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Stuttgart Report (part 1)

(Posted to Undercover on May 30, 1999)

This was a fuckin' good show IMHO.

I arrived with my wife Angelika (a.k.a. Angie) and my little 8-yr-old daughter Sandra at around 7 pm. It was Angie's first show, but Sandra had her second already (do you remember my Berlin report last year? ;-)

Great weather, 30 deg. C! The field was a very big area with many food and drink stands and it was fun watching the masses (around 85,000) "stream" into the doors. Again, there were hundrets of tickets you could buy. Just for fun I asked one guy, he wanted 100 DM for a 123 DM ticket. That was 1 hour before the show, so I guess he ended with 50 DM later ...

Very easy controls at the gate this time, at least where we were going. They only searched the bags, not the body.

On the way to our seats, I thought about the poor Glimmers that had to run all that way - it was an awful big distance across the area to the stage. I was happy that I didn't have to make this torture this time. So, Glimmers, were you successful on this?

We arrived at our seats, nearest tribune to the stage, Keith's side of course ;-). Ok, ok, "seat" is a forbidden word for Euro Glimmers and you know that I'm on the field normaly, but I couldn't do that with my family.

From our place we had a pretty good view, the field was already completely filled. I'm not sure they had a golden circle, couldn't see that from our seats (was there one?).

We didn't get much of the warm-up band, since my daughter was doing an excellent job asking thousands of questions about what she saw around her, she was so excited and I loved her :-). "When are the Stones starting, daddy?" Oh my God, how many times did she ask it?

After the warmup band, they played the same tape as last year, yeah, we all know these songs, don't we? So, I was a little bit surprised that after the usual song the Stones did not enter the stage, but it took 2 or 3 more fillers. I remembered Mick saying on German TV "It's like an old car you get out of the garage after half a year and you have to make it run again". So, I watched out for the guy bringing the drinks for the band, and when I saw him I cried "Now they start!!!" to my two girls :-) It was 9:40 pm when the lights went off.

Ok, folks, before you read on: What do you think how they opened the show?

When I realized the curtain opened without the normal Bridges To Babylon intro, I knew the No Security video will be played. Cold shower went down my neck, I think this opener is really great and I saw it 3 times in the US. Yes - there it starts on the big screen! Tourist around me were watching and you heared a "AH!" and "OH!" now and then :-). But, to be honest, I did not find it so impressive at such a big stadium show like it was in a small arena, somehow. Don't know why, it's not really fitting to a concert on the field, but maybe others don't agree...

Anyway, Keith entered the stage and cranked out the opening chords of Jumping Jack Flash. No surprise for me, what else could you expect seriously after reading the rehearsal lists?

Yes, they got the old car running!! :-)

Pure power from the first second. Mick entered from the horns empore like last year. I guess he wore a dark blue jacket, but can't remember. No leopard coat on Keith, but the usual "things" in his hair :-) I wonder if he sleeps with this stuff?

Well, I guess it was an average Jumping Jack Flash we heard, not bad and not excellent.

(To be continued...)

Stuttgart Report (part 2)

(Posted to Undercover on May 31, 1999)

What made me wonder, the big screen was in black and white color only. This changed with the 3rd song, did anybody else notice that? I'm not sure this was really intended, I guess it was because the video is b/w and they forgot to switch to color afterwards?

Well, no precise song by song review... the first time I was surprised, was hearing Bitch at the 3rd place. Didn't expect that because I was assuming a Bridges To Babylon setlist, and it wasn't played so often in Europe last year, if I remember well. This was done very well, big power and Bobby did a nice job.

Gimme Shelter - you could also call this song "Keith Smiling" in Stuttgart. Although I could only watch this on the screen, I felt how he enjoyed playing this one. He played so nice little notes and a big smile was on his face all the time, which also forced a big grin onto my face. There's no better feeling like watching this guy play the music he loves, and I'm still excited when writing this. Oh My God! I think Lisa was also in great condition for that one. She had her hair sticked up together and decorated with 3 or 4 flowers, never saw this before. She did a good job with her solo part in Stuttgart, I think.

