The Rolling Stones @ LP Field / Nashville TN / June 17, 2015
In honor of the number of shows that the Stones will be doing on their current tour, here are 15 things I want to tell you about last night’s Rolling Stones show in Music City:
- The current Stones extravaganza is called the Zip Code Tour. LP Field is in 37213. As with other cities, the colors of the local NFL Tennessee Titans were incorporated into the evening’s visuals. This included one of many variations of their iconic tongue trademark as well as the evening’s lucrative merchandise wardrobe. By the way, it was uncanny how everyone in the crowd seemed to be wearing a different Stones shirt from a past tour.
- Tickets were quite pricey. But, let’s not forget that the band’s lead singer also studied at the London School of Economics. The Stones pricing model includes a price reduction for open seats as it gets closer to show time. They also offered a $38.60 each “Lucky Dip” ticket offer a week before the show for a random pair of mystery seats. (Yours truly “dipped” and got a fab set of ducats.)
- Mick Jagger may not be a real living person. For a 71-year old man, he does things that most 50-year olds (myself included) can’t do. He also has a slim stomach that makes a carb-counter like me extremely jealous.
- My personal highlight was the four-song Nashville-friendly country set (“Far Away Eyes,” “Wild Horses,” “Dead Flowers,” and “Honky Tonk Woman.”) Keith Richard’s old friend the late Gram Parsons would have been proud. Still wondering though why neither Keith nor Ronnie took the guitar solo on “Horses.”
- Opening act Brad Paisley sang songs about getting mud on his truck tires and crushing beer cans. Gram would not have been happy. (He also sang my favorite line in “Dead Flowers” absolutely killing my moment.)
- When Keith spoke I could not understand a single word he said. But when he ripped through his mini-set of “Before They Make Me Run” and “Happy,” he enunciated so well that I actually understood some of the lyrics for the first time. Another show-stopping moment for yours truly.
- I am not sure if his newly-found sobriety had anything to do with it, but Ronnie Wood just killed it on guitar and pedal steel. I thought at times he may have carried Keith who had a few moments where he made me wonder if he knew what song they were playing.
- Charlie Watts is a machine. I just loved watching him keep things on course serving as the strong steady rudder of the Stones ship.
- The back-to-back-to-back long songs of “Midnight Rambler,” “Miss You” and “Gimme Shelter” dragged on and disrupted the pace. “You Got Me Rocking” and “Doom and Gloom” would not have been missed from the otherwise brilliant song selection.
- The Belmont University Chorale were awesome on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” That moment in the spotlight alone would make four years of choir practice worth every minute.
- Those had to be the biggest video screens I have ever seen in my life. The scale of screen to tiny people on the stage seemed to be about 100X from where I sat. And they were clear as any I have ever seen. All of the visuals were spectacular, but I bet that the downtown apartment dwellers didn’t like the noise of those midnight fireworks.
- Still surprised that the Stones did not have a special Music City guest during their set other than Paisley. I am also convinced that “Dead Flowers” unheralded victory in the night’s fan request poll was rigged since they have previously performed it with Brad.
- I was also somewhat disappointed that the late Bobby Keys (recent Nashvillian and long-time Stones sideman) did not get a single mention by the band. I also had a hunch that his son Jesse might join the band for a song on sax. (He did not.)
- Still bugs me that the Stones “Corporation” of Jagger-Richards-Watts-Wood won’t give guys like Chuck Leavell and Darryl Jones band member status. (They also gave this treatment to Keys and the late Ian Stewart who at least got inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a Stone.)
- Without a doubt, the Stones are still the greatest live rock and roll band of all time. I left with the sadness of knowing that this, someday like all good things, will come to an end. But with the way they looked and played last night, I still think I will get to see them at least one more time.
I know it’s only rock and roll—but I like it!