The Rolling Stones – Rainbow Springs (Dog N Cat DAC-119)

Rainbow Springs (Dog N Cat DAC-119)

Western Springs Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand – February 11th, 1973

(79:20):  Introduction, Brown Sugar, Bitch, Rocks Off, Gimme Shelter, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Love In Vain, Sweet Virginia, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, All Down The Line, Midnight Rambler, Rip This Joint, Jumping Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man

The Rolling Stones scheduled their first Australasian Tour since 1966 for February 1973.  They were supposed to play their first tour of Japan in January, but cancelled when Mick Jagger was denied a visa and all those dates plus a show in Hong Kong were all cancelled.   

The first concert was at the Western Springs Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand before moving on to Australia for several dates.  Several earlier titles contained a tape with the first eleven songs, from “Brown Sugar” to “Midnight Rambler.”  There’s Not a Friend to Help Me Through (Shaved Disc TSD019) Winter Tour Auckland 1973 (VGP-015) and on the first disc of  All Meat Music / All You Can Eat Winter Tour 1973 (VGP-055).

Rainbow Springs is the first silver release to feature the entire Auckland show, edited from two sources.  The first tape source runs from the introduction to “Midnight Rambler.”  A second source is used to patch a gap from 5:12 to 6:34 in “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and for the final three songs of the show, “Rip This Joint,” “Jumping Jack Flash” and “Street Fighting Man.”

The main recording is clear and loud but thin and emphasizes Bill Wyman’s bass, sounding almost as if it were taped in front of his monitor.  Vocals and instruments are plainly audible, and it is enjoyable.  The second source is a bit more distant and distorted and emphasizes Mick Taylor’s guitar over the other instruments.

The humid summer wreaked havoc with the show.  First, during the opening song “Brown Sugar,” the instruments sound out of tune.  It is distracting enough to make them lose their place in the middle, almost ruining the piece.

There is the threat of rain for the first half, and actual rain during the second half.  “We pray for rain” Jagger yells.  “We better get on because it’s gonna rain. We’re gonna start rocking now” he says before “All Down The Line.”  The band even shorten the set, dropping the Chuck Berry cover (either “Bye Bye Johnny” or “Little Queenie”) which is normally played after “Midnight Rambler.”

They were also facing some logistical problems by leaving some of their equipment at the hotel.  Keith Richards has to borrow an acoustic guitar for “Sweet Virgina.”  His playing is uneven, and Mick’s harp playing in that number is also out of tune.  Despite the hazards, the show isn’t a complete disaster and the audience give them a big ovation.  “You’re very kind and sweet” Jagger tells them after “Brown Sugar.” 

“You’re having a nice afternoon??” before a  scintillating version of “Bitch.”

Another highlight is “Love In Vain,” which Jagger calls “a slow blues for you so you can get miserable.”  And during “Midnight Rambler,” Jagger sings “see me shut the kitchen door” for a change.  Jagger eventually thanks the crowd for making them feel at home, “wherever that is” he jokes. 

Auckland isn’t the best show from the tour.  They were sloppy and fighting the elements.  But, Rainbow Springs is good title to have because it is the only silver pressed title with the complete show.  It is not, as predicted, “a MUST for Mick Taylor fans!!”  It is, however, a MUST for Bill Wyman fans because it does demonstrate his dexterity with the arrangement. 

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