The Rolling Stones – Boston Orpheum Theatre 2002 (No Label)

The Rolling Stones, ‘Boston Orpheum Theatre 2002’ (No Label)
Disc One – Intro / Jumping Jack Flash / You Got Me Rocking / All Down The Line / Brand New Car / Parachute Woman / Dance Part. 1 / Everybody Needs Somebody To Love / Heart Of Stone / Going To A Go-Go / Love Train / band introductions / Slipping Away / Before They Make Me Run / It’s Only Rock N’ Roll (71:09)
Disc Two – Rock Me Baby (With Buddy Guy) / Hand Of Fate / Can’t You Hear Me Knocking / Honky Tonk Women / Start Me Up / Brown Sugar / Tumbling Dice (42:52)
Live at Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA, USA. 8th September, 2002.While it’s  still incredible to think that the Stones are still rolling, it was incredible to think that most of us were bewildered that they were still a touring concern all of twenty years ago on what was their fortieth year of being a band. The subsequent tour was therefore going to be more than a special occasion.
Dropping in at the Orpheum in Boston, the band were eager on this tour to get a little closer to the fans – This comparably tiny venue for the band, was chosen for it’s history – both architecturally and musically – there are a handle of great reviews on the IORR site regards it’s rich dealings with bands and artists new and old so there’s a link to send you there for those reviews. It would be, suffice to say, the best place to be on a Sunday night.

Concerning the releases of this special date, there has been a small smattering of releases on silver disk including Free As A Boot’s ‘Club Show’, the ‘Licks 2002 US Canada Tour – The Theatre Shows’, as a Wonderland boxed set and ’65 Licks’ on the Vinyl Gang label – parts of the show have appeared on the Crystal Cat compilation, ‘Ultra Rare Lips Vol. 1’ and Mighty Diamond’s, ‘Going To A Go-Go – Live Licks 2002’.

The inclusion of a block of covers just for this date makes the club show special – Versions of ‘Going To A Go-Go’, ‘Soul Train’ and the big crowd responder, ‘Everybody Needs Somebody To Love’ – While they’ve been played through out the Stones career previous, for them to get bundled up all in one career spanning show would have been quite the gig to have been in attendance at. Perilously close to over-shadowing the regular set, these covers are still lapped up by the crowd – In the instance of ‘Love Train‘, there’s the addition of an extra chorus, as per the IORR reviews by eye-witnesses above, Mick’s excitement in whipping up the crowd lead to Keith taking off his guitar, only to have to strap it back on quickly, to join the rest of the band in this extended rendition. The rest of the show takes a blues edge along side – ‘Brand New Car’, ‘Parachute Woman’, ’Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’ and ’Tumbling Dice’ all feed the little club vibe.  Their duo with Buddy Guy, ‘Rock Me Baby’ is some of the meanest blues all night. The lesser played, ‘Hand Of Fate’ is wonderful.

This new No label release features the same master that Vinyl Gang used for their CD set, however, this version though has had less compression applied – with the advent of the computer bootlegger, the No Label gang were suggesting that a little bit of life was sucked from the recording and so they ensured that the production that was always considered “best” has now been revamped and retooled closer to it’s original lively sound. I haven’t got the VGP set to hand to compare and contrast but the ambience of the concert is a lovely, warm, close vibe – Starting with the bluesy opening track that drifts through the stereo as the show starts – It’s a lovely, wide sound that puts you right in the centre of the crowd though, curiously, the band are a tad muffled at there start before the sound-levels spread out a little bit more through the capture – It’s still a killer recording.
The covers are very attractive here – Keeping within the gold on black style that the label have chosen for this tour with some audience and pro-shots mixed together on the inserts. The title and the track listings are nice and easy to read, even down to the smaller ’supporting cast’ text on the back. The silkscreened disks are also top-notch in appearance.

As the smaller clubs now seem to be out of the realm of touring for the Stones (Prove me wrong, boys!) this pick-up is the closest we’ll get the Stones congregating in for a venue now. So such a hot – literally! – show in such close proximity is one to be cherished.


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