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Wet, wet, wet - but hot

(Posted to Undercover on 06/21/1999)

well, it was not the best weather to finish a tour ;-)

After being lucky for all of my 15 shows last year, this someday had to happen - totally soaked :-)

We met at Johannes Tümmers' place and went together to the show around 1:30 pm. The main talk was of course which setlist we might get today. 20 new songs? No new songs?

Arriving at the gate it was still dry and we met many well known faces. I saw the crazy dutch girl from the Wembley gate D queueing again, remember her? Saw many people with the Wembley wristbands in the Cologne queue. Waiting time went quickly with listening to Axel's stories from all the tours he's been to, including the famous Waldbühne event. I was also happy that Marc made it from France, he was the guy that helped me with Werchter tix one year ago - which made my Glimmer odyssey across the word begin - what a great year, thanks to all of you!

From 4 pm until around 5 pm, when the gates finally opened, the pressure got bigger and bigger, and it was really scaring at the end. After having two so perfectly organized shows in London last weekend, this was the exact opposite. No organization at all, nobody announced when the gates will open, no such nice "moderator" who calmed people down - instead security shouting ugly words and fighting against the crowd. All the tourists around me said "I will never do this again!" - it's so sad that security can definitely ruin a great event!

More than that, nobody understood why there was a second control when entering the pitch - a small gangway of only two rows for thousands of people pushing inside - really horrible! One (!) stupid sec-guy standing there shouting "Don't push". Cologne - the most bad experience of all my shows so far, and I'm happy all of us Glimmers survived with intact bones!

Finally in, I saw no big chances to reach the front, so I went directly to the B-Stage fence, Ronnie's side, where I ran into Arnold again :-)

Won't bore you complaining about the weather - it simply rained for hours, everybody was soaked and the cold slowly crept under your clothes :-(

The local opening band BAP was great and made people sing along, as Johannes already told.

Stones came out at 9:11 pm, all covered in raincoats, hats and other stuff.

I had the impression Jumping Jack Flash was a rather short version, but maybe I'm wrong? Mick had some problems with the hood of his raincoat, it kept sliding into his face and was pushed up again and again until he finally gave up and threw the whole thing away :-)

The sound was not as perfect as in Wembley from my position, too much Chuck, too little Keith ...

Live With Me - a very strong version, and I was happy to hear it one last time, Darryl's intro is quite hot.

Memory Motel - very, very good! Haven't heard it a long time and I mainly like it because of Keith's verses :-). He messed up the first one a little bit, if I remember well, but I don't care - these are the little things that are funny and make a show memorable.

Saint Of Me - Crowd singing was not the best I've heard so far. I was watching a B-Stage technician kind of dancing, these guys still seem to have fun at he shows :-). He was also coming along now and then giving away a Stones sweat tape, a guitar pick, an apple and a drink to a small boy of maybe 8 years who stood by my side with his mother. I always like to watch these B-Stage guys doing their work, friendly and professional buddys I've seen so often now that I know their faces like those of the Stones themselves :-)

Intro - Mick's Thanks to the whole production crew of the tour was supported by a big applause. I liked it very much how he walked along the front rows, really looking at them, pointing down and thanking the die-hard fans for all the great shows and the fun the band had this tour. I had the impression he was quite honest and did not put on an act. Also everybody else on stage was clapping to the crowd. It was funny to watch Charlie - he came to the front, but then stepped back under the roof quickly, pointing to the wet sky ;-)

Keith did a wonderful Thief..., but I'm not objective on anything this guy does ;-). Keef, I love you - take care and see you again - maybe on a solo tour? I'll be there!

It made me laugh how everybody walked over the bridge through the pouring rain, except Sir Charles with an umbrella in his hand :-)). When he reached the B-Stage, he threw it away into the crowd - nice souvenir!

Again, it was so stunning to watch them so near, seeing every wrinkle in Keef's pirate face and his grins and winks to the crowd, watch Ronnie joking and making eye contacts, see Mick dance around the stage like a mad wizard, and gentle smiling Charlie-Boom-Boom! They are so hot, you can burn your ass standing so near :-). I like the moment when Keith simply gives a small, hardly to notice nod to Charlie when he starts back into the fast part of Rambler - gestures I won't forget.

The following tourist section was okay and the rain had stopped, but I always have my difficulties to concentrate on that after the strong experience at the B-Stage. The glitter gun for Satisfaction was one meter away from me and that was a fuckin' grand final to stand there in the cyclone's eye, unable to see anything but glitter rain, spread my arms to collect as much as possible. We had the silver, we had the gold!

After the show I was happy to see that Matt Lee had made it to the final show, great to meet you again, man! It was so funny to watch his fight to collect all stuff that has a tongue on it :-). He was already carrying around 40 of these plastic cups, when he ran into a guy selling these tongue-shaped seat cushions. He bought one, of course, but then tried to convince the guy to sell him his really *huge* merchandize bag he was carrying his stuff in :-)))). The guy refused to sell it, but pointed us to a merchandize stand, and Matt finally got his bag for around $60. When later walking down the street together, I was wondering which was bigger: Matt or his bag? ;-))

I made some pics at the B-Stage, but only with a cheap camera - hope some turn out good and will go onto the website then. Also managed to get a setlist, which had some remarkable details on it. Will put a scan on my site later this week.

And through all these hours I was watching like an eagle this orange show schedule paper taped at the inner side of the B-Stage fence over there ;-)). Hopefully nobody else spotted it... - yeah! I got it after the show from a friendly Stones security guy! Will also scan that worthless piece of paper meaning Everything for a crazy fan :-)

All together - a nice show, not the best for me, but nice to have, and somehow special being the final one of the Bridges To Babylon tour.

Cheers from the Grand Final,

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