Sunday, June 23, 2013

FRIDAY June 21st: ROLLING STONES 50/ Philly #2

THE ultimate GROUPIE got GREEDY! TWO Rolling Stones concerts in ONE week!
And SO, here is how Rolling Stones junkie Steve Raymond saw things on Friday night in South Philadelphia..

MICK Jagger, the ageless cat howlin' and prowlin' and tearing up the Wells Fargo Center! This man CAN'T be stopped..AND we thank our depleted billfold$ for it!

Friday night in Philly exploded before 18,000 FREAK-A-ZOID fans much like Tuesday night! "HEY, Hey, hee, hee Get OFF of My Cloud(sung). The sing-a-long began! Boundless energy from a symphony element in it's 50th year, blowing the roof off the big house! The hairs on my neck (and back) stood up on setlist selection #2, It's ONLY Rock N Roll, BUT I like it, LIKE IT, YES I do!"

ALL the records that I've been collecting since I bought that first HONKY TONK WOMEN 45 RPM vinyl record at Strawberry Records in Bloomfield Connecticut's Copaco Shopping Center in 1969, came alive one after the other!

NO Opening act: A+++

PICK Of the night: Can't You Hear Me Knocking featuring original guitarist Mick Taylor!
While Taylor seemed to having monitor or technical issues during the extended play and appearing to be yelling at sound technicians/tuners during the song, it was a cool, bluesy effort on the entire collaboration! For Mick Taylor's outward dismay and arrogance I give a C- but total group collaboration was: A+

Selection #5 featured guest Aaron Neville and the legendary Drifters song Under The Boardwalk.
Generally, I h-a-t-e 50's and 60's pop AND there was NO exception on this night. I am not familiar with Neville's body of work BUT it best mimicked a bad effort of "pull somebody from the crowd" Karaoke! Terrible and unnecessary! Neville, a man of zero personality and showmanship on stage looked like he was "mailing in" the vocal effort even though his old friend and producer Keith Richards gave him a resounding grin and hug as the song finished up. Keith, by the way, produced and played guitar parts on Neville's most recent My True Story album of which peaked at #7 on the charts. I am not sure which charts those would be. 

The BOYS' restored our confidence with a launch into WHEN The Whip Comes Down, my all-time favorite track on 1978's Some Girls release. Rockin, Keith guitar prowess and Mick slinking around the stage like he's 20! (He turns 70 on July 26th)*  A

Honky Tonk Women, of which I've got several different LIVE' performances of this song stored for personal listening was ROCKIN'. Chuck Leavelle, all the way from Honky Tonk land, Georgia USA did not disappoint! He is master of the keyboard with unassuming, yet great flair! What great talent in this band and every single player woven into one another to create the perfect listening experience! A++

Keith ROCKED with Happy, not included in Tuesday night's (6/18) setlist . It's one of my personal favorites since purchasing the Exile On Main Street Vinyl in 1972: B+

Longtime Stones Saxophonist Bobby Keys was superb on the instrumental of Brown Sugar! Bobby also showed his finesse on the Listener request pick of the night, Can't You Hear Me Knockin': A+

CROWD: What a difference three whole nights makes! What a difference early in the week (Tuesday) and Friday going into a weekend can be. Tuesday: Adult, cool, calm, collected yet appreciative and singing loudly! Friday: Younger drunk crowd makes their unwelcome  presence felt. Sloppy drunk, groping, stumbling into seats in front, behind and next-to throughout the performance. Obscenities, threats and slurring comments like "F##@k YOU, I paid for these seats," was a constant. You want to fight back or at the very least laugh and jeer and point fingers directly BUT never a good idea with humans depleted of cognitive brain function. The good news is, these folks, actually far and few between and MOST in my section, would pass out or walk out and never reappear . F

SOUND: The sound wasn't as clear and crisp on Friday night as it was on Tuesday. It was sometimes very "tinny" and with a blown woofer sound of imbalance. Guitar riffs weren't as dazzling and inspirational as Tuesday night, when I teared' up during It's Only Rock N Roll' and Brown Sugar. I'm not sure WHY the sound was deficient and I even went back and forth with ear plugs for bass feel, to no avail.  I felt good about making the two-night investment all the same. C


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

RollingSTONES 50 Phila 6/18/13

REVIEW: Rolling Stones 50! Philadelphia 6/18/13

In 2013, IF 70 is the new 60, then the Rock Stars on stage last night were 70 going on 30!

