The Rolling Stones – Moonlight Highlight (Glimmer Twins Records G.T.- 008/9)


Moonlight Highlight (Glimmer Twins Records G.T.-008/9) 

First Union Center, Philadelphia, PA – March 15th, 1999

Disc 1 (64:44):  Jumping Jack Flash, Bitch, You Got Me Rocking, Respectable, Honky Tonk Woman, Moonlight Mile, Saint Of Me, Some Girls, Paint It Black, Before They Make Me Run, Thief In The Night, Out Of Control

Disc 2 (47:45):  Route 66, When The Whip Comes Down, Midnight Rambler, Tumblin’ Dice, It’s Only Rock And Roll, Start Me Up, Brown Sugar, Sympathy For The Devil

On the No Security tour The Rolling Stones played two nights in Philadelphia on March 15th and 16th.  The first Philly show was the first to yield a professional recording.  It’s referred to as a soundboard according to some sources, but in reality it’s an ALD broadcast for the hearing impaired.  It was posted online and quickly copied on Walking in the Moonlight (VGP-219) and on Moonlight Highlight on Glimmer Twins.

The quality between the two silver titles are comparable.  Some say the Vinyl Gang is a bit more clear.  The recording is tough to endure.  It’s unbalanced with the emphasis on vocals and drums, and at times unbalanced since the left channel sounds weak.  There are some patches of static from the transmission and there are cuts after “Paint It Black” eliminating a bit of the band introduction, one at the end of “Thief In The Night” cutting out the end, and one between between “Start Me Up” and “Brown Sugar.”

Reviews of the shows state that the show starts off with a lot of energy which snowballs in the middle of the set resulting in one of the better No Security shows.  The tape, even through the rough recording, definitely conveys that.  Jagger’s assertion that “it feels good, it feels right, it feels relaxing” before “You Got Me Rocking” is quite accurate.  And sincere.  The Voodoo Lounge song never sounded more exotic and strange than on this tour.  

“Respectable” sounds rote by comparison.  What is one of their must punk-oriented songs sounds very tired and uninspiring in this show.  However, “Moonlight Mile” is a chance for the Stones to “slow down and make it more romantic.”  It is the new songs to this tour such as this which give the weight for the performance.

The reaction from the audience is very loud and boisterous (common in Philly) and before “Saint Of Me” Jagger tell them:  “you sound in pretty good voice tonight, you feel like singing on the end of the next one?”  One review on IORR states that this song “floundered” with Jagger trying to get the audience going by running out onto the ramp.  The audio sounds fine, however, as it does also for a very vicious rendition of “Some Girls,” the other new songs added to the No Security repertoire.

Charlie Watt’s drums sound massive for “Paint It Black.”  Keith has his two numbers, “Before They Make Me Run” and “Thief In The Night” and is joined by Woody’s daughter on backing vocals.  “Out Of Control” closes the first half of the show and is extremely dramatic.  

The b-stage set starts off with the cover “Route 66.”  There is a short delay afterwards since they try to figure out what to play.  “Talk among yourselves for a moment” Keith tells the audience before deciding on “When The Whip Comes Down.”  A concise version of “Midnight Rambler” closes the short set.

During “It’s Only Rock And Roll” Jagger adds the line “do you think you’re the only pussy in Philadelphia?”  And at the beginning of “Start Me Up” Keith stretches out the opening notes to create tension and drama.  A racous version of “Brown Sugar” closes the show.  During the horn section’s jamming in the middle Jagger can be heard saying:  “get down Philadelphia…get down with Brown Sugar, party down party down…party like it’s 1999.”

“Sympathy For The Devil” is the encore.  A review observed how a member of the audience jumped on the walkway to the b-stage and started dancing and then dove into the crowd. Again, another reason why Philly audiences are unique in their appreciation of the Stones.  Overall this is a very good document to have from the tour.  Moonlight Highlight is a good, affordable alternative to the expensive and hard to find Vinyl Gang edition of the same show. 

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