I was also surprised to hear Honky Tonk Women so early in the show and that made me shure the show will be more No-Security-like than being another "boring" Bridges To Babylon one. And during this song, Mick went down to the front rows and slapped some hands! Never saw him doing this last year, at least not so early in the show.

Angie - uh, yeah. Since my wife's name is Angelika, and it was her first show, this was of course selected by Mick especially for her! ;-). I never heard this live, so it was fine for me, too. Hundrets (thousands?) of people lit sparklers or lighters and that sea of lights looked really great in the darkness of the field, somehow a magic atmosphere.

Shattered ! Oh yeah, shedoobie! Another one I did not hear live, and it was a good version, Mick spitting out the words quite intense. This surprised me a lot again, since I was expecting a rather conservative setlist for the tour opener, and this is not a song known by the masses. You could see a lot of questionmarks in people's faces :-). Anyway, for me it was great! WhooHooo Stonesdoug!

Saint Of Me - average performance, but the crowd singing was, well, not so good, to say it friendly ;-)

Some Girls - Wow, I like angry Mick in that one :-) Although I had the impression his mind has got a little friendlier and his singing was not so rough like the last time I heard it.

Cheers, tom

Stuttgart Report (part 3)

(Posted to Undercover on June 1, 1999)

Out Of Control: I've seen this one better before. BTW, Mick is *not* shooting up with that elevator thing :-)

Introductions: Charlie got an amazing big applause. People were stomping with their feet on the tribune's ground, which made the whole thing tremble that you had the fear it would break in parts :-). BTW, what's the name of the guy that never gets introduced?

You Got The Silver - I'm still speachless 48 hours later... This song alone was worth the 150 bucks, really phantastic. When they brought the stool on stage I felt such a big joy and anticipation, I can't describe that feeling. He played it so full of feeling, so bluesy, and not a single percent worse than in the US. It *did* work in the big field very well and got a good response by the audience. Thank you Keith, you made another dream come true! But will this song get out of my head again forever? It's going around in my head all the time ;-)

The B2B bridge is back! There's no change except for the music which is the same as on the No Security tour. The B-Stage is also the same as last year, not the bigger No Security stage.

The B-Stage songs were a blast, I couldn't think of anything better. Get Off Of My Cloud, one of my favourite songs, wow! The audience made a good "hey - you" shouting! Tiger, are you ready? Followed by a very good, rockin' Midnight Rambler, which made the crowd go wild. How I wished to be there at the fence and dance my ass off!

The rest was nothing special, the normal tourist set as always. I wonder why they never make a change in that part of the show, e.g. insert You Can't Always Get What You Want or other classics? If you need some more Glitter - during Brown Sugar you can fill your pockets again - no streamers in Europe. Also the big fireworks is the same like last year. Well, although it's quite trivial, I must admit I still like it at the end :-)

All together this was a great show, and a far better Euro opener than it was Nuremberg. I can't complain about the setlist except for the last part - Bitch, Shattered, Some Girls, Silver, BTMMR, 66, GOOMC, MR - what else can you ask for? And I had the fear they could be a little bit tired and bored of doing more stadium shows, but let me tell you: They are in great condition and have lots of fun on stage again!

About the crowd, I had the feeling it was very, very weak and lame (except you Undercover people, of course ;-). We had a quite good overview from our seats, and I only saw the first few rows go wild, the rest seemed rather cool, and the tribune was really dead! When anybody stood up driven by emotion, some sedate Swabian complained immediately. Why don't they stay at home and fart into their armchair in front of the TV? This is a fuckin' Rock band, and it's the best you can find - how can you sit there like a statue? Uh, I really hated that tourist seat and can't wait for Wembley now! We will go wild, folks, won't we? ;-)))

Also I have to say that German tourists are pretty good in running around and getting food and drinks all the time, just like in the States. Many couldn't even get out fast enough and already left before the encore!

Well, some guys behaved the opposite way: They didn't leave after the show, because they were sleeping. Probably drunk, just lying here and there on the ground, 80,000 people stepping across them ;-)

The last comment on the show comes from my wife: The whole thing reminded her of "Polly Pocket" :-)). Funny, I've never seen it this way - but there's some truth in it.

See you all in London!

Cheers, tom

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