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Review + pictures: The Rolling Stones on 31-07-2006


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This thread contains spoilers for everybody who still plans to see the Rolling Stones on their A Bigger Bang Tour!

If you don't want the suprises to be ruined, leave this thread now!

Finaly! Yours truely got to see the greatest rock and roll band in the world! After spending almost twice as much money on a concert ticket than I ever had before, the trip was on. With 2 mates of mine we left at 13:30 for the Amsterdam Arena (the Ajax stadium). We arrived at about 16:00 and immediately fell into some special kind of world. The world of the Rolling Stones. The atmosphere was unlike anything I'd ever seen before. There was this really big "we" feeling. Really friendly and social. Around us people talked about this being their 8th, 9th or 10th time they went to see the Stones. And we, Rolling Stones gig virgins so to speak, just went along for the ride. At about 17:00 the doors opened. We had field tickets, but not for the first section. Me and my mates got to the absolute front of the section we were in leaning against the fence. We were about 1/3 of a football field (soccer for the Americans) away from the stage. It sounds like a lot, but quite honestly it was closer than I had imagined.

Again to explain the atmosphere...we were on the field, in front. And we could walk away and go to the toilets no problem. Nobody would take your place. In fact they'd let you pass and take it right back since "you were there first". Just unlike anything I'd ever seen. Even when one drunk moron tried to work his way up front he was collectively stopped and told to not be such an asshole.

After chatting a bit and hanging around the opening act started at 19:00. Toots And The Maytals, a reggea band. The crowd didn't respond much and I have to admit the sound wasn't very good either! Way too much drum in the mix. I usualy like a little reggea, but this wasn't exactly my thing either. At about 20:00 they finished their set and the wait began. The Stones were supposed to be on at 20:30, but by then no Stones. In the meantime a security guy noticed my camera (which I had again managed to smuggle in) and walked up to me with a big smurke telling me that if he'd see me take as much as one picture I'd lose it. I played the fool and neatly put it back in my bag. Close call! Aside from him the other security people around me had already seen it and didn't seem to mind. Luckaly the guy walked off again and I took it back out.



The lights went off and an intro film started on the huge (and I mean HUGE) jumbotron. With a big (bigger) bang the show started and the Stones ran on stage kicking into Jumping Jack Flash! The song was well-received and the crowd just exploded and sang along. After JJF they followed with It's Only Rock And Roll which was received in the same way as JJF.


Since the jerk was out of sight I took a hell of a load of pictures, ah yes! B) After the first two songs the Stones stopped for a while and Mick started to talk to the audience - in Dutch. From what I had heard from older bootlegs his Dutch gets better every show. And it showed because for about the entire show he talked Dutch to the audience. It sounded really funny with an almost German-like accent, but it was great. Nice to see him put in those bits of extra effort. "Het is fantastisch om hier te zijn, beter laat dan nooit" were Micks first words. Translation: "It's fantastic to be here, better late than never!".


The Stones continued their set with the first song from the A Bigger Bang album, Oh No Not You Again, followed by Bitch (for the first time on the european tour I think).. After that it was time to slow the show down a bit with as Mick said "a song they don't play very often", which turned out to be the song Sway from the Sticky Fingers album. One of those unknown gems I suppose, because I absolutely loved it! After that the acoustic guitars came out for an incredibly beautiful version of the classic As Tears Go By. After that they followed with their second new song, Streets Of Love which the audience already knew by heart! It was an amazing singalong to roll in to.


After this the show picked up speed again with another classic, Tumbling Dice. After this Mick started talking a bit more and announced the're going to play a Ray Charles song, which turned out to be Night Time Is The Right Time. It was a fantastic duet between Mick and Lisa Fisher who just sang with such amazing power it was unbelievable. She got a very deserved standing ovation from the crowd.


The entire band left the stage after this, with the exception of Keith Richards. With just a spotlight on he picked up his acoustic guitar and sang a very moving Slipping Away. Again, I was overjoyed because this is about my favorite Keith song. Just incredible! After this the band (with the exception of Mick joined Keith again as he sang another song - Before They Make Me Run.


After this Mick joined the band again and they all gathered on the center of the stage. While the Stones kicked into Miss You the stage started to move along the runway right to the middle of the Amsterdam Arena. I got really close to them as well! The you can see every expression kind of close! Miss You was another great singalong, and was followed by Rough Justice which was also very well-received.


After Rough Justice they continued right into the riff of Get Off My Cloud. This wasn't a singalong but a screamalong! Such a powerfull song that quite frankly got me a sore throat for the rest of the night. The song was played with so much power and energy it was just incredible!


