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The Rolling Stones – Cold Sweat (Rattlesnake RS 216/217)

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Cold Sweat (Rattlesnake RS 216/217)

LTU Arena, Düsseldorf, Germany, August 13th, 2007. Bonus tracks recorded at HSH Nordbank Arena, Hamburg, Germany, August 15th, 2007

Disk One : (64:17) Intro / Start Me Up / You Got Me Rocking / Rough Justice / All Down The Line / Let It Bleed / You Can’t Always Get What You Want / Can’t You Hear Me Knocking / I’ll Go Crazy / Tumbling Dice / Introductions / You Got The Silver / Wanna Hold You

Disk Two : (79:46) Miss You / It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll / ( I Can’t Get No ) Satisfaction / Honky Tonk Women / Sympathy For The Devil / Paint It Black / Jumpin’ Jack Flash / Brown Sugar – Bonus Tracks – Let’s Spend The Night Together / Rocks Off / Love Is Strong / Ruby Tuesday / Midnight Rambler

Recorded towards the end of the vastly grossing “A Bigger Bang Tour” Rattlesnake’s “Cold Sweat” CD captures a band still at the height of their powers more than 40 years after their inception. The tour would have been well honed having started over two years earlier & being inflicted with more than its fair share of hiccups & the inevitable ribbing about whether the Stones could still cut it.

Surely no one doubted that the band had lost any of their powers for moving a stadium to the verge of apoplexy – but the mixed reviews for the previous night in Frankfurt seemed to rail against certain members. Certainly Ronnie had been struggling with his demons & Keef knows the nature of the game all too well – show time is rumpus time, never mind Mick’s focus & devotion – Mr. Richards has been playing these riffs for so long he could play them upside-down in a swimming pool full of peanut butter. 

This excellent audience recording from Düsseldorf on August 13th 2007 has none of the reverberation or echos that the poor people of Frankfurt had to put up with & is a very good, close representation of the show with just about enough audience participation to make their presence bearable. Mick’s voice is sometimes lost between the rest of the instrumentation but it is mostly clear enough to be heard.  

The show starts with the electronic clanking & rattling of the stage introduction – a cluttered blend of all sorts of sound effects & explosions. This lasts a mere minute before giving way to the stop – start riff of “Start Me Up” which immediately gets the crowd in the mood. The real excitement is saved up for Keef’s squealing soloing around 2 minutes in to the track – a short attack on the senses that lands the band straight in to party mode.

The following two “You Got Me Rocking” & “Rough Justice” from 1974 & 2006 respectively are less than poles apart both featuring rather similar phrases in their opening vocal lines & both feature elastic, bending chords although Keith flubs the soloing a little during “You Got Me .. ” by taking his eye off the prize a little. He gets back on track for “Rough Justice” – one of ‘A Bigger Bangs’ more knowing, tongue in cheek moments – with it’s almost steel-ish twang threaded through the middle. 

After a little crowd baiting ( In German! ) about the other audiences in Germany that the Stones have played to, the band run through a victorious, horn laden “All Down The Line”. Mick drops some of his vocals towards the end to let the backing singers & the horns a little space to breathe before ad-libbling a few lines about the music. “Let It Bleed” is introduced to give the audience a little bit of a breather but it rocks just as busily as its predecessor. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is, instead, a chance for the audience to rest their feet a little but Jagger implores them to sing along instead – The track ricochets between that glorious piano line, Keef’s guitar work & an amazing high pitched harmony by the backup singers right in to the clattering, highly infectious coda that aims to leave you feeling breathless. 

Just as invigorating is the almost 10 minute “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” – a sleazy, shake through nights spent up to no good. The atmosphere is, by now, electric & this tape picks it up perfectly. The track goes through various pieces – a taught drum solo by Charlie, Keith’s furious ‘approaching thunderstorm’ style soloing & Mick even whips out his harp to dangerous effect – increasing the temperature even further. 

A tribute to soul legend James Brown follows in the shape of “I’ll Go Crazy”, a rendition first premiered at Werchter on the 5th of June when the band reconvened the tour, this seagues seamlessly in to a beautiful “Tumbling Dice” – Moderately paced but still rocking. 

Mick takes the lead in making the band introduction in German but this only goes as far as the backing singers & then he reverts back to English before turning back to German again for the main players. Charlie plays a groovy, high hatted almost-solo after his introduction while the Guitar section don’t say too much

After this extensive introductions, Keith picks up his steel acoustic & serenades us with louche renditions of “You Got The Silver”, spinning out his best country drawl and a slightly less thrilling “Wanna Hold You” – Despite the bump to the head he received, Keith’s voice is only as cracked as his age & drug intake will allow & he doesn’t do too badly. 

On to disk two & also the B-Stage. The intermission music is cut out only to start on the warm up chords to “Miss You”. Mick does his best to throw around the rhythm to words, hardly waiting for the full stops & he cuts things fine but they still seem to work ( That is until around half way through when he misses a cue somewhere .. )

The other two numbers from the far side fare just as well – Keith misses his mark this time by playing out of tune with Ronnie on “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll” but this only happens towards the end while “Satisfaction” comes apart almost from the start, managing only to pull itself together intermittently – maybe the monitors weren’t working as well that night but something’s going wrong. 

Back to the main stage things go back to full swing again. “Sympathy For The Devil” is given a regal standing by being stripped down to a jazzy piano line & steady, shuffling drum beat. Only on the choruses to the guitars come crashing back to play.

“Jumpin’ Jack Flash” is joined by the sound of fireworks & the voices of a couple of thousand Dutch people shouting Jagger’s words back at him. It quickly escalates in to a frenzy – much like ‘Street Fighting Man’ in the 70′s – hardly a new trick then but one that works it’s weight to the delight of the crowd. 

“Brown Sugar” brings the night to a close proper. Mick has begun to sound a little breathless by now but it’s hardly noticeable – of course if you were there you wouldn’t be able to tell at all – and the night ends as large as life as it began. 

The bonus tracks from 2 days later sound as good as the main attraction and rather than padding out the time add to the whole package perfectly. They were certainly a well chosen addition to the set. 

This release is not just for those that collect such things & while it’s not quite up to par as an official release it could easily be chosen as one of the pick of the best of the Stones European tour of 2007.

CMR Music Store

If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)

The Rolling Stones - Cold Sweat (Rattlesnake RS 216/217), 2.5 out of 5 based on 3 ratings

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