Rolling Stones – Philadelphia (Dress Rehearsals) Special 1 (SODD 097/098/099)

Philadelphia (Dress Rehearsals) Special 1 (SODD 097/098/099)

JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, PA – August 28th, 1989

Disc 1 (56:03):  Start Me Up, Bitch, Shattered, Sad Sad Sad, Undercover of the Night, Harlem Shuffle, Miss You, Tumbling Dice, Ruby Tuesday, Play With Fire, Dead Flowers

Disc 2 (52:51):  One Hit (To The Body), Mixed Emotions, Honky Tonk Woman, Rock and a Hard Place, Midnight Rambler, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Little Red Rooster

Disc 3 (54:00):  Before They Make Me Run, Happy, Paint it Black, 2000 Light Years From Home, Sympathy for the Devil, Gimme Shelter, It’s Only Rock and Roll, Brown Sugar, Satisfaction, Jumpin’ Jack Flash

As good as the Stones were live, it is the rehearsal material that provides much greater insight into their creativity.  Many, such as Woodstock 1978, Dallas ’72 and Toronto ’98 are enjoyable listening experiences while others, such as Surrey 1968 and the 1978 Saturday Night Live rehearsals are quite rusty.  But the Philadelphia 1989 tapes, when they first surfaced, are unique for they contain two dress rehearsals of the Steel Wheelsshow.  They are both excellent quality soundboard recordings with really nice balance and clarity. 

Both shows were released in five disc box set called Dead Man Cumming (The Eternal Records RSCDX 610/624 055-2) in 2000 but they attributed this tape as coming from RFK Stadium in Washington DC on September 23rd.  SODD applied their remastering to boost the upper frequencies.  

The set list is the same for both rehearsals, which is also the same one used for the opening night in Veterans Stadium.  They were preparing for their first live show in seven years and wanted to have a tight and slick performance.  In keeping with the philosophy of Mick’s solo tours, the Steel Wheelstour would feature strict studio arrangements of the hits, and a Broadway show’s worth of lighting, sound and staging cues.  During the rehearsal you can hear Mick telling the lighting crew after “Ruby Tuesday” for example.  Since there have been infrequent releases of these tapes, Philadelphia (Dress Rehearsals) Special 1 fills a considerable void and is recommended.    

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