Review: Without Their Heartbeat Watts, The Rolling Stones Put On A Good But Not Big Show In Minneapolis


The Rolling Stones didn’t kick us off with Keith Richards’ growling guitar or Mick Jagger’s haunting look-me-now dance.

Instead, Sunday’s concert at US Bank Stadium opened with a recording – Charlie Watts’ drum track for the 1971 song. “Can’t you hear me hit? “ accompanied by video footage of the band’s Forever Drummer, who died on August 24 at the age of 80.

After 30 seconds of Watts, the rhythmic riffs of Richards launched the rebellious “Street Fighting Man”, followed by two more explosions from the 60s, the poppy invitation “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and the edgy “19e Nervous breakdown.”

Then it was time for Jagger to acknowledge what had been on the minds of all the Stones fans.

“I just want to tell you this is our first tour in 59 years without Charlie,” announced a breathless Jagger. “I’m sure you have your memories of Charlie. We would like to dedicate this song to Charlie Watts.” Then the group embarked on “Tumbling Dice”.

It was a low-key, sentimental homage to the refined gentleman who brought jazz-inspired beats to this blues-based rock band. Heartbeat of the Stones, Watts played behind the beat, letting the music breathe and swing. He also brought an artistic aesthetic, help design visuals and scenes (including their current one).

Otherwise, it was business as usual for the world’s greatest, oldest and richest rock ‘n’ roll band.

Over the course of 19 songs and 2 hours, the Stones went through their recorded heyday, from 1965 to 1981, with a new pandemic number, the too dull for a stadium. “Living in a ghost town”, thrown in.

Unlike some previous Stones Stadium shows, this one didn’t have miles of towering ramps and bridges for Jagger to aerobics. There was a runway, four giant video walls, and a quick flurry of fireworks at the end of the show. It barely amounted to a stage-worthy spectacle, especially by Stones standards.

Additionally, this performance lacked the general excitement of their last Twin Cities gig, in 2015 at the Gophers football stadium, and the constant energy that Jagger displayed upon his return to the stage in 2019 after leg surgery. heart valves. That opening night in Chicago, it was on fire.

Sunday wasn’t Manic Mick but rather Pace-Myself-for-a-Marathon. At 78, he’s still skinny and inexplicably ageless (eight months younger than President Biden). Being a rock star is a full-time job, and he’s clearly getting down to it, even though he’s only averaged 1.5 concerts a week since the Stones returned to the road last month after a pandemic hiatus. .

Jagger smoothed, pranced, and shook the quill off his tail. He was in full peacock mode. He wore a black and purple diamond pattern jacket before changing into a series of colorful shirts and coats, including a full-length black and red sequin number for “Sympathy for the Devil.”

Though he paced around he moved like Jagger, rooster strut, choppy steps, catwalk sashay, a shimmy here, a booty shake there, frantic arms, movable hands , swivel hips, false jumping jacks, a modified version of Swimming. Phew! It was exhilarating and exhausting to watch.

As he did last time in Minneapolis, Jagger dropped several local references, claiming he ate Jucy Lucys at Matt’s Bar and 5-8 Club and washed them with Grain Belt and Surly. He mentioned finishing the night at Grumpy’s Bar and playing the Stones’ first concert in Twin Cities at Danceland in Excelsior in 1964.

He sneaked in snippets of Prince’s lyrics in what turned out to be two of the evening’s highlights. During “Miss You” he quoted “Controversy”, singing “I wish there was no Black or white” opposite bassist Darryl Jones, who is Black. And in the 12-minute epic “Midnight Rambler”, featuring Ronnie Wood’s jagged boogie guitar, he inserted “I only want to see you in the purple rain”.

This could be the last time for the Stones in Minnesota, although I also wrote it in a 1975 concert review, and next year 60e anniversary tour is more of an expectation than a rumor. But it was the first time for drummer Steve Jordan. At 64, he’s a well-traveled percussionist (Eric Clapton, Stevie Nicks, John Mayer, Bruce Springsteen, Keith Richards) and he performed on the Stones’ LP “Dirty Work” in 1986. Sunday was over. demonstrative and propulsive than Watts, while remaining precise and respectful.

Without Watts, the Stones ditched an intimate acoustic ensemble at the end of the track that was part of previous shows on the current No Filter Tour, which began in 2017. They also avoided a choir on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want “, a staple on many tours.

With the exception of the aforementioned highlights along with the “Gimme Shelter” playoff recall and extended “Satisfaction”, this performance didn’t really erupt like the best Stones shows usually do. In the end, it felt like another good gig from a legendary band, rather than a show that added to the legend.

Twitter: @JonBream 612-673-1719

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