While the band went on to play Honky Tonk Women a gigantic tongue blew up on the "original" stage and the little stage made it's way back to the big stage landing the Stones right under the classic tongue.


Once the song was finished the lights dimmed and the Arena lit up red. Time for Sympathy For The Devil! I normaly don't like this song much, but the live version was far superior to the studio version! Mick showed up in the myst dressed in red wearing a hat as he started the song off. The extended song was one big audi-visual extravaganza with red snake parterns, smoke and red lighting.


After the Sympathy show was over Keith took front stage again kicking into the riff of Start Me Up which kicked the show up another notch. With full dedication the band took a huge dive into their final few classics of the evening. One big musical whirlpool. These guys are in their sixties. Mick runs more miles in a any show than a lot of us run in a week! Amazing with how much power and enthousiasm they keep delivering show after show! After Start Me Up the band went on to play Brown Suger, after which the band left the stage and the place went dark. after a few minutes of "we want more" chants Keith appeared on stage again and started the riff of You Can't Always Get What You Want.


The crowd went nuts as the band kicked into an a theatral happening with this song that featured fantastic organ playing and again beautiful backing vocals by Lisa Fisher. Mick got the crowd to sing quite a few parts of the song and obviously the chorus. When the last notes were still fading away Keith started the legendary riff of Satisfaction which was just brilliant! The song was extended with some guitar solo's and some extra chorusus. The crowd gave the Stones another standing ovation as the fireworks blew up providing an incredibly spectacular ending to a fantastic show!



I have to say...just...wow! At first I was incredibly worried about having payed 125 euro's to see some matchsticks in the distance playing some songs. I was so, so wrong! The distance wasn't as much as I thought. It looks further on the pictures than it was in reality. The Stones were clearly visable and played in such a way that even the people in the very back of the Amsterdam Arena felt connected with the band. Amazing!

I was also worried about the show being held in the Amsterdam Arena, which is renowned for it's shower-like echo crap sound. I'll admit the sound wasn't as good as in for example the Heineken Music Hall, but the echo stuff seemed like bullshit to me as it was really fine from where I was standing. Some newspapers complained about it, but I get the feeling they basicaly knew it was like that 3 years ago and seemed to just pretend it still was. Honestly, the sound was fine!

The band (including backing musicians) was fantastic and really seemed to enjoy themselves. Ronnie was still a bit out there, but hey, the guy just came out of rehab! He threw out some mighty fine solo's! Charlie didn't miss a beat and Keith...ha, just priceless! This guy is just so fucking amazing. He isn't just cool - he invented cool! And then there's Mick who proved again to be one of the most charismatic frontmen there is. Moving, dancing and running as if he were in his twenties, and yes...still snake-dancing!


Afterwards me and my mates talked about how great it was, and we came to the conclusion that we'd go see them again as soon as possible. Even if it's in Germany or France, and even if it'd cost 200 euro's. Worth every last cent! It's really clear to see why these guys are called "the biggest rock and roll band in the world".


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I have to say, Ron, that I love reading your reviews.

Even though I am not that much of a Stones fan (yet), I must say that I'd really like to attend a Stones show now. What an amazing night this must've been.

Great great review, really, thanks!

Cool, that you had such a great time, and I agree, Keith is the inventer of cool! B) :D

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Ah this is what I've been waiting for! Excellent review, username (as usual), and great pictures! Glad to hear you had a great time. :)

The stage looks amazing! rock3

It's a damn shame that they cancelled the Swedish gig and didnt reschedule... :(

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Ron, this just takes me back to the Stones gig I went to 3-4 months ago. This band is fucking incredible, and the show is amazing. They have the unique ability of being able to play a stadium gig, yet still have an intimate feel to the show.

Glad you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed my night! Awesome review! rock3

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Great pics username(Ron)! That jumbotron is huge! So Keith(KEEF) played "Before they make me run", I've seen them twice and he always played "Happy". But I love that song too.

It was cool the other fans weren't dickheads either(allowing you to get back to your place). I wish that happened at other concerts. I guess Rolling Stones fans are more respectable.

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I'd normally say "lucky bastard", insult you some more and moan about how much I want to see the Stones. But dude, they played Sway! The first time they play it live, I think. Great

Though I don't think it would be the same without Mick Taylor's solo in the end.

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sounds great username

saw them last year in the states...amazing show here too

sounds similar to urs...even the stage and back was set up the same way

they rocked and they did it great....

one thing that was different was besides satisfaction they played you can't always get what u want too

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