Hampton Coliseum 1978 (SV-0078A/B)
Hampton Coliseum, Hampton Roads, VA – June 21st, 1978
Disc 1 (51:09): Introduction/Let It Rock, All Down The Line, Honky Tonk Women, Starfucker, Lies, Miss You, When The Whip Comes Down, Beast Of Burden, Just My Imagination
Disc 2 (44:12): Respectable, Far Away Eyes, Love In Vain, Shattered, Sweet Little Sixteen, Tumbling Dice, Happy, Brown Sugar, Jumpin’ Jack Flash
The Rolling Stones didn’t waste much time between releasing their new songs and touring for its support. “Miss You” was released as a single on May 10th and the LP Some Girls came out on June 9th. Before the public could digest all of the new material they started touring on June 10th in Lakeland, Florida. Both single and album soon hit number one in the US, such was the strength of the new material and the excitement of the live show.
The Rolling Stones played in Hampton, Virginia, on the seventh of the twenty-five dates, about a week into the tour. Like most shows, it was captured on an audience recording and was pressed onto vinyl on Where The Green Grass Grows (SV-0078A/B) sometime in the early eighties.
Hampton Coliseum 1978 is the first silver pressed title to feature the show. It is a very good stereo recording except for “Shattered” and “Happy,” which come from fair to good mono sources. It is “top heavy,” emphasizing the upper frequencies at the expense of the bass and drums. These issues aside, it is an enjoyable document from the era.
Occurring two nights after the New York show (documented on New York Palladium (Exile EXM-005A/B)), the band are much more loose out of the scrutiny of the New York press.
The tape cuts in right when they’re introduced with “please give a sweet Virginia welcome back to the Stones” and the first song of the night, the Church Berry cover “Let It Rock.” It is interesting they open with this track. At the time it was quite obscure (appearing as a B-side to the single “Brown Sugar”), but it serves as an effective statement of intent.
They follow with several more older songs, “All Down The Line,” “Honky Tonk Woman” and a fast-paced “Star Star.”
The middle third of the show is devoted to the songs from the new album starting with “Lies,” making a return to the set after being omitted in the previous three shows in Washington, Philadelphia and New York.
“Miss You” sounds quite long and drawn out as the band jam in the middle of the track. The audience gives it the loudest ovation of the night since it is the most well known off all the new songs.
The Stones follow with a sloppy version of “When The Whip Comes Down.” Jagger sounds frustrated with the missed cues in the middle and sounds thankful when it finally ends. Covering up for the band, he thanks the “knock out crowd” before they play a great version of “Beast Of Burden.”
The new album continues with “Just My Imagination” and the punkish “Respectable.” But “Far Away Eyes” receives a much better response. Jagger goes to comic lengths in drawing out an exaggerated southern drawl. After “Love In Vain,” they play “Shattered,” the last of the Some Girls songs.
“Sweet Little Sixteen” is the second Chuck Berry cover in the set, leaving no doubt who their muse is. Following the two Exile On Main Street songs, they close with fast and aggressive versions of “Brown Sugar” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and running off stage with no encore.
With the October release of Some Girls, Live In Texas ’78 on DVD and the November release of the expanded Some Girls in November, much attention is being paid to this period in the Rolling Stones’ history. Hampton Coliseum 1978 is another excellent title worth having.