Wembley 1999 2nd Night (no label)
Wembley Stadium, London, England – June 12th, 1999
Disc 1 (69:33): Opening, Jumping Jack Flash, You Got Me Rocking, Bitch, Respectable, Gimme Shelter, Angie, Honky Tonk Women, Saint Of Me, Out Of Control, Paint It Black, Band Introduction, Thief In The Night, Before They Make Me Run
Disc 2 (66:49): Opening, Route 66, Like A Rolling Stone, Midnight Rambler, Sympathy For The Devil, Tumbling Dice, It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll, Start Me Up, Brown Sugar, Satisfaction
After the early 1999 No Security tour of America, The Rolling Stones played a 12 date European Bridges To Babylon tour. Two shows were booked for the 70,000 capacity Wembley Stadium in London. The first, June 11th, was a complete sell-out while the second show on June 12th was a near sell-out. These were the biggest shows of the summer.
The June 12th show has been pressed on silver before by Vinyl Gang on Over Wembley (VGP-226) and discs three and four of The Complete Wembley 1999 Performances (RR 028/29/30/31). The no label Wembley 1999 2nd Night utilizes a previously unavailable stereo audience tape. It sounds very close to the stage and has a wonderful live atmosphere, picking up all the detail from the stage. It is close to being a perfect recording of the show.
The performance itself received generally positive reviews from attendees posting their reflection on the IORR website. One calls it “Wembley 2 did feel better in the beginning, but again the setlist was rather disappointing. Another tourist show with ‘Bitch,’ ‘Angie’ and ‘Thief in the Night’ this time.” Another states that it’s “no nostalgia in the show … the usual set – in security they play the crowd pleasers and the enthusiastic crowd is singing and jumping. No special songs or words are dedicated to their hometown except Keith is bit proud to survive even the Stadium.”
The show begins with the common Bridge To Babylon tour openers, “Jumping Jack Flash” and, after Mick Jagger greets the audience, “You Got Me Rocking.” The first night in Wembley they followed with “Live With Me,” but this night they follow with “Bitch.”
“How are you doing? You didn’t get too wet in that shower? Here’s something you’ll never be: Respectable!” jokes Jagger. The Some Girls track is just as energetic as “Bitch” and keeps the audience humming along. But things slow down slightly with “Gimme Shelter.” It is a song that never loses its power, and Lisa Fischer gives an energetic performance, hitting some painfully high notes. “Take a bow, Lisa Fischer” Jagger yells afterwards.
The sad song “Angie” from Goats Head Soup is played in lieu of “Ruby Tuesday” from the previous night. Opening act Sheryl Crow joins the band onstage for “Honky Tonk Women.” The song is dominated by a honky tonk piano, giving a new dimension to the old song.
Following “