BWW Reviews: ROLLING STONES Are More Than 'Only Rock-and-Roll'
When I was a teenager, a parenting magazines put out a tongue-in-cheek list of the "the top most terrifying sentences a parent can hear." Nearing the top of the list was the one over 60,000 people heard May 30 at Ohio Stadium: "Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones."
Some 30 years have passed since that article came out and during that time, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ron Wood have matured from the bad boys of rock to the genre's elder statesmen. The average age of the Stones is 69.7 years old, the exact same average age as the nine justices of the Supreme Court.
A Stones concert is no longer a battlefield of Hell's Angels like Altamont but a place where a parent can take his teenager to show what real rock and roll is like. That being said, the Stones at nearly 70 can still bring it better than bands half their age.
The quartet ripped through a two-hour, 15-minute set of 20 classics. After opening with "Jumping Jack Flash," the band dusted off gems like "Bitch" from the Sticky Fingers album and closed out the regular set with a stream of megahits "Happy," "Midnight Rambler," "Miss You," "Gimme Shelter," "Start Me Up," "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Brown Sugar."
There are a couple of reasons why the Stones have succeeded while other relics of the British Invasion sound tired and weary.
- THEY ARE SURVIVORS: While the Who and the Beatles have both lost half of their original lineup, the Stones have had only one main member - founder Brian Jones, who died in 1969 less than a month after leaving the band -- of its steady lineup pass away.
MICK JAGGER HAS AN IV FROM THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH: There is a reason why Adam Levine wrote a song titled "Moves Like Jagger" rather than one called "Moves Like Ozzy." At 71, Jagger still is a force to be reckoned with. He was a flurry of motion, dancing across the stage and down the catwalk into the audience nonstop.
JAGGER ATTENDED LONDON'S SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: The Stones have a smart business sense. While most bands are pricing themselves out of their fans' pocketbooks, the Stones took steps to make sure average (read "poor") fans could afford their show. Fans could purchase "Lucky Dip" tickets for around $30 which not only got them into the show but they could possibly be randomly selected for a seat in A deck or on the floor instead of in the nosebleed sections.
A SENSE OF COLUMBUS: Perhaps it was because the Shoe was the largest venue on their tour and their only stop in Ohio, but the band's promoters seem to understand the city and the state. Their concert t-shirts, hats and posters had a specialized tongue logo with a Buckeye stripe right down the middle of the tongue. The band incorporated the McCoys' "Hang On Sloopy," an Ohio Stadium favorite, into their set list. The Stones even chose the Ohio University choir to sing the chorale arraignment at the beginning of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" for the first song of the encore.
I ended up sitting in the middle of the Ohio University students before they took the stage and each of them seemed to get a sense that they were about to do something special.
"This will be a story I bore my children with over and over again," one of them said with a laugh.
Who knows? Maybe with the Stones' longevity, he might be able to take his own kids to see Jagger and company in 2028.