Before the Rolling Stones brought all their rock and roll firepower back to Nissan Stadium in Nashville on Saturday, Mick Jagger, it seems, had already painted the city red.
“I had a great time last night,” the band frontman, 78, told his audience.
“I went to Printers Alley and sang ‘Honky Tonk Women’ at a karaoke bar. I had a bachelorette party at a pedal tavern. They loved my Goo Goo Clusters. all found at the Wild Beaver on a mechanical bull. “
This city has become much louder and rowder since rock legends last came here in 2015 – to say nothing of the humble city they saw on their first visit in 1965.
But some things have not changed: almost 60 years later, the Rolling Stones deliver a spectacle like no other.
It was clear from their presentation: “Ladies and gentlemen, the Rolling Stones”. It’s a showbiz movement from a bygone era – an era they kept alive for half a century.
This was followed by Keith Richards who appeared, strumming the opening chord of “Street Fighting Man” as if he was flipping a chainsaw, as red fireworks lit up the night sky.
Then, along with longtime guitarist (as of 46 years) Ronnie Wood, came Jagger – who with each passing year looks more and more like an age-defying wizard.
After two songs, he placed his hand on his chest and let out exaggerated sighs into the microphone. He didn’t cheat on anyone.
On his 28,565th day on this planet, Mick Jagger remained an absurdly energetic force of nature.
As the Stones bring pyrotechnics and towering video screens to every show they perform, the most important piece might be the catwalk that stretches out to the middle of the stadium. This is Jagger’s track – a place to shimmy, sprint, and whirl his pelvis ((yes, whirl) as he pleases.
He might even have been in better shape than he was at the June 2015 concert, which was among “the hottest gigs I think I have ever played,” he previously told the Tennessean.
Yet Saturday’s show was also a reminder of the Stones’ mortality, as it came just six weeks after drummer Charlie Watts died. Before the band took the stage, video screens were filled with archival footage of Watts, as one of his regular drum beats played below.
Soon after, Jagger spoke about his former bandmate with Richards and Wood by his side, as they did on every stop on this tour.
“It’s great to see all those pictures of Charlie up there on the screen, you know? We played together for 59 years. So many memories back then, and I guess a lot of memories for you too, j ‘I’m sure so. So we’d like to dedicate this show to Charlie. “
Before his passing, Watts had already given his blessing to new drummer Steve Jordan, who unsurprisingly delivered in a solid manner, but there’s no denying that the Stones suddenly sound different – for the first time in decades.
While Jagger moved all in on his questionable account of his Friday night in Nashville, this show had less of a nod to Music City than the band’s last visit. Fans voted to perform “Dead Flowers” – rather than other country songs – at the show. This time they played it straight, without Wood playing pedal steel or Jagger wearing a cowboy hat.
Another surprise came during Richards’ traditional two-song tour as the leader – giving Jagger a moment to deal with what we can only imagine to be a furious pit crew behind the scenes.
He sang “Connection” from the band’s favorite 1967 track “Between the Buttons”, as well as “Slipping Away” to highlight “Steel Wheels”.
“It’s great to be back,” said Richards, before adding with a chuckle, “It’s great to be anywhere.”
Upon his return, Jagger only got bigger, as the ensemble snowballed with titles like “Miss You”, “Paint It Black” and “Sympathy For The Devil” – the latter signaling let shimmering sparks rain down on the ground.
After “Jumping Jack Flash,” they came back for an encore of “Gimme Shelter” (with a star turn from background singer Sasha Allen), and finally “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, which had it all. the stadium – from fans to ushers, dealers and cops – singing and stomping.
Even with the looming threat of traffic in the parking lot, few moved from their seats as Mick, Keith, Ronnie and company made their final greetings.
This crowd will not regret their decision to stay. The world has been saying this for decades now, but really, this could be the last time. If so, the Stones came out with a brilliant bang.
The scene was shattered on Saturday by another swaggering blues-rock band, but with 50 years younger to their credit: Ghost Hounds. Last month, the Pittsburgh-based band released their latest album, “A Little Calamity”. They received a warm welcome on Saturday, as well as a scream on stage from Jagger.
List of Rolling Stones Nashville
Let’s spend the night together
19th nervous breakdown
You can’t always get what you want
Living in a ghost town
start Me Up
Honky Tonk Women
Connection (Keith Richards)
Slip away (Keith Richards)
I miss you
Paint it black
Sympathy for the devil
Jumpin ‘Jack Flash
Again: Gimme Shelter, (can’t get satisfaction)