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Ovation: Fifty Years Of The Rolling Stones!

07/15/2012

In 1997, I saw the Rolling Stones perform live at one of the stops on their Bridges To Babylon tour.  While I had never been a die-hard fan, I was offered a ticket at the last minute and thought it would be fun.  Everyone in town was excited about the concert, it was completely sold out, and Sheryl Crow, a hot new performer at the time, was scheduled to be the opening act.  The Rolling Stones had a reputation for putting on a great show and I soon understood exactly why.

We got there early and found our seats among a huge crowd of fans.  It was a warm evening and the air was still which, unfortunately, meant that the smell of beer and “special cigarettes” hung in the air as the crowd gathered around the huge stage at one end of the stadium.  From the main stage, there was a long narrow bridge to a smaller stage in-the-round that had been placed in the center of the stadium floor.  The crowd grew loud with anticipation after Crow’s performance and when the lights came up, everyone rose to their feet.

Finally, through the roar of the crowd, the first guitar riffs were pumped through giant speakers and several old men appeared on stage.  The following video was recorded live in St. Louis Missouri (USA) as part of that 1997 tour.

I don’t know why I was surprised, but the band was certainly not a “boy band”.  They were iconic performers, legendary even, and well into their fifties!  Mick Jagger, the well-known frontman and lead singer of the group had always been flamboyantly thin and haggard in appearance but had always had boyish qualities about him.  Now, as he’d aged, I didn’t know what to expect.

Until he started singing.  While his appearance certainly changed with age, his voice remained as unique and powerful as it was on any record or radio station.  That man has some “pipes”!  It was a fantastic concert and I’ve been a fan ever since!

Almost fifteen years later, on July 12, 2012, the Rolling Stones celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their first concert!  On Surviving members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Charlie Watts gathered to attend a photo exhibition chronicling their career (so far) exactly fifty years to the day after the band first played London’s Marquee Club.

Rumor has it that the musicians, including Jagger who turns 70 in July 2013, are rehearsing for a special Fiftieth Anniversary Concert and a possible anniversary tour in 2013!  And I thought they were old back then when I saw them live!  They weren’t even close to retirement and now a whole new legion of fans can be born!

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8 Comments
  1. I saw them about 10 years earlier than you for the first time. The Steel Wheels tour and it was up at the enormous Colosseum in LA. Opening act? Guns N Roses 🙂 All I remember is that the stage was amazing and that Mick Jagger covered every inch of it over the course of the concert. Like you I was immediately struck by what a powerful and crazy energetic performer he is!

    Saw them again in ’04 here in downtown San Diego and yup – all those years later it was the same Mick! While I haven’t ever bought a CD of theirs, if I have the chance to see them live, I will go. Certainly one of the best ever.

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  2. mary i permalink

    I have never seen them live,always wanted to. They are part of the Sound-track of my life.:)

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  3. I’ve never seen the Rolling Stones but I sure wish I had. Maybe they will come by here when they do their 50th tour. It’s amazing with all their hard living that they are still alive! 😀

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  4. Brings back memories! The Rolling Stones was my first concert ever! This was so long ago that the opening act, Prince, was new to the crowd and was boo’d off the stage.

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  5. As an aging Gen-Xer, I fully endorse this DVD for it’s vivid remidners of those days when concerned adults tried to save us from the pop culture of the 80s. The opening titles alone are worth the price of admission!

    Like

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