First Baltimore concert in 36 years is a blessing
The Rolling Stones have undertaken an almost suicidal touring schedule this year; they finish up their American tour in April of this year before moving on to Europe. The Stones will have spent over a year on the road at the end of it all, including the Half-Time show for the Super Bowl and a free concert in Brazil where over a million people are supposed to be in attendance.
Their latest concert in Baltimore, on Feb. 1, was one of the smallest venues on their schedule. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Charlie Watts pumped up the crowd with a mixture of old style rock antics and timeless music.
Antigone Rising, the all-girl warm-up band for the Stones, received a lukewarm reception. The arena was only half full when they began, and they received very half-hearted applause from those who actually stuck around to listen to them instead of running off to stock up on food and drink.
Cassidy, the "first name only" lead singer of Antigone Rising, strutted around the stage in an almost mock-Mick Jagger style while she belted out the group's lyrics. Her prancing only paled in comparison to what was to come next: the legendary on-stage antics of the real Mick Jagger.
A full hour passed between Antigone Rising leaving the arena and the Stones starting. The audience started to get antsy as the stage remained empty, save for a particularly bawdy backdrop.
With no introduction, save for the lights being doused, Richards appeared on stage, quietly slipping to the front and assuming command of "Jumpin' Jack Flash." Jagger strutted forward just seconds later in his usual flamboyant style, sporting a gold blazer with tight black clothes underneath. He had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand with the first lyric, "I was born in a crossfire hurricane."
Afterwards, the band immediately launched into another classic, "Let's Spend the Night Together," with Jagger showing boundless energy. He continued to be a powerhouse of frenetic movement and vocals without pausing. The Stones are not chatty like other performers; they rip right through songs without exchanging banter with the audience.
"Wild Horses" gave the audience and the band a chance to calm down before going into a high power version of "Midnight Rambler." Only after the band got through a mind blowing version of "Gimme Shelter" did Jagger stop to give a short speech about how glad they were to be there.
Jagger was, and always has been, the clear star of the show, but Richards was given his share of songs. After giving a barely comprehensible introduction to the audience while smoking like a chimney, he unfortunately chose to play "This Place is Empty." The audience took this as their cue to go on bathroom breaks and beer runs, giving the song a rather ironic twist. If Richards noticed the slight, he didn't let on. He moved on to "Happy," a better executed song that a lot of the audience missed.
The audience returned when Jagger took command back, further proving that when it comes to touring, Jagger is the Rolling Stones. Richards may play a mean guitar and Watts may keep the beat, but the voice and soul of the band is all Mick.
For the second half of the concert, the Stones traveled on an amazing floating platform to the back of the arena. They were assailed with clothes and pieces of paper as they performed almost literally in the crowd.
The show ended with a rousing rendition of "You Can't Always Get What You Want," where Jagger had the entire audience singing along. "Satisfaction" officially closed the show.
There were quite a few costume changes for each of the Stones (each more outlandish than the last), except for the famously quiet Watts, who seemed quite content in the background with his simple red shirt.
The concert was one fabulous trip down memory lane. Though it was supposedly a tour for their latest album, "A Bigger Bang," they only performed only two new songs. The rest were standard classics from a variety of older albums. The Stones know their purpose: to bring back the glory days of rock and roll for the aging baby boomer generation.
Grace Harter. Grace Harter is currently a CAP senior at Blair. She loves anything British, books, music, movies and of course Silver Chips Online. She'd like to close with a quote from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" that is especially profound (and makes reference to her ultimate favorite … More »