I Think It’s Gonna Rain Again Tonight (Dog N Cat DAC-082)
Disc 1, Memorial Drive Park, Adelaide, Australia – February 20th, 1973: Brown Sugar, Bitch, Rocks Off, Gimme Shelter, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Love In Vain, Sweet Virginia, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Honky Tonk Women, All Down The Line, Midnight Rambler, Bye Bye Johnny, Jumping Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man
Disc 2, Memorial Drive Park, Adelaide, Australia – February 21st, 1973: Brown Sugar, Bitch, Rocks Off, Gimme Shelter, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Sweet Virginia, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Honky Tonk Women, All Down The Line, Midnight Rambler, Little Queenie, Jumping Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man
The Rolling Stones planned a trip around the Pacific rim in February 1973 which would be their first shows in Australia and New Zealand in seven years and their first ever trips to Japan and Hong Kong with warm up dates in Hawaii. There was tremendous doubt about whether the tour would work out since in January both Australia’s Immigration Ministry and the Japanese Foreign Ministry declared Mick Jagger banned from entering either country due to his prior drug convictions. Several days after Australia made their initial announcement, they changed their minds and allowed the Stones to come into the country. Japan didn’t and shows scheduled for the Budokan in Tokyo between January 28th and February 1st were scheduled and the promoters had to refund the 55,000 tickets that were sold. The band had to wait another seventeen years before making their live debut in that country. The February 5th show in Hong Kong was likewise canceled.
Beginning on February 11th in Auckland, New Zealand, The Stones played 10 shows in two weeks. Almost all of the concerts exist on tape including several soundboards. The two shows in Adelaide occur right in the middle of the tour and the tape used for the February 20th show is fair to good. It has some distortion and is narrow sounding but is quite listenable. There are little cuts between songs and one after “Sweet Virginia” that eliminates some of Jagger’s stage patter, but all of the songs are complete. One of the earliest releases is on Complete Meat Of Adelaide (RRR2005-005), a four disc set with the complete February 20th show, eight songs from the second Melbourne concert and a February 16th press conference in Melbourne. Vinyl Gang released it on Eat Meat On Stage (VGP 295), and Adelaide 1973 (Sound Of Satisfaction SOS-730220/21) is a release that contains both Adelaide shows.
The setlist for the Australia dates are identical to that used on the 1972 tour. The recording picks up right at the beginning of “Brown Sugar.” The sight of the Jagger onstage seems to shock the audience, seeing the legend in the flesh. A great version of “Bitch” follows before Mick greets the audience and introduces “Rocks Off.” There is a short delay afterwards. “Charlie’s having a little trouble with his tom-tom” he says before the band launch into “Gimme Shelter” which sounds especially nasty in this distorted recording. The band are so wrapped up in the groove that Jagger forgets where they are in the set list. “We’re gonna do a blues for you,” probably thinking “Love In Vain” is next. “I know what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna get Keith up to sing for you ‘Happy.'” After playing “Sweet Virginia” several people start shouting out requests and Jagger says, in a low voice “ah it all comes in due course. All your favorites, all your favorites.” Before they play “Jumping Jack Flash” Jagger asks in an Aussie accent “are you having a good time, mate?”
The show on February 21st had a bit of problems when 5,000 fans clashed with local police resulting in 21 arrests. Three days afterwards Labor Party Immigration Minister Al Grassby said, “The Stones are an excellent example to Australian youth. I told them I was putting my faith in them and hoped they would do the right thing. I have no regrets that I let them in – yes, I went out on a limb to give them visas – to give a man a bad name and hang him is immoral and un-Australian.” This recording first surfaced on vinyl on I Think It’s Gonna Rain Again Tonight (Quick Type Records RS1 A/B/C/D) which omitted “Happy” to fit the show onto two LPs. The only compact disc title with this tape is Adelaide 1973 (Sound Of Satisfaction SOS-730220/21). DAC presents the complete show and the sound quality is actually very good. There is a bit of distortion and fuzziness but it is much more broad and powerful than the first Adelaide show and it captures the atmosphere perfectly. There is a small cut after “Midnight Rambler” but no music is lost.
The band sound much tighter and energetic as well. During “Bitch” Jagger punctuates the lyrics with lots of shouts and “goddamns.” The fourth song of the set “Gimme Shelter” sounds like the booming voice of God coming out of the clouds. “Love In Vain” is inexplicably dropped. After “Tumbling Dice” there is a moment of tuning while Jagger mentions the Nassau Coliseum. The recording is extraordinarily clear for this song and contains a unique arrangement in the beginning with Taylor playing the riff to “Downtown Suzie” several times before the first verse. They drop “Bye Bye Johnny” and play the 1969 concert staple “Little Queenie” instead. “Street Fighting Man” whips Adelaide into a frenzy and the tape ends with the closing announcement that the Stones “bid you thanks and goodnight.” DAC utilize several photos from the tour and replicate the cover of the old Quick Type Records release in the insert. Since the second Adelaide hasn’t been pressed many times, this set is worth seeking out for these two excellent performances.
There is probably a cut after “Gimme Shelter,” although DAC did a good job in covering it up.
The Nassau Coliseum comment comes right before he says “we’re gonna do a blues.” He mumbles and seems to turn away from the microphone as he says it so it is possible he is saying something else, but that is what I hear.
Three minor observations: I have the old vinyl 2-lp ‘I Think It’s Gonna Rain…’ and have not heard this release but on the vinyl there is clearly a tape cut after Tumbling Dice before which Jagger says “We’re gonna do a blues” so clearly Love in Vain was played, just not captured by the taper (flipping the tape ?). Secondly, I do not hear anything about Nassau Coliseum, where is that (just re-listened)? During that tuning segment, Mick says something about an out-of tune saxophone, but no reference to Nassau on the vinyl anyway.
Thirdly, Happy is in fact on the vinyl. Soace wouldn’t have been an issue over two lps. Indeed, side four is all bonus tracks.
Just really curious about that Nassau Coliseum ref. you mention-it’s the little things I guess…
Three very minor remarks: I have the old 2-lp vinyl set of I Think… and haven’t heard this release but there is certainly a cut in the tape after Tumbling Dice before which Jagger says “We’re gonna do a blues” so I’m sure Love in Vain was performed, just not captured by the taper (flipping the tape ?). Secondly, I hear no reference at all to Nassau Coliseum, where is that ? Mick refers, during their tuning up, to an “out of tune saxophone” but I’m missing the Nassau remark unless it’s just not on the vinyl, which would seem odd.
Finally, Happy is indeed on the vinyl-there would have been no lack of space issue. Indeed, side four is made up of bonus tracks. Just for the sake of complete accuracy…
DAC-082’s inclusion of the 2-21-73 Adelaide show is the real highlight here punctuating a vintage Stones performance in full throttle.