Very few bands exemplify rock and roll like The Rolling Stones. Formed in 1962, and still touring today, they have amassed one of the most successful careers in the entertainment industry. Now in their 51st year in existence, the Stones not only continue to tour, but continue to pack arena
s and stadiums. After playing a handful of 50th anniversary dates last year, the Stones have embarked on their first full tour since 2007.
The “50 and Counting…” tour came to Boston’s TD Garden this week for a two night stand. On Wednesday night The Rolling Stones kicked off their Boston run. The TD Garden was packed to the rafters with fans eager to witness the legendary British band in all their glory. Long known for their intricate and complex stage designs, the Stones scaled things down a bit with an endstage show, with the stage designed to look like their famous tongue logo. For most bands this would be considered a pretty lavish stage, but for the Stones – who once designed a show that included 20 foot tall inflatable nude dolls – a tongue stage was rather simplistic.
After a lengthy wait from the time doors opened at 6:30, the lights went down around 8:55 and a video began playing chronicling the history of the Stones featuring testimonials by many of their famous fans. The music finally began with “Get Off of My Cloud” and would feature many of the Stone greatest hits. On “Gimme Shelter” long time backup singer Lisa Fischer showed off her incredible vocal range and brought the house down during her duet with Mick Jagger. Rising blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr. joined the Stones onstage to perform the blues classic “Going Down” originally by Don Nix. The newest Stones material “Doom and Gloom” and “One More Shot” - which were released last year as part of their latest box set – made their way into the set and feature Mick Jagger taking a turn on the guitar.
Other Stones favorites like “Honky Tonk Woman” had the crowd singing along enthusiastically. Soon after, Keith Richards would take a turn on lead vocals to perform “You Got the Silver” and “Before They Make Me Run”. Former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor has been touring with the band this year and performing off and on during the set, on Wednesday he joined the Stones for several songs, including a longer, extended version of “Midnight Rambler”. The Stone rattled off a few more classics before closing their main set with “Sympathy for the Devil” which featured Mick Jagger strutting on the stage in an oversized fur coat while singing.
As the lights dimmed for the encore, the Boston University Marsh Choir was already making their way to the stage for their shining moment, singing the opening chorus of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” the choir added a whole extra dimension to the song, and made for a spectacular live redition of one of the Rolling Stones’ most recognized songs. The next song performed was “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and then the show concluded as Mick Taylor joined the band again for a stellar performance of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”.
To put things simply; Nobody does it better than The Rolling Stones. Mick Jagger’s stage presence is as legendary as they come and he proved it on Wednesday night, displaying all the traits of a great frontman. Drummer Charlie Watts gets a lot out of a little with one of the most simple drum kits you’ll ever see, but still a commanding performance on drums. Ronnie Wood’s performance on rhythm guitar held down the set and laid a strong foundation for the legendary riffs, of one of the greatest guitarists ever, Keith Richards. Longtime touring bassist Darryl Jones provided the basslines for many of the Stones classics, showing off his skills, particularly during his bass solo during “Miss You”. The Rolling Stones put on the performance of all performances every time they hit the stage and Wednesday night in Boston was no different.