Oakland 2013 (no label)
Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA – May 5th, 2013
Disc 1 (67:51) Get Off Of My Cloud, It’s Only Rock’n Roll, Live With Me, Paint It Black, Gimme Shelter, Little Red Rooster (with Tom Waits), Dead Flowers, Emotional Rescue, All Down The Line, Doom And Gloom, One More Shot, Honky Tonk Women
Disc 2 (79:21) Band Introductions, Before They Make Me Run (Keith), Happy (Keith), Midnight Rambler (with Mick Taylor), Miss You, Start Me Up, Tumbling Dice, Brown Sugar, Sympathy For The Devil, (encores) You Can’t Always Get What You Want (San Jose State University Choraliers), Jumping Jack Flash, Satisfaction
The Rolling Stones have a long history playing in Oakland with one of the most infamous bootlegs of all time “ Live’r Than You’ll Ever Be” recorded by Dub Taylor in 1969, in the very same venue as this recording, for the old TMoQ label when it was known as the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum.
Now named the Oracle Arena this show was only the second performance in the short 50 and Counting tour. The No Name label utilizes a complete EX- audience recording which is very clear and well balanced. There is a little more of the hollow echo you get with a typical audience recording and Charlie’s drums have a little more boominess to them than the excellent Washington show recording I reviewed earlier. While not of the same quality as the Washington show I am really nitpicking here as this is a very enjoyable tape to listen to.
There is actually another silver disc release for this show but you would have to buy THE ROLLING STONES – 21 SHOWS PART 1 – FIRST PART OF THE ’50 & COUNTING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR 2013 (14-CD + 1-DVD BOX WLR RECORDS) set to get it. I do not have this ambitious box set, from the prolific Wonderland label, so have no idea if it is the same source as there is more than one audience recording for this show circulating amongst collectors.
Borrowing from Mercury News reporter Jim Harrington May 5th review of the concert.
“The 50 and Counting Tour is fairly stripped-down affair, at least by Stones standards, featuring just a giant video screen in back of a lip-shaped stage and a catwalk that loops through the crowd. It put the focus squarely on the band — and the inadequacies of the band as it exists in 2013.
The show began with a video montage celebrating the band’s 50th anniversary, which actually occurred last year. Iggy Pop, Perry Farrell, Martin Scorsese and other famous fans talked about the band’s music. The best line belonged to Johnny Depp: “They are great songs to do bad things to.””
After the usual “Sympathy for the Devil” inspired drum intro the band starts out with a lively version of “Get Off of My Cloud” followed by the tour standard “It’s Only Rock N Roll” which for some reason the band really struggled getting together on this tour. Keith stumbles slightly on the opening riff and the band hesitates for a second but they right themselves and give a very competent version all things considered.
All is going smoothly with nice renditions of “Live with Me” and “Paint it Black” when things completely fall apart with a complete train wreck version of “Gimme Shelter”. I have found this tours version of my favorite Stones song to be a weak link in just about every show I have heard it played but the band completely butchers the song in this show. Starting with Keith’s weak and out of tune opening riff the band gets completely lost half way through the song with the members out of step with each other. It is so bad it sounds like they are all playing different songs. They finally recover for the closing signature riff but, as much as I love this song, it is painful for me to hear them play it now and makes me wish they would retire it from shows if and when the tour picks up again.
The band rights the ship and recovers nicely on the next two songs which were the highlight of the whole concert for me. They start out with an energetic expertly played version of “Little Red Rooster” with surprise guest Tom Waits adding some spicy backing vocals. While his singing is an acquired taste for some the Stones picked the perfect song for his gravelly voice to complement.
The band keeps the momentum going with an excellent version of “Dead Flowers” with some silky lap steel guitar playing from Ronnie. For me this concert is worth having for this song alone.
The rest of the concert is the standard set list of the classic warhorses, two new songs and Keith’s two song solo performances all competently played but there was nothing that really stood out for me.
Even tonight’s version of “Midnight Rambler” seemed a little flat and rushed to me but it is always a treat to hear Mick Taylor play with the Stones even if it did not have the magic of some of the versions from later in the tour.
This is another quality release from the No Name label which comes in the usual double jewel case with glossy inserts and a sticker claiming “limited edition” with the edition number.
I found the performance to be average at best but with the excellent sound quality and well played rare performances of “Little Red Rooster” and “Dead Flowers” this would make a nice addition to any Stones fans collection.