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Rolling Stones – 02 Arena 2007 / 1st Night (SODD 046/47)

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 02 Arena 2007 / 1st Night (SODD 046/47)

Grand Finale Of Bigger Bang Tour 2007!!

02, London, England – August 21st, 2007

Disc 1 / 01. Opening / 02. Start Me Up / 03. You Got Me Rocking / 04. Rough Justice / 05. Rocks Off / 06. Let It Bleed / 07. Beast Of Burden / 08. Can’t You Hear Me Knocking / 09. I’ll Go Crazy / 10. Tumbling Dice / 11. Band Introductions / 12. You Got The Silver / 13. Wanna Hold You

Disc 2 / 01. It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll / 02. Respectable / 03. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction / 04. Honky Tonk Women / 05. Sympathy For The Devil / 06. Paint It Black / 07. Jumping Jack Flash / 08. Brown Sugar

The Stones kicked off the first of three shows in this London suburb of Greenwich at the 02 Arena on the 2 year anniversary of the opening of their 2005 A Bigger Bang World Tour In Fenway Park, Boston. SODD advertises this as an excellent audience recording and I would concur except that it sounds like a very good audience to start with and then eventually becomes and sustains the level of an excellent audience. ‘Start Me Up” opens in brisk pace and “You Got Me Rocking” further fuels the energy. Jagger states: “Great To be back in London. Great to be back home. We started the tour 2 years ago”. “Rocks Off” played faithfully to the original but ended unexpectedly when part of the band stopped and the other part kept playing. This was really something to hear and quite unique to say the least. “Let It Bleed’ was played too fast with Jagger in fine form + Watts aggressive as usual. “Beast Of Burden” started with a a strange sour lead intro but then slowed down with a beautiful transition that offered dueling lead guitars at steady pace. “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” sounded like a serene dreamy escape with such a hypnotic beat bleeding with Stones swagger + light percussion. The tension softly simmered building to an imperfect close at the 9 + minute mark. With “I Go Crazy”, Lisa took the lead vocals midway through the track giving way to the horn section with nice crowd applause to follow. Jagger wanted to keep it going and lead fittingly into a blues driven “Tumbling Dice”. Ronnie was hailed from Greenwich with quite the reception during the 4 + minute “Band Introductions” and got a few rare moments at the microphone to confirm his party Friday night. Charlie was particularly frisky and did a 15 second drum solo which continued right through Keith’s introduction. The band crooned collectively on “You Got The Silver” with Keith saying: “Thank you very much…That’s cool”. He laughed and then remarked: “I’m not going to bow”. “Wanna Hold You” was solid + Keith maintained the lead vocal in perfect key. 

“It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll” was played fast + hard with Mick infusing:  “Did you think you’re the only girl in Greenwich”. He was in boisterous form and + added at the closing: “You’re looking good there”. “Respectable” was a treat. Jagger implored: “Come On”. He just wouldn’t let up + howled: “You’re so respectable” eclipsing the studio version easily. Punk met metal as “Satisfaction” kicked in.  And in a rare fleeting moment we hear Jagger crack up for a second after Keith’s guitar goes totally off key. What followed was a free for all with bloody sounding sour guitar licks. The war horses were generally weak. The Stones are known for their catchy hooks + riffs which weave in + out of their songs. I can’t understand why they don’t lean on their vastly rich catalogue of material if they cannot motivate themselves to re-work these monotonous war horses once + for all.

This is the 1st of these 3 successive London shows to close out their A Bigger Bang World Tour that will be reviewed here with the other 2 forthcoming. SODD offers a 200 Limited Edition Bonus DVR-Audio from different sources to augment this package. This concert provided an interesting set list that blended nicely for the most part. The sound quality was reflective of an excellent audience feed after roughly the first quarter of the show. Seasoned Stones fans will probably wonder what has come over the band with their intermittent sour notes. I look at it as an art form and one can only expect the unexpected which serves ironically to “re-work” their catalogue. There were a good number of standout tracks that make this release worthwhile indicative of a solid performance + it comes recommended.  [Rawlings]

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