Rock bands don't come bigger than the Rolling Stones and last night it was New Zealand's turn to experience the iconic group live.
They performed several hits for over two hours amidst a spectacular stage show to the delight of a huge crowd.
Sir Mick Jagger is an awe-inspiring entertainer. It's easy to see the skill and experience fronting a rock band this big for this long has given him. But at the same time the way he energetically dances, struts and twitches all night gives him the appearance of a 20-year-old on uppers. He was amazing.
Keith Richards was the happiest and least active of the bunch, constantly grinning and laughing and only occasionally strumming his guitar. A truly infamous rock 'n' roll misfit, it was great to see the legend play before our eyes, but the years have been hard on Richards and I don't think he's the performer he once was.
Ronnie Wood chain-smoked intensely for the entirety of the performance wearing red Nikes that were easily the coolest shoes, while Charlie Watts never smiled and looked like an ever-determined Montgomery Burns as he bashed away at his drums.
The Stones' last visit was in 2006 and they were originally scheduled to play this show in April, but the tragic death of Jagger's girlfriend L'Wren Scott saw it postponed.
"We've waited a long time to be here, thank you for your patience," Jagger told the 50 or so thousand strong audience.
It got drizzly not too long before the Stones took to the stage and stayed wet throughout, although thankfully it never quite bucketed down.
"They said it wasn't going to rain, but we're all in this together," said Jagger.
He was dishing out good humour all night in between gyrating all the way along the catwalk and back.
The stage was elaborate and complete with fireworks displays. The giant screens were expertly directed, at one point displaying a wonderful mix of historical concert footage intercut with live crowd shots from Mt Smart Stadium.
The song that fans voted on was a cover of Bob Dylan's 'Like a Rolling Stone', easily one of the greatest tracks of all time and a very special one to hear performed last night. They played it after Jagger joked that we'd actually voted on Lorde's 'Royals'.
It's funny to think that he was nearly 60 when Lorde was born. Even Jagger himself pointed out the band's age, saying they've been coming to New Zealand for nearly 50 years and reminding us that their first visit was with Roy Orbison.
Mick Taylor came out performing a musical duel, his guitar versus Jagger's harmonica, before ripping into 'Midnight Rambler' and absolutely blowing the other guitarists away with it.
There were definitely a few mistakes, miscues and general signs of creakiness throughout the night, which is kind of a good thing. They're arguably the world's biggest band, so it's cool that despite the extravagant accouterments, the music itself is still pretty loose and unpolished.
I was a little disappointed that 'Paint It Black' wasn't played, but there was certainly no filler and too many highlights to list.
I dug the impressive mix of on-screen visuals, smoke, lights and small pyrotechnics for the intro to 'Sympathy for the Devil' before Jagger came out hooting and dressed in a red feathery coat.
'Miss You' was extended and had somewhat of a jam session feel to it, with a cool bass solo in the middle and a lot of crowd interaction.
The encore break was mercifully short considering the cold temperature, and it was broken in the loveliest way possible - with the New Zealand Youth Choir singing 'You Can't Always Get What You Want'. That together with 'Satisfaction' formed a nicely epic one-two punch to end the night on.
While it hasn't been officially confirmed, it's likely that this is the last time the Stones will play in New Zealand.
If that's the case, they went out with a bang I'm glad I experienced.
The concert's set list was as follows:
- Start Me Up
- It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)
- You Got Me Rocking
- Tumbling Dice
- Like a Rolling Stone
- Doom and Gloom
- Out of Control
- Honky Tonk Women
- You Got the Silver
- Before They Make Me Run
- Midnight Rambler
- Miss You
- Gimme Shelter
- Jumpin' Jack Flash
- Sympathy for the Devil
- Brown Sugar
- You Can't Always Get What You Want
- (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
source: newshub archive