May 27, 2024

The Rolling Stones played MetLife Stadium (Night 2)

The Rolling Stones are on tour in support of last year's new album Hackney Diamonds and played a rousing set at MetLife Stadium that was still full of the classics.

From 1968-1973, The Rolling Stones were the self-proclaimed, and critically-back, "greatest rock and roll band on the planet," but on Sunday night, that title once again seemed worthy. I'll be the first to, proudly, admit that I'm a Beatles-guy and will be until I die, but the experience of seeing The Rolling Stones isn't one I will ever forget and one I could live in again and again. Now sixty years into their long and storied career as not only the greatest, but perhaps the biggest rock band of all-time, they wasted no time proving the point. As the lights went out and a lone Keith Richards walked to the stage, he hit the opening riff of "Start Me Up," the iconic song that has become a staple to kick off their show for year, and the crowd went into an instant frenzy. Leaping to their feet, the entire stadium erupted in cheers as everyone danced the night away and shouted along with the band in absolute triumph that had people grinning from ear to ear with joy. With the exception of the four tracks from last year's Hackney Diamonds, the set was comprised primarily of songs from their golden-era, a time that pre-dates Ronnie Wood joining the band despite his long-running tenure, and was clearly a night for the fans, whether you were seeing them for the hundredth time or the first. "Get Off of My Cloud" was another pumped-up jam that delivered an awesome call-and-response reaction from the crowd before the band set into the tour debut of the Sticky Fingers classic "Bitch." As Mick Jagger continued to display why he's still perhaps the greatest frontman of all-time, he worked the stage, flailing his arms in the air like only he can to get the crowd energized and shaking his hips like the seventies, the decade, were more recent than his own years in his seventies. Behind him, Richards and Wood unleashed their tried and true guitar skills that looked effortless beyond compare, their technical skills still better than most. The better than it ought to be "Angry" hit even harder live and felt like a natural Stones song especially when included in their onslaught of hits. Richards' worked his guitar extra hard on this one to really showcase that the band might actually still have it and that while his creative peak may be decades behind him, he's still got a flair unlike anyone else. The slow-burning "Wild Horses" was another moment that allowed the band and the crowd to catch their breath and revel in the sight of seeing the band do what they've been doing for longer than many in the crowd had been alive (yours truly obviously included). The full band boogie of "Tumbling Dice" was euphoric and gave the backing band members their moment to shine as they helped bring the song to life with newfound brilliance. Picking up an acoustic guitar, Jagger led the band into the sentimental show-stopper "You Can't Always Get What You Want," a track that had many in the crowd on the verge of tears, the meaning and significance of such an all-timer becoming overwhelming beyond measure, but in a way of total joy. There were so many moments that felt larger-than-life as the songs from the band have been the soundtrack to countless memories in fans lives and undoubtedly stirred emotions in ways that only the best music can. After letting Keith take over vocals on two tracks, Mick came back with another costume change and fully warmed-up to take the band through the next stretch of iconic songs. "Sympathy for the Devil" was massive and Richards' striking guitar made "Honky Tonk Women" another top-tier moment, especially as Jagger hit a full on sprint as he dashed from the edge of the catwalk and back to his bandmates, demonstrating his unbelievable physique that once again gained roars from the crowd. Making another tour debut was "Midnight Rambler" for which Jagger busted out a harmonica, once again showing off his impeccable form and squashing any doubters as to just how good the Rolling Stones could be at this age. Natuarally "Gimme Shelter was an epic statement with soaring vocals that carried across the stadium with surging power, Mick and back-up singer Chanel Haynes taking things down the catwalk for a dazzling opportunity to duet on one of the most iconic vocals deliveries in the band's catalogue. The psychedelic swirl of "Paint It Black" continued the run of hits before the electric "Jumping Jack Flash" brought the main set to a powerful finish. After one more newbie (a song most likely meant as tribute to their dearly departed long-time drummer Charlie Watts), Richards immediately hit the chords for "Satisfaction" and the crowd erupted once more. I've long been a naysayer and claimed that to see the Stones in 2024 is really like seeing a different band. In more ways than one, they are not the Stones of 1974 when they were at the peak of their powers and operating as the true meaning of rock and roll stars. However, I am plenty happy to eat my words and say that to see the Stones at all, is still witnessing greatness. Ronnie Wood can still rip a solo with muscular dexterity, Richards still plays with an effortlessly cool style where the riffs just ooze from his axe, and there is still no one quite like Mick Jagger, his ability to control a crowd a real sight to see and one to experience while there's still time. On Sunday night, The Rolling Stones proved that even after all of these years, there is still nothing else like seeing these legends live. May the world's greatest rock and roll band live on and on.

Set list:

01 "Start Me Up"
02 "Get Off of My Cloud"
03 "Bitch"
04 "Angry"
05 "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)"
06 "Wild Horses"
07 "Tumbling Dice"
08 "Whole Wide World"
09 "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
10 "Tell Me Straight"
11 "Little T&A"
12 "Sympathy for the Devil"
13 "Honky Tonk Women"
14 "Midnight Rambler"
15 "Gimme Shelter"
16 "Paint It Black"
17 "Jumpin' Jack Flash"
18 "Sweet Sounds of Heaven"
19 "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"

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