em on Down (Eddie Taylor cover) (with Gary Clark Jr.)

B-Stage / Acoustic:
Play With Fire
Dead Flowers

Main Stage
Sympathy for the Devil
You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Honky Tonk Women
Slipping Away (Keith Richards on lead vocals)
Before They Make Me Run (Keith Richards on lead vocals)
Miss You
Paint It, Black
Midnight Rambler
Start Me Up
Jumpin’ Jack Flash
Brown Sugar

Encore:
Gimme Shelter
Satisfaction

The Rolling Stones

  • Mick Jagger– lead vocals, guitar, harmonica, percussion
  • Keith Richards– guitars, backing vocals
  • Ronnie Wood– guitars, backing vocals
  • Charlie Watts– drums, percussion

Additional musicians

  • Darryl Jones– bass
  • Chuck Leavell– keyboards, backing vocals
  • Sasha Allen– backing vocals
  • Karl Denson– saxophone
  • Tim Ries– saxophone, keyboards
  • Matt Clifford – keyboards, percussion, French horn, show introduction voice
  • Bernard Fowler– backing vocals, percussion

24 thoughts on “Stones – No Filter Tour – Gillette Stadium, July 7, 2019

  1. Sounds like it was a fun show, Jim – btw, nice picture of you and your son! I think it’s great you guys are seeing classic rock acts together. I’m also glad the Stones played a blues for you!😀

    Unfortunately, my smartphone isn’t cooperating, or maybe it’s outsmarting me, so can’t watch the YouTube clips you included. Looking forward to do that after I get home from work.

    “My” Stones show is August 1 at MetLife in NJ. It’s probably gonna be friggin’ hot, but I’m excited. Sadly, this is only my second Stones concert and, given ticket prices these days, probably my last.

    Do you know whether Gary Clark is opening up all of their North American gigs? Or do they have different opening acts in different cities?

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    1. BTW, the more I think of that crowd with their bags full of Stones paraphernalia, the more it seemed like a bunch of people who came off a cruise ship and had ‘See Stones’ on their bucket list. Dilettantes, not music lovers. I know how snobbish that sounds. But it seemed that way to me. They might as well have been at Disney, a lot them. Depressing.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Oh, yeah. Not only did he think it was great but he gets jazzed seeing these classic bands. I think a lot of the younger generation think they missed something not having been around in the Sixties. So it’s exciting

          Liked by 1 person

  2. BTW, I just was able a watch a YouTube clip of Brown Sugar from your show last night – agree it’s a great tune!

    I dig the entire Sticky Fingers album, which is probably my favorite among the Stones records I’ve listened to.

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    1. Yeah, it’s cool we get to see these together. I’m pretty sure I’ll get to drag him to a Springsteen show one day. As a live performer himself, he will no doubt be amazed by the guy’s stamina in concert.

      As to who attends these shows, you know, I shouldn’t be surprised after all these years. But when I first saw the setlists coming out, I thought, huh? Sure, they’re doing a lot of tunes I personally wanna hear. But at the same time, there were few deep cuts.

      And after seeing that crowd I know why. The Stones have been doing this a long time and they are savvy. They know that the blues lovers and long-time music aficionados like me are, generally speaking, no longer attending. The great majority of people attending are checking off a box no their bucket list. Saw the Stones. Check. Bought the merchandise. Check. Next show? Celine Dion? Some “new country” guy? Does it matter? It’s just a box. I told Nick that when I used to go to rock shows it was my tribe. No longer.

      Yes, on Dark Side. Funny story – I also wore it to a July 4 public celebration. I was walking along and a guy of a “certain age” ran over to me, shook my hand, patted me on the shoulder and congratulated me on the shirt. I shit you not. He loves the band, the album, etc. The same thing happened with an usher at the Stones show. The rest of the crowd probably thought it was some hippie leftover thing. Or wondered how I could have the audacity not to buy a shiny new Stones shirt. The shirt doesn’t say Floyd. It doesn’t have to. Those two guys? My tribe.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah it becomes about the event with some music thrown in. At least with the Stones you get some good music with the deal.

        I was telling Earl you guys went to the show. He thought that was cool. He likes the Stones but he said much the same about the concert thing you did. It’s lost that bite.
        Here’s one to tell Nick. Earl went to see Jim James and Claypool/Lennon. He said it was a shred fest. He loved it.
        I love the reaction to the “T”. I get that stuff when I bust out a few of the old treasures. The “pat on the shoulder and congratulations”. That’s the best yet. I’m still chuckling at that.

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        1. Nick may know who James is but other than the fact that it’s a Lennon, that news will likely be lost on him. He goes to see a lot of fairly obscure bands.

          As to the congratulations, one would think that would be reserved for my actually accomplishing something. The guy at the Stones show said it was “vintage.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him i bought it online about a month ago. I really don’t have much in the way of rock T’s or posters. I found a Stones one in an album and put it up in a spare room for old times’ sake. And we have a Springsteen one up in the basement showing ticket prices before 7,000,000 percent inflation hit.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I have a few moth eatin’ ones around. The kids would buy me ones like Ozzie biting the head off a bird. Shit like that. “Hey man. Ozzie, right on”.
          I have a take on live shows coming up. That ticket price thing is a good one.

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        3. I have my own spin on live shows to do as well. Do yours and I’ll refer to it if you do it first. We’ll have a one-two punch. My feelings about live shows are generally positive but, at least lately, decidedly mixed.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like a great show (unsurprisingly). I was saying elsewhere a few weeks back that it’s been 20 years since I saw the Stones and I’d love to see them again.

    As for Clark, I reckon the live setting is the best way to listen to him.

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  4. Glad to see another dad doing the same thing as I am with my daughter…Great fun and I get to see so many bands all over again.
    Good thing I snag pre-sale tix so I can obtain not the expensive tix…
    Have Stones at Rose Bowl on Thursday, but we’ve attended ELO, Eagles, Dead & Co, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, Little Feat, Steve Miller, Peter Frampton, Original Wailers, plus others in the last year or so…
    Have The Who, David Crosby, Jeff Beck/Rod Stewart, Ringo, Toto next month…
    ENJOY

    Like

    1. That’s a lot of shows! Spending your kids’ inheritance I see. Well, you can’t take it with you. 🙂 I had wanted to see Queen and the Who but got tired of the $$$ plus the rat race. That said, I’ve got a good one coming up tonight. Stay tuned. BTW, Jeff Beck/Rod. How the hell did I miss that? Where is this, pray tell?

      Like

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