New York Palladium (Exile EXM-005A/B)
Palladium, New York, NY – June 19th, 1978
Disc 1 (40:45): Let It Rock, All Down the Line, Honky Tonk Women, Starfucker, When the Whip Comes Down, Respectable, Miss You, Just My Imagination
Disc 2 (47:49): Far Away Eyes, Love In Vain, Beast of Burden, Shattered, Sweet Little Sixteen, Tumbling Dice, Happy, Brown Sugar, Jumping Jack Flash, Don’t Look Back (Mick joining Peter Tosh)
With all the publicity surrounding Some Girls and with “Miss You” being a mega-hit, the Rolling Stones’ only New York show on the tour was at the 3,300 capacity Palladium. This was a homecoming of sorts since they played the venue (then called The Academy Of Music) on their second US tour in 1964 and five more times in 1965.
The Palladium show wasn’t publicized but rumor was they would play a small nightclub or theater. Listeners to WNEW were told that, if they wanted to see the show, they had to send a postcard to the station. When tickets were delivered they had no date or venue listed and winners weren’t informed of the details until the day before the show. In attendance were Paul McCartney and Bob Marley, whose former band mate Peter Tosh opened the show.
The choice in venues for the New York metropolitan region with this and a show at the Capitol Theater in Passaic caused much discussion. John Rockwell, writer for the New York Times, published two separate articles on the matter (“Some Rock Groups Are Thinking Small; Thinking Small” on June 18th and “The Pop Life” on June 23rd). Rockwell began his review of the show by stating: “SAY what you will about the wisdom of the Rolling Stones’ tour itinerary this year, the band’s concert at the 3,386-seat Palladium Monday night was a remarkable, inspiring evening of rock-and-roll. Most people who love the Stones in this area weren’t able to get in. But those who did won’t soon forget the experience.”
New York Palladium was released in 2005 and is thus far the only silver edition of this show. It is a good to very good audience tape that captures the electric atmosphere in the Palladium that night very well. The high frequencies are emphasized over the bass and there are instances of distortion in some louder parts. It isn’t the best recording but it is a good record of a very rare show. Exile did not overmaster the tape as they tend to sometimes do. Their work is very light and subtle and enhances the tape rather than ruins it.
At the start of the tape the mc can be heard saying: “We’ve done something that’s gonna happen at the end of the show, probably during ‘Brown Sugar.’ This is an old opera house and the chandelier hasn’t been lit in thirty-two years. And when I found out the Stones were gonna play here I sent a team of engineers and stagehands and electricians and we lowered the chandelier and we cleaned it up…and we’re gonna light it when they play ‘Brown Sugar.'” After a cut in the tape he is audible saying: “…and those of you here tonight know there are no rumors. So, let’s get it on!! The Stones are here!!”
What follows from the Stones is the standard tour set with no surprises but the tone and atmosphere are just electric. The audience are extremely reactive to the music such as sending out a tremendous cheer when Jagger mentions New York City in “Honky Tonk Woman.”
With “When The Whip Comes Down” starts the Some Girls set, where they play seven out of the ten new songs (broken up only by “Love In Vain” in the middle). Many by the recorder keep requesting “Miss You” and finally get an eight minute long version of the dance number right after Mick reminiscence about their appearance there in 1964. After “Just My Imagination” Mick says, “even though we’re in the city we’re gonna play a country number” as an introduction to “Far Away Eyes.”
Mick sounds a bit defensive and apologetic for playing so much new material in the middle of the show. Before “Beast Of Burden” he explains, “We’re doing the new songs for you. I like playing the old ones but I really like the new ones. We’ll play as many as we know, the new ones.” Jagger introduces the last Some Girls songs of the set “Shattered” by saying “I’ve been shat on; shit on; stomped on; fucked on all over every part of town.” The show closes with “Brown Sugar” (and the audience yell when the chandelier is turned on) and a long version of “Jumping Jack Flash.”
The bonus track comes from the opening Peter Tosh set when Jagger joined him onstage for “Don’t Look Back.” This is something he did at most stops in the tour and even helped him out when Tosh appeared on “Saturday Night Live” on NBC in December. New York Palladium is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with various tour pictures on the inserts. There are many better sounding tapes from this tour in circulation but few really capture the magic of an intimate Stones show at one of their commercial peaks as this one.