The Rolling Stones, Old Trafford, Manchester
Graham Clark, Features Writer
Many will have fond memories of seeing The Rolling Stones at the now legendary gig at Leeds' Roundhay Park in 1982. 36 years on the band are back in the north. Was it worth the 15 year wait since they last played Manchester? Definitely.
Fortunately the sun shone and Mick Jagger and the rest of The Rolling Stones took to the stage in the so called Theatre of Dreams to perform a classic gig in front of 50,000 fans.
The stage lights go up, the smoke machines are puffing out more smoke than a steam train on the North Yorkshire railway and we are off. Jagger, now 74 years of age has more energy than some of the singers half his age.
Jumpin' Jack Flash has all the seated fans who were not on the pitch, out of their seats. Wearing a flamboyant colourful jacket that matched his personality Jagger pranced and danced along the stage and down the catwalk that lead into the audience.
"Hello Manchester" he welcomes the fans who had travelled from all across the north and beyond. "It's a pleasure to be playing one of the greatest and oldest stadiums in the world" he continues.
It is said that they are one of the greatest rock n roll bands in the world - Keith Richards looks like your favourite uncle, Charlie Watts makes his drumming look so easy whilst Ronnie Wood looks like he can't believe his luck at being in the band. None of them have put any weight on and all look slim and lean.
It is basically a classic set: Its Only Rock n Roll (But I Like It) is followed by Tumbling Dice. Each night they perform a track voted by the fans on the internet - wisely tonight's chosen song is Let's Spend The Night Together.
Jagger is probably one of the greatest frontman in a rock band who has influenced countless singers. He reminds the fans about when the group played the Odeon and Free Trade Hall in the city as well as a topical joke about Northern Rail besides saying that the band visited the Curry Mile whilst looking over their shoulders to see that they were not being followed by Pat Phelan (the current baddie in Coronation Street)
Just as he did at Roundhay Park, he mentions the northern cities that the fans might have travelled from including Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield.
Paint It Black still had the menace of the original whilst Honky Tonk Woman had the fans firmly on their side. The stadium is bathed in red and orange light as they perform Sympathy For The Devil making it look like the stage was on fire.
The disco vibe of 1978's Miss You is followed by Midnight Rambler and the classics of Start Me Up and Brown Sugar.
It is hard these days to feel like some of these gigs are an event but this one felt like you were witnessing something very special.
Now on his fourth costume change Jagger and the rest of the band return for the encore of Gimmie Shelter and ( I Can't Get No) Satisfaction.
As the fireworks explode in the northern skies I doubt anyone would have not been satisfied tonight.
|Also by Graham Clark...|
|Billy Idol, Manchester Apollo|
|Lionel Richie, Scarborough Open Air Theatre|
|Review Of Blue And Steps, Keep Moat Stadium, Doncaster|
|The Play That Goes Wrong - Interview With Bobby Hirston|
|Let's Rock Leeds! - The Retro Festival|
The Rolling Stones, Old Trafford, Manchester, 6th June 2018, 20:58 PM