Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

June 4, 2013

The Rolling Stones at 50: Still rocking, still terrific


Niagara Gazette — In every respect, the Rolling Stones were outstanding. They are a phenomenal rock and roll band live. Their concert was an extraordinary sound, light, and visual experience. For two hours and 20 minutes they proved why no other band can touch them. They know how to put on a show, and it was a masterful journey featuring 22 of their hugely popular songs.

Lead singer Mick Jagger, who will be 70 on July 26, still has the energy of a teenager. Rooster strut, indeed. That the core of the band: Jagger, guitarist Keith Richards, and drummer Charlie Watts is still together after 50 years is an astonishing feat. And guitarist Ronnie Wood has been with the Stones for 38 years.

Also appearing on stage were former Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, who jammed on a number of songs, including a superb multi-tempo "Midnight Rambler; the Stones's regular female concert vocalist Lisa Fischer singing back-up throughout the night and also center stage with Mick on a roaring "Gimme Shelter;" legendary saxophonist Bobby Keys, Darryl Jones on electric bass, Bernard Fowler on percussion and back-up vocals, Chuck Leavell on keyboard, and special guest Carrie Underwood singing "It's Only Rock And Roll" with Jagger. A Toronto High School chorus sang the choral sections of "You Can't Always Get What You Want.”

The song selected by fans for inclusion on the setlist was "Street Fighting Man." An hour into the show, Richards performed “You Got The Silver" and "Happy" back-to-back. Other highlights were Jagger wearing a floor-length coat made out of black “feathers” for a strong "Sympathy For The Devil," a powerful and soulful version of "Angie" an especially vibrant rendition of "Tumbling Dice" with colorful animation on the digital screen behind the band, and a truly great and very brassy "Paint It Black," my favorite Stones song.

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