Live At Rupp Arena 1981 (Empress Valley EVSD401/402)
Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY – December 11th, 1981
Disc 1 (79:53): Take The A Train, Under My Thumb, When The Whip Comes Down, Let’s Spend The Night Together, Shattered, Neighbours, Black Limousine, Just My Imagination, Twenty Flight Rock, Going To A Go-Go, Let Me Go, Time Is On My Side, Beast Of Burden, Waiting On A Friend, Let It Bleed
Disc 2 (64:52): You Can’t Always Get What You Want, band introduction, Little T & A, Tumbling Dice, She’s So Cold, Hang Fire, Miss You, Honky Tonk Women, Brown Sugar, Start Me Up, Jumping Jack Flash, Satisfaction
The Rolling Stones played two shows in the state of Kentucky during the Still Lifetour in 1981. The first was in Louisville on November 3rd. They returned five weeks later for a show at the Rupp Arena in Lexington. On the simply named Live At Rupp Arena 1981, Empress Valley presents the same virtually complete soundboard recording that first surfaced on Kentucky Fried Rockers Vol. 2 (Dog N Cat DAC-024).
The soundboard is very clear and has a nice balance between the rhythm section, vocals and guitars. There are times when the soundboard misses cues like when the saxophone comes in during “Miss You” and sometimes the guitars are buried like in “Shattered.” There are two small gaps in the tape. The first starts five seconds in “Let Me Go,” right after the opening riff, to 1:46 and the second is in “Tumbling Dice” from fifty-two seconds to 3:29.
The performance is okay although this is a show where the band sounds a bit tired and hazy. Mick Jagger mocks confusion about the location: “I woke up this morning and where was I? Shidoobee, Shidoobee Shidoobee.” It sounds as if someone off mic tells him and he then greets Lexington. The band tune their instruments a bit before starting “Shattered.”
The show achieves some intensity with the longer jamming numbers such as “Just My Imagination,” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “Miss You.” Listening to Wood and Richards interacting with the saxophone of Ernie Watts belies the assessment of the Stones on this tour as “pure entertainers.” Nevertheless, this late in the tour the performances were extremely slick and professional which describes much of this performance.
Empress Valley employ a basic double slimline jewel case with photos from the tour and tour poster’s painting. A third title with this tape was released from Europe titled Lexington, Kentucky, December 11, 1981 on Crossfire Hurricane which is probably the same edit of the two sources in the same sound quality.