In 1981, the Rolling Stones were gearing up for their highly anticipated tour to back the album Tattoo You. This being the first time the Stones hit the road since the Some Girls tour in ‘78, fans all over the country were foaming at the mouth to see the greatest rock and roll band live on stage. Jagger was quoted as saying, I’d rather be dead than sing ‘Satisfaction’ when I’m 45.” As a 69-year-old Jagger joined his band to culminate their “50 Years and Counting” tour, it’s hard not to smile.
There they were, the Rolling Stones on stage, celebrating 50 years of complete debauchery and mayhem. The live concert event entitled “One More Shot” was telecast live via pay-per-view for the entire world to see. A blowout spectacular of epic proportions, the Stones pulled out all the stops.
Mega-guest stars came and went, old band mates returned to the stage and the set was a whirlwind playlist that encapsulated the band’s entire history. With no scheduled dates for 2013, one can’t help but wonder if in their own words, “this could be the last time.” If this is indeed so, the Stones left it all on stage. Mick Jagger commanded the “lip-shaped” stage like he was making love to the audience. After all these years, he probably was. Ever the showman, Jagger dazzled and moved like it was 1969. Coming out in a silver-like suite and hat, he eventually stripped down to an all black, skintight outfit that defied age and gravity. The man remains a spectacle even to this day, soaking in sexual innuendos and raw aggression.
Keith Richards, the ageless riff-master played his axe like it was an extension of his arms. Although his body language suggested composure throughout the show, his seemingly effortless guitar wizardry sored on “Gimme Shelter” and “Sympathy For the Devil.” As with every show within the past decade, Jagger handed the mic over to Keith for his usual renditions of “Before They Make Me Run” and “Happy.”
Ronnie wood, the baby of the group by 38 years still seemed grateful just to be there, trading licks with Keith like singers on a duet. Fan favorite Charlie Watts kept the rhythm in his usual spot-on manner. The band clicked together like never before. Perhaps they were simply having too much fun.
The Newark, New Jersey crowd (who reportedly paid hundreds of dollars) sprung from their chairs for the opening classic “Get Off Of My Cloud,” and they never left their feet. After three more crowd-pleasing classics, the haunting licks of “Gimme Shelter” echoed throughout the Prudential Center, and out came Lady Gaga in a striped one-piece and high heels that put Elton John to shame. Jagger and Gaga traded soulful lyrics as they circled each other like prey. After Jagger delivered a touching “Wild Horses,” young(er) guitarists John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr. joined Richards and Wood in a jam session covering blues-guitar great Freddie King’s “Going Down.”
In an unprecedented initiative, 12 songs were chosen by all four band mates to be voted on to perform during the set. Only one song would be played, and the voting began through the Rolling Stones official app as well as online. Put together by “By Request…Live,” this was a world first, as the voting would be closed LIVE during the gig. Among the songs were hits such as “Beast of Burden” and “Street Fighting Man,” as well as deep cuts like “Rip This Joint” and “Rocks Off.” Ultimately, “Dead Flowers” from the album Sticky Fingers topped the vote and became the show’s 8th number.
After rock duo The Black Keys joined the band for Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love,” the highlight of the night followed when former Stones guitarist Mick Taylor (1969-1974) took the stage for a marathon version of “Midnight Rambler.” Taylor was greeted like a welcomed ghost from the past. Mick ripped away on the harmonica while Taylor, Richards and Wood played for what seemed like an astonishingly enjoyable eternity. It wasn’t a reunion concert, but the guitarists’ chemistry suggested the band was back together.
When Mick announced that their next guest “…just had to walk here,” out came New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen for a grand performance of the gem “Tumbling Dice.” Jagger and Springsteen both sang while Bruce strummed away on the 6-string. Jagger was at his finest, moving and grooving as the crowd went wild.
The set list was an ample length and a satisfactory mix of hits and surprises. But in true Stones fashion, the songs whizzed by you like a “cross-fire hurricane.” If you blinked, you most likely missed a Jagger shimmy here or a wicked smirk from Keith there (and by the way, Mick sang “Satisfaction”). If this truly was “One More Shot” as the event was billed, the group that remains the greatest rock and roll band after 50 years sent us off with one clear question: Was it good for you?
“Get Off Of My Cloud”
“The Last Time”
“It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)”
“Paint It Black”
“Gimme Shelter” (With Lady Gaga)
“Going Down” (With John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr.)
“Who Do You Love” (With The Black Keys)
“Doom and Gloom”
“One More Shot”
“Honky Tonk Women”
“Before They Make Me Run”
“Midnight Rambler” (With Mick Taylor)
“Tumbling Dice” (With Bruce Springsteen)
“Start Me Up”
“Sympathy for the Devil”
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want (With the Trinity Wall Street Choir)
“Jumpin’ Jack Flash”