vrijdag 29 november 2013

Sweet summer sun. Live in Hyde Park. The Rolling Stones

For a few days in a row we are going to look at recent releases from the great of past years. Sweet summer sun is the second of these. The Beatles and The Stones right behind each other? How appropriate...

What can a poor boy do? Start saving for the European spring tour 2014! There's no doubt in my mind that The Rolling Stones will follow Australia and probably Asia with Europe. As a warm up present the band released Sweet summer sun, the double cd and dvd registration of the two shows the band played there this summer. Yes, I promised never to go to another Stones show again, never to buy the umpteenth live registration again. But I did and I'm sure that I will be at the 50 and counting tour. The Rolling Stones are too much a part of my system, it looks like it is unavoidable. The investment in Sweet summer sun is worth every penny. As I already tweeted: "I just sat there watching, inwardly singing along, with a big smile on my face the whole way"

Sweet summer sun does not offer anything new. It is a routine show but a show by simply the best rock and roll band of the last 50 years. There's no denying it. The band rocks like there is no tomorrow, playing extremely well. Even the backing troup of the band is getting on in age. The fabulous bass player Darryl Jones, concert meister Chuck Levell, the two back ground singers Lisa Fisher and Bernard Fowler, Copper blowers Bobby Keys and Tim Riece are with the band for (over) 20 years now and as much a part of The Rolling Stones as the four remaining band members and their special guest Mick Taylor are. Taylor only plays in two songs, acoustic guitar in the final song '(I can't get no) Satisfaction', but steals the show in 'Midnight rambler'. One of the best songs in this set. The Rolling Stones really let it rip here. Jagger in top form on mouth harp and Taylor soloing as if his life depends on it. (In a way it may be, as re-joining as a special guest may well take care of his pension.)

The band members make comments in between the songs or as introduction. There's no footage of that in the movie, which is o.k. The audience makes up for that perfectly, showing the party it was in Hyde Park. It would have been nice as an extra though. The extras are three songs, among which 'Paint it black', one of the Stones' best songs. The comments are telling about all four. The best one? "To me this is just work", told with the voice of a pensioner. Charlie Watts drums fantastic by the way. The other comment is "Timing is everything". And the cycle of Stones activities since the end of 2012 was flawless. Or better, the autobiography of Keith Richards: "Now they will never play again". Sure. Everything was aimed to make the world ready for a huge Stones party. And viewing Glastonbury and Hyde Park it's clear the U.K. was ready for this party. As is the rest of the world. Or "It's like coming home, if you have one".

About a year ago I wrote about the latest Stones single 'Doom and gloom'. I liked it and one year down the road I have to conclude that the song fits perfectly in this set. It is a good, decent song, with a great chorus, sung so well by Fisher and Fowler. It rocks and has soul. A late Stones classic? It seems like it. It also proves that it's time for more new songs. I keep telling it (as with the BBC album. Come on, guys. We've been waiting long enough for that.) With the exception of 'Start me up' there's nothing past 1980 in this set. Not even 'Saint of me', another modern Stones classic as far as I'm concerned. For the rest it is close to a dream set on offer.

'Sympathy for the devil' is played more traditional then it was for quite some time. Close to the 'Beggars banquet' version. Neat and clean.  The stage all red. Like hell itself. In 'Honky tonk woman' Jagger wears the dress thing he wore in 1969(!). Three out of four seem to have the same figure as then. It's Keith who's healthy and looks like a regular grandfather, though with the hair and face of a scarecrow, but his belly's up front as grandpa's go. 'Ruby Tuesday' is another song that gets a great rendition. Just a fantastic ballad. Lisa Fisher gets centre stage, 100 feet in front, in 'Gimme shelter'. Even Jagger stays away for a while. Daryl Jones shows his craft in 'Miss you', Bobby Keys gets many a solo. Keith does 'Happy', his best Stones song, period. And I can go on and on. Ronny Wood and Keith Richards weave their guitars like they do, making up the guitar sound of The Rolling Stones. Just listen the way they play in 'Miss you'. Simply the best disco rock track ever. And Jagger? What can I say. His face is older, but he's there as energetic as ever, singing great.

There are some beautiful shots in Sweet summer sun. The four guitarists in a line in 'Midnight rambler', Lisa Fisher as a bird spreading its wings walking down the aisle. Charlie smiling like he's enjoying his job. The choir starting the encore in 'You can't always get what you want'. Great shots from the audience, that is surely enjoying itself. The sky turning purple. The smiles and mischief on Keith's face. He's in his natural habitat, that's quite clear.

Let's face it. Sweet summer sun surprised me. This band is still so good. Older, a bit more rheumy, but can rock like crazy. Worth every cent. So when are the tickets going on sale?


You can watch the trailer here.

P.s. I wrote this post on Sunday 24 November. On Monday the newspaper announced that Mick Jagger will be a great-granddad in 2014. So it will be (great-)grandads rocking. Wow.

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