Rolling Stones – First Bang In Tokyo (Dog N Cat DAC-50-1/2)

First Bang In Tokyo (Dog N Cat DAC-50-1/2)

Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan – March 22nd, 2006
Disc 1:  Introduction, Jumping Jack Flash, Let’s Spend The Night Together, She’s So Cold, Oh No Not You Again, Sway, As Tears Go By, Tumbling Dice, Rain Fall Down, Night Time Is The Right Time, band member introduction, This Place Is Empty, Happy
Disc 2:  Miss You, Rough Justice, Get Off Of My Cloud, Honky Tonk Women, Sympathy For The Devil, Paint It Black, Start Me Up, Brown Sugar, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Satisfaction

First Bang In Tokyo also serves as the first review trying to dent the overwhelming amount of product coming out of Japan covering the Stones’ five show tour in March.  This is a Dog N Cat Special Edition, meaning it is released with an obi strip and special insert advertising the other releases in this series identical to the inserts in their VGP releases.  All five of the releases are sourced from an assistive listening device (ald) present at the venue.  There are several ways these devices work, whether broadcast over an FM, infrared or closed loop system but these are most properly described as mono FM broadcasts. 

The sound quality is very nice, clear, crisp and enjoyable.  It is also horribly unbalanced.  The emphasis is upon vocals, guitars and drums with the bass and keyboards very low in the mix.  The backing vocals and horn section are almost non-existent, apparent only faintly in the background.  This leads to embarrassing situations like in “Night Time Is The Right Time” where, after the first verse Mick invites Lisa Fisher to sing but she is barely audible.  Sources say that Keith’s guitar disappeared after the B-stage set and didn’t reappear until the encores and this is apparent on this tape too.  “Sympathy For The Devil” suffers the most, sounding almost like a Mick and Charlie duet until the middle.  With these limitations it is hard to give this release an enthusiastic endorsement.  

The concert itself is enjoyable despite hearing only half of the music from the stage.  The tape begins with Mick saying, “I don’t hear anything on this” followed by a countdown leading into “Jumping Jack Flash”.  Four songs are played from A Bigger Bang and “Sway” is given another airing.  By this time it sounds much more rehearsed than its debut in Columbus.  Keith sounds horrible during his set and I got a buzz just hearing him sing.  “Paint It Black” has a very heavy beginning and sounds great in this recording and in general this is a strong beginning to the five date tour of Japan.  They do juggle the set lists in the other shows and further reviews will discuss these changes. 

How Could I Resist on the cdr label Sylph was the first release of this show.  Bang At The Tokyo Dome, a four-disc set covering the two Tokyo shows was released on the Silverdisc label and is said to be fair to good audience recordings.  Complete Tokyo Two Days on the New Tattoo label is another four-disc set with the two Tokyo shows using another audience recording which is supposed to be better than the others.  And the Golden Circle 5500 label, who have released Front Row (April 5th in Nagoya) and Front Row II (March 24th in Tokyo) are working on releasing the entire tour from front row DAT audience tapes.  First Bang In Tokyo is the only release from a professional source so far.  Hopefully perfect soundboards will surface.  Eventually most of the releases will be reviewed here and we will see how they compare with one another.  The DAC is a good but flawed source and it remains to be seen if the others are better.

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