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The Rolling Stones – Desert Trip 2016 Weekend 1 (No Label)

The Rolling Stones, “Desert Trip 2016 Weekend 1” (No Label)

Disk One; Start Me Up / You Got Me Rocking / Out Of Control / Ride ‘Em On Down / Mixed Emotions / Wild Horses / It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It) / Come Together / Tumbling Dice / Honky Tonk Women / Band introductions / Slipping Away / Little T&A (65:32)

Disk Two; Midnight Rambler / Miss You / Gimme Shelter / Sympathy For The Devil / Brown Sugar / Jumping Jack Flash / You Can’t Always Get What You Want / (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (67:47)

Disk Three; Start Me Up / You Got Me Rocking / Out Of Control / Ride ‘Em On Down / Mixed Emotions / Wild Horses / It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It) / Come Together / Tumbling Dice / Honky Tonk Women / Band introductions / Slipping Away / Little T&A (65:32)

Disk Four; Midnight Rambler / Miss You / Gimme Shelter / Sympathy For The Devil / Brown Sugar / Jumping Jack Flash / You Can’t Always Get What You Want / (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (67:47)

Empire Polo Club, Indio, CA, USA. 7th October 2016.

As mentioned in my review of Eat A Peach’s ‘Come Together’ and the many announcements made after the event, so many bootleggers jumped on the ‘Desert Trip’ wagon – I was least surprised b the No Label involvement i capturing the show for prosperity, I was only slightly more surprised by the fact that they put out a 4 CD set of the first night only – two separate audience recordings of the same show – again, without a soundboard involved, this remit might seem like a little overkill – and surely one recording should usurp the other for quality, most shows being recorded digitally nowadays rather than on tape, there is much less chance of having to flip tapes or snarl – even if that was the case, the two shows could be nipped and tucked from each other producing a complete 2 CD edition but, as this its the way that No Label have decided to produce the recordings, lets pick it apart and see what we have.

For recording one we have a clear, ever so distant sounding, stereo recording (Captured with an AT831 microphone, fact fans!) with just about enough audience noise to nudge things along through the quiet parts. It has a little crunch on it in the high end and muffles occasionally as the mike brushes against the tapers shirt or jacket. It sounds a little closer to the stage than EAPs version but also features more audience chatter too – Closer to maybe how it sounded standing in the middle of the crowd maybe, a little more natural but EAP’s version managed to clean out the hubub, coming closer to a cleaner listen.

Recording two – the same exact timings as the first recording – was captured with the Schopes MK4 microphone and has an even fuller sound, less audience noise and is closer to a board recording, less crunch and muffle and sounds a little ‘wider’ in the stereo image too. Therein lies the puzzle – If the second recording sounds so good, why bother with the initial recording? Unfortunately, my question will remain hypothetical as some (Most) will prefer the second recording and – for my money – this should have been the recording that made the set a cheaper option and a good contender for the best choice of recording from this show in comparison to the EAP version – However, the ‘Peach version can now be relied upon for the silver disk collector on a budget or the hoarder who needs this show in their collection but won’t listen to it all that often. If you’re looking for completeness and without hesitation over cost, this No Label set covers all bases, though I might suggest that you’ll really only be listening to the Schopes recording.

The covers are the No Label’s attractive if basic best – No additional cover inside, no liner notes, neat but slightly fuzzy picture disks. Again, I’ll defer my opinion towards the next review of recordings from this set but if you’re still looking for sound over substance, I recommend this set.

If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)

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