“Bonsoir Lyon” yelled Mick last night after the obligatory “Start me up” opener from the Rolling Stones. The Stade Gerland stadium only takes 25,000 and sitting near the front on the side, we had an excellent view. The Stones haven’t played Lyon for 25 years: “Vous êtes encore beaux après 25 ans”, said Mick in a reasonable French accent.
Sitting next to me was a 60-year old local with his son, who had got him the tickets as a Father’s day present – “le plus grand groupe jamais” he said.
Marion (64) on my other side, finally got to see the Stones on her 4th time of trying, wore a big grin for 2 hours and like me had little voice left this morning.
Mick Jagger (nearly 64!) has energy in abundance. Two hours of kicking, jumping, skipping and running up and down the stage (with just a 10 minutes break while Keith ran the show), including, towards the end, a run half way up and back the length of the football pitch to acknowledge the fans up the other end, he was the one in charge throughout – he can still sing and yell like the best of them.
As last time I saw them, I was hugely impressed by the back-up musicians – all 9 of them that join the big 4 on stage. Without them, it would definitely all fall apart. The bassist together with Charlie Watts keep the beat going always, but Keith … and even, Ronnie, were a bit hit and miss to say the least. During “Honky Tonk Women” I don’t think either guitarist was playing anything to do with the song – but they did have a great time doing it, Mick just kept on singing, and the audience didn’t seem to notice.
So never mind the sound quality or the guitar playing, the show is just brilliant, the set amazing, a moving stage emerging half way through to travel down the pitch, a huge mouth and tongue that appear out of nowhere (see photo above!), Mick’s many changes of sparkling clothes (calm down, Marion!), fireworks and the fact that Keith Richards is still alive, can hold his guitar – crouching down for a wicked start to “Satisfaction” and singing a couple of numbers brilliantly – all makes up for everything lacking in sound and correct guitar chords …
The highlight song for me – “Get off of my Cloud” – but close runners-up were a James Brown tribute song “I go crazy” (with a great duet between Mick and a girl singer), “Miss You”, and “Brown Sugar” (I was 17 again …).
The tour’s called “A bigger bang” – they couldn’t really have made a bigger one for me.
Here’s the set list on their European fan club site:
And … a French review that sums it up well, too.