Timeless ROCK! Ageless musicians! Unmistakable Sound! Tireless! Smiling! Laughing! This best describes my experience of observation by these men that molded and shaped my taste in ROCK. From the moment I bought my first Stones album in 1972, the epic Exile On Main Street, the boys just continue to ROCK my epicenter!

Having followed them LIVE in the seats since 1978's Some Girls Tour (Spectrum, Phila) to last night, I, along with 18,000 other fans were NOT disappointed! They are at the top of their game and sounded the best I have ever heard them on any previous tour!

My biggest thrill: NO unknown, support-opening act! A long pet peeve of mine for 35 years going to concerts..filler bands to get a crowd worked up. THEY DON'T and They DIDN'T last night. I was glad the masters were the only attraction on Tuesday June 18, 2013.  

Here's What I saw:

MICK-Ageless, Crafty as a cat, all the moves, energy high, playful, a great all-round player featuring guitar, harmonica and vocals. Mick is considered a world renowned virtuoso on Harmonica by his peers and he did not dissapoint.  He turns 70 on July 26th. WOW!  A++++

KEEF-Ageless, effortless, SO accomplished that he looks like he's playing in slow motion or barely playing at all. It was amazing watching him sneak to the back utility stand to drag on a cigarette and then back at it! READ his book: LIFE, he is not of this world. His only mortal flaw is the lack of a singing voice. Typically, he launches into HAPPY or BEFORE THEY MAKE ME RUN 10-12 selections into the show to give fellow geriatric Jagger a breather. He passes the test in my book with Happy but struggled on Before they Make Me Run and You Got The Silver' last night at the Wells Fargo Center.
He's a true master: OF science and music! Long live Keith!  A

RONNIE-(Read Keef): ALL of the above with our lucky break being he doesn't sing! I Love the legend of Ronnie Wood, twice over a Rock N Roll Hall Of Famer with The STONES and Rod Stewart's Faces'.  Love the prowess he shows on slide and his colorful sneakers, long a trademark for this big kid. Ronnie is also the baby of the group..he just turned 66 on June 1st. A

CHARLIE-Truly the jet engine that drives the rhythm of the other players, AND he can't ever stop. He must play continously until the encore break. The eldest Stone' (he just turned 72 on June 2nd), needs deep massage care and relaxation after every peformance (Book: LIFE). The eldest Stone is also the most quiet one but roars loudly when he steps behind the kit and rocks out. When not peforming with the Rolling Stones, he resides in the south of France and has his own Jazz band that plays the area clubs in his town. We hope we NEVER stop seeing him! A+

MICK TAYLOR-Mick Taylor, the original Stones guitarist, quit the band in 1974. The band then summoned Ron Wood on loan from Rod Stewart's FACES band. Woody was supposed to be temporary and that's what they promised Stewart but when Taylor couldn't be talked back into re-joining the boys, Ronnie signed on for his personal place on the big red tongue in 1975..Mick Taylor was a major cog in the earlier releases of Gimme Shelter, Satisfaction and others. He is being used as a guest player on Midnight Rambler and the finish Satisfaction. He ripped some great chords in Gimme Shelter. Mick appeared not as sleek as the ageless wonders around him (being kind) but it was a thrill seeing him LIVE' for the first time ever.  B+

LISA FISCHER-I WANT to be all over this lady! AND her singing is good too! The Stones longtime vocal queen did not disappoint! Wailing the vocals on Gimme Shelter has long been a treat of mine at shows! On bad days I will You Tube these songs for a pick me up! Love the energy and sexyness of the Queen from Queens! A+

GUEST STAR BRAD PAISLEY-Added a cool flare to a listener requested selection: Dead Flowers.
He seemed a tad out of synch as when to take over vocal verses with Mick and they seemed a bit unsure but a terrific song with a country flavor! B+

BEST Song(s): Brown Sugar, my favorite since I was 11 (bias)* Gimme Shelter and Midnight Rambler! It's ONLY Rock N Roll, second song in to start the show was killer! A++

CROWD: Philadelphia audiences are the most pasionate about their events attended. They are clearly a class act. The crowd was very orderly and friendly and fun. They participated in one cool sing a long all night with the Greatest Rock N Roll Band in the World! The Phillies won a big game across the street at the same time SO it was a victorious night all round in South Philly!