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username reviews: The Rolling Stones - It's the destination that matters, not the journey


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When I woke up on Friday morning, I felt just perfect. A day off, going to see the Rolling Stones for the second time on their A Bigger Bang tour, nothing could go wrong. Boy was I wrong. Contrary to next year (when we went with 3 people) we were with a group of nine now. Two cars. We left Groningen at 13:30 planning to be at the park around 16:00. The first opening acts would start at 18:00, and the Stones at 20:30. We left on time which, knowing my friends, is a small miracle in itself. And we were off. It all went smooth for the first hour and a half, and then shit started hitting the fan.

First a guy in front of me got cut off and had to hit the breaks as hard as he could. So did I. My car started to slip and with a loud bang we crashed into the guy in front of us. FUCK! First time that day I felt like we definitely wouldn't get to the gig anymore. Luckaly the 4 of us in the car were ok, and so were the people we crashed in to. I'd never been in a car crash and I was shaking like hell! Really scary stuff! We checked the car. Big dent in the hood, no more license plate, headlights a bit crooked, and a busted bumper. BUT the radiator survived and in a small miracle the car was still working. We exchanged some numbers with the guy we crashed into (for insurance) and we could go. I was still shaking and a bit shocked so one of my mates took the wheel. We also called our friends in the other car who at first didn't believe it.

But as Murphey's Law states: Anything that CAN go wrong, WILL go wrong. And so we got stuck in traffic. We heard on the radio a truck had an accident and the entire road was closed. Could take hours. So there we stood in 30 degrees and hot sun. Second time we thought we wouldn't make it. With both cars stuck we felt things couldn't get any worse. And we were wrong again. We got a call from our friends in the other car that their gearshift system was broken. Something with a cable. They called a repair service and were towed to the nearest gas station. After half an hour more we got there too and they were still trying to fix the car. After some stressful times it finally worked again and after I'd re-attached my license plate using bandages we were off again. Another 4 miles of traffic jam ahead, but after an hour or so more we were in the clear....we thought.

We made some good time and thought we'd still make it before 18:00.... until we got stuck in traffic near Nijmegen again. For at least another hour. When we finaly reached Nijmegen it was about 19:00 and we figured we might still see Van Morisson (the second opening act). While we were trying to find parking spaces it started to rain. And when it rains, it pours. It poured HARD! We found parking spaces way off and had to walk to the park in the pouring rain. Soaked. We'd figured by now that we might make it, but we'd be standing way back, cold, wet, with poor sight and everything. When we got there around 19:30 Van The Man had just cut his set short because of the rain. We even heard the Stones might not even go on. FUCK! All this mess for nothing?!

We slalomed through the people, and even got to a fairly decent spot maybe 40 meters from the stage. While the entire 45000 people crowd was soaked, cold and unsure they just kept spirits high singing songs and all. It was great! Just like last year we stepped into that unique world of Stones Land. Such a unique unexplainable atmosphere. Then, there was a miracle. The rain ended. And around 20:50, just a little late, the jumbotron jumped on. At this point, nothing mattered anymore. Car crash, damage, problems, being late, cold, rain, we couldn't be bothered one bit about them. Because on stage we had Mick, Keith, Ronnie and Charlie just exploding with an amazing opener; Start Me Up!



After the openers of Start Me Up, You Me Rocking (with lightning in the sky, FANTASTIC!) and Rough Justice (the only song from A Bigger Bang that evening) Mick mentioned (in Dutch) that this was the third time in Nijmegen and it was great to be back. He asked if there were people here from Groningen, HELL YES WE WERE! :D He also thanked people for their patience and for still being here despite all the bad weather and the mess (the park was a mudpool by now). The set had some really great surprises. You Got me Rockin' was a really good crowd sing-along. The extended bluesy Can't You Hear Me Knocking was just amazing and like I said a really amazing performance by Ronnie especially. One of the best songs of the evening was Sweet Virginia though. Mick mentioned that he always felt that people here in Holland like to sing. The he took out his acoustic guitar and his harmonica and hit the opening notes of Sweet Virginia. Stunning! Fantastic backing vocals by Keith as well adding a lot of depth to the song. After the song was over Mick looked at the crowd and said "Ok, how about you guys sing one more?!" With just Mick playing the guitar he guided the crowd through one more chorus followed by an amazingly loud applause! Fantastic to hear and sing such a Stones gem!



Where last year they played a Ray Charles cover, this year they payed tribute to the late James Brown with his song I'll Go Crazy. It was a fantastic duet with Mick and Lisa Fisher. They shared vocals on The Night Time Is The Right Time (Ray Charles) last year and it was equally great. She has such a powerful voice and it was an amazing playful duet between her and Mick. After this there was one more classic with Tumbling Dice, the first song everybody seemed to know. After that it was Keith's turn to speak and sing. He threw out a very nice version of I Just Wanna Hold You (much better than the album version in my opinion) and of course Happy featuring some great slide guitar by Ronnie.




It was typical classic Stones again. Mick was on fire running from one end of the stage to another getting the entire crowd in to sing-along after sing-along. Charlie kept a straight beat as always, and in good spirits he actually threw out some really cool short drum solo's at the end of some songs. What was really amazing to see was Ronnie. Last year he'd just gotten out of rehab and he was....physically there. This time was different though. He was smiling, laughing, making contact and he threw out some amazing solo's. Especially his playing on Can't You Hear Me Knocking and his slide guitar on Happy were just fantastic! Ronnie is a Rolling Stone as good as they come. In top shape. And then there was Keith... What the hell can anybody still say about this man that hasn't been said? Absolute legend. This man is the personification of coolness and he proved it. With all the typical licks, poses and riffs Keith was Keith. I heard he wasn't in top form the gig before this one (Werchter, Belgium), but this was Keith like Keith should be. Unlike anyone or anything.



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hey what the fuck man...same set list from the 70's???? :drevil:

play some new songs man....why are you ripping off fans who support you?

and wtf ever man, I se it's dark outside........stop showing up late coz I got to wake up early the next morning to go to WORK!

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hey what the fuck man...same set list from the 70's???? :drevil:

play some new songs man....why are you ripping off fans who support you?

and wtf ever man, I se it's dark outside........stop showing up late coz I got to wake up early the next morning to go to WORK!

Doesn't this sound kind of ironic?

I'm glad you had a great time with the Stones, and I hope your car sees better days in the future. :lol:

Edited by Rock_N'_Roll
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Excellent extensive review man....very cool.

Glad to hear everybody is alright and didn't get hurt.

First accidents are traumatic for sure!

...hope everything turns out

and hey,at least you made it for the greatest rock and roll band on the planet!

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