Rolling Stones – Pontiac’s Rebellion (Dog N Cat DAC-076)


Pontiac’s Rebellion (Dog N Cat DAC-076)

Silverdome, Pontiac, MI – November 30, 1981

Disc 1:  Take The A Train, Under My Thumb, When The Whip Comes Down, Let’s Spend The Night Together, Shattered, Neighbours, Black Limousine, Just My Imagination, Twenty Flight Rock, Going To A Go-Go, Let Me Go, Time Is On My Side, Beast Of Burden, Waiting On A Friend, Let It Bleed 

Disc 2:  You Can’t Always Get What You Want, band introductions, Little T & A, Tumbling Dice, She’s So Cold, Hang Fire, Miss You, Honky Tonk Women, Brown Sugar, Start Me Up, Jumping Jack Flash, Satisfaction, Star Spangled Banner

Pontiac’s Rebellion is Dog N Cat’s version of the recently surfaced November 30, 1981 Detroit tape from the DIR archives, following Detroit 1981 (no label) and Union Jack Flash (White Widow).  DAC is similar to Silver Dome 1981 (IMP-022-N) by having the opening “Take The A Train” and “Under My Thumb” are in stereo and not mono.  Some sources claim the 2LP bootlegs Ride Like The Wind (RSSG) and Going To A Go Go (STCD 1042), and their compact disc copies Fever In The Funkhouse Vol. 1 (Golden Stars LACD 1001) and Fever In The Funkhouse Vol. 2 (Golden Stars LACD 1002) contain a radio broadcast of this tape.  However this concert, although taped by DIR, was never broadcast and the above-mentioned titles really use the radio broadcast from the following evening’s show.  There is an audience recording of this concert but, except for some small cd-r releases, has not been in general circulation.  Several years ago Dog N Cat released complete soundboards for both Pontiac shows on Going To A Go-Go (DAC-034).  The sound quality of Pontiac’s Rebellion is very clear and with the same quality as other tapes from the archives.  It is compressed and very top heavy favoring the upper frequencies.  There are some problems with the source for the “Take The A-Train” and the beginning of “Under My Thumb,” but clears up during the first track.  Two songs, “Waiting On A Friend” and “Start Me Up” are not on this tape and the label edit in the soundboard source for completeness. 

November 30th was also videotaped for “Inside & Out,” a short-lived entertainment television magazine show with host Rona Barrett.  In addition to taping a backstage interview with Jagger, clips from “Jumping Jack Flash,” “Satisfaction,” “Waiting On A Friend,” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” were shown on the show’s broadcast on December 5th.  The concert gets off to a slow start and the first five songs lack the fun characteristic of this tour.  “I woke up this morning and got the shidoobees so bad” Mick says before a messy version of “Shattered.”  At fifty-seven seconds he comes in with “laughter, joy, and loneliness” two beats too early.  At one minute thirteen seconds, while he is singing “all this chitter chatter” he stops abruptly and Keith rescues the song with an unplanned guitar break.  “I usually watch TV around ten o’clock” he says afterwards.  From this point the show improves considerably and they deliver an impressive version of “Neighbours.”  The set lists for this tour are very long, but they also include several times where the band let loose and jam, stretching songs to longer lengths than usual.  “Just My Imagination” reaches ten minutes with the band supporting saxophonist Ernie Watts as he plays every imaginable night-club riff he can think of.  Two more cover tunes follow, Eddie Cochran’s “Twenty Flight Rock” and a second Motown hit “Going To A Go-Go,” a later addition to the set list.  

“Let Me Go” from the criminally underrated Emotional Rescue follows, but the mix sounds strange.  It sounds like the engineers couldn’t decide if they wanted to emphasize the guitars or the saxophones.  There is some nasty feedback during “Beast Of Burden” distracting from an otherwise excellent performance of the Some Girls piece.  “Waiting On A Friend,” coming from the soundboard, sounds much  more constricted since the audience sound far off in the distance.  The performance of this song in the second half of this tour are outstanding as Watts improves upon Sonny Rollins’ original saxophone melody in the song.  “Let It Bleed” made its live debut on this tour twelve years after it was originally released.  The Detroit audience cheers the lines, “there will always be a space in  my parking lot / when you need a little coke and sympathy.”  “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is the second epic played, stretching over nine minutes with more saxophone solos weaving in and out of the guitars.  Jagger tries to get the crowd to sing along and the band even play soft at points to let the audience hear themselves singing the chorus.  After the band introduction Keith sings his number “Little T & A” and the rest of the show is full of an inconsistent playing of the hits.  The newer songs like “Hang Fire” from Tattoo You and “She’s So Cold” from Emotional Rescue sound great, but “Honky Tonk Women” and “Brown Sugar” seem to crawl across the stage.  Thankfully the final song of the set “Jumping Jack Flash” is impressive as the band extend the song to the seven-minute mark.  There is a full two and a half minutes of cheering (uncut on this recording) before the Stones come back out to play the encore “Satisfaction” which is likewise extended past the six minute mark.  Pontiac’s Rebellion is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with nifty photos on the artwork.  Given DAC’s usual fat mastering of the bottom end, this version stands out above the other labels who have released this tape in quick succession.   (GS)

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