Champions Of The World (Godfather Records GR 156/157)
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy – July 11th, 2006
European Tour Premiere
CD 1 [70:29]: 1. Jumping Jack Flash 2. It’s Only Rock’n Roll 3. Oh No Not You Again 4. Let’s Spend The Night Together
5. Tumbling Dice 6. Streets Of Love 7. Con Le Mie Lacrime 8. Midnight Rambler 9. Night Time Is The Right Time — Introductions 10. Before They Make Me Run (Keith) 11. Slipping Away (Keith)
CD 2 [54:41]: 1. Miss You (to B-stage) 2. Rough Justice 3. Under My Thumb 4. Honky Tonk Women (to main stage) 5. Sympathy For The Devil 6. Start Me Up 7. Brown Sugar 8. You Can’t Always Get What You Want (encore) 9. Satisfaction (encore)
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan, Italy was the venue of The Rolling Stones first show of the European Tour 2006 “A Bigger Bang World Tour” following Keith’s Fiji vacation accident where he fell out of a palm tree. The Stones had last performed at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand on 4-18-06.
G.R.156/157 “Champions Of The World” inherited its title from the Italian World Cup victory the day before on 7-10-06. Coincidentally, the Stones played in Turin, Italy on 7-12-82 the day after the Italian World Cup victory back then.
G.R.156/157 delivers an excellent audience recording with “Jumping Jack Flash” kicking things off with a vibrant and enthusiastic crowd in full swing. The crowd gets even rowdier and excited with “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll”. “Oh No Not You Again” has a biting edge to it. Jagger sings with conviction and the guitar interludes are strong and pronounced. Jagger offers Italian spoken comments after each track up to this point. The crowd buzz on “Let’s Spend The Night Together” is indicative of a solid live feed. This rendition worked and the Stones exhibited good energy. “Tumbing Dice” was steady and melodic with rousing crowd applause to follow. “Streets Of Love” worked so much better in its live incarnation with Jagger holding the melody throughout. “As Tears Go By” sung in Italian was a surprise and was instrumentally sound. The crowd buzz, again, was infectious. I’ll take the English version myself, however.
“Midnight Rambler” offered a perfect transition. The Stones finally “slowed it down” at the 6:00 minute mark with great jamming preceding it. There was a nice graduated build-up to a screaming and furious conclusion with this epic 12:00 minute track. Jagger’s first English spoken introduction of the night came with “Night Time Is The Right Time”. Band Introductions followed with Ronnie getting a real rousing welcome. Keith’s introduction initially brought the house down. Keith remarked as he was to begin his set with “As usual, it’s good to be here in Milano…It’s all cool…Bless you all, bless you all. Tonight I got to do ‘Before they Make Me Run’. On with the show”. Keith was particularly strong vocally and really articulated the lyrics with this solid performance. Afterwards he stated “It’s good to be here. It’s good to be anywhere”. Keith was especially sharp vocally, again, exhibiting excellent range and crooning away on “Slipping Away”.
“Miss You” was short. “Rough Justice’ offered blistering guitars in this ramped up punk like version. The intro to “Under My Thumb” was different but immediately lent an infectious bounce bringing back memories of the infamous 12-6-69 haunting Altamont version. I was struck by the similarity of both versions. “What an ending” Jagger states. “Sympathy For The Devil” provided a good performance. “Start Me Up” sounded off; a bit out of tune. “Brown Sugar” was surprisingly refreshing this deep into the concert. The Italian World Cup goals were shown on screen prior to the 2 encores with the fans simply delirious and out of control. Two of the Italian football players, Alessandro Del Piero and Marco Materazzi, were shown on stage for “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “Satisfaction”.
Some fans posting reviews on IORR that attended the show complained of the “ridiculous volume limit” to the sound system at the beginning of the show. I would not have been aware of this constraint had I not read their remarks. The volume on G.R.156/157 is steady and reflective of an excellent and balanced audience feed. The constant audible audience buzz adds another dimension to the concert.
The Godfatherecords assembled this fine Stones performance in their attractive and appealing tri-fold packaging and included a beautiful fold-out insert as well. The graphics are astonishing and eclipsed by a strong Stones performance to catapult this leg of the European Tour 2006. This release comes highly recommended.