The Rolling Stones – Light The Fuse (no label)

Light The Fuse (no label)

Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada – August 10th, 2005

(71:19):  Rough Justice, Live With Me, 19th Nervous Breakdown, She’s So Cold, Dead Flowers, Back Of My Hand, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, Band Intros, Infamy, Oh No Not You Again, Get Up Stand Up, Mr. Pitiful, Tumbling Dice, Brown Sugar, Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Low key club dates and free performances have been part of The Rolling Stones’ marketing strategy for more than forty years.  The build up to A Bigger Bang, released in September 2005, included a press conference on May 10th where they played “Oh No Not You Again,” and the first single with “Streets of Love” and “Rough Justice” released in radio edit to selected radio stations across the world on July 22.  

On August 10th the band played a small club gig in Toronto a bit more than a week before the start of A Bigger Bang tour on August 21st at Fenway Park in Boston.  Minutes after the last note was played there were pleas online (mostly on the IORR.ORG “Hot Stuff” board) begging for a tape.  Security was too tight it seems to have allowed anyone to tape the show.  But thankfully the band themselves recorded the show and finally released it seven years later.  

It is an excellent sounding, professionally mixed dynamic recording.  Little edits for time constraints (crowd noises and pauses between songs) were made but no music or talking is omitted.

According to the first IORR review, “Tickets were given out to approximately 250 people, some who waited 24 hours in line. Also, the night before at the rehearsal hall, approximately 50 tickets were given to regulars who had been hanging around the rehearsal hall for the past few weeks to see the Stones. Tickets were sold for $10 each and each person in line was allowed only 1 ticket.

“They had to provide photo ID, and were given a wrist band and ticket for their $10. When they arrive at the concert hall (which holds approximately 1,000 people), they have to provide their wrist band (which hasn’t been removed or tampered with), their ticket and their photo ID.

“The warm-up act was a band called “The Trews” from Canada. Great band. Hard hitting and fast rockers from start to finish. If there was any dust on the walls before they took stage it was all blown away when they finished. Great warm-up. Two guitars, one bass and drums. That’s all it takes to make great rock’n roll. They even played louder than the Stones!”

The tape picks up with Michael Cohl saying “I think tonight we’re all really happy about small beginnings.  And this is the start of A Bigger Bang.”

The Stones start off with the new song “Rough Justice” from the new album played live for the very first time.  Jagger flirts with the crowd, sounding very much in his element.  After “Live With Me” he introduces a new arrangement of “19th Nervous Breakdown” which might not be everyone’s cup of tea.  The original is a minor masterpiece of dramatic tension and release.  But this new arrangement is much slower, almost like a funky blues dirge.    

Two other new songs, “Back Of My Hand” with Jagger playing slide guitar and “Infamy” with Keith Richards on vocals, are also given their live debuts.  “Oh Not You Again,” the fourth and final song from A Bigger Bang was played live at the July press conference, so this is the second live performance.

“She’s So Cold” from Emotional Rescue is pulled out and given its first live performance in almost twenty-five years.  (Jagger actually remarks it’s the first time they’ve played it live, but it was a regular number in the Still Life set).  

At the show’s finale they play a cover of the Bob Marley & Peter Tosh song “Get Up, Stand Up.”  Jagger gets the audience to sing along by the end.  They follow with “Mr. Pitiful” by Otis Redding and three of their own classics, “Tumbling Dice,” “Brown Sugar” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”  

Light The Fuse is packaged in a single jewel case with cover art drawn from the Rolling Stones Archives website and a nice design on the back.  The sound quality and historical interest make this an essential title to have for the collection.  

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  1. A great recording indeed. Just got it yesterday. I agree 19th Nervous Breakdown takes a bit to get use to it.

  2. Thanks for this helpful review. And as a nice little coincidence, 2005-08-10 just happens to be Nicole Taylor’s 22nd birthday. Thanks again.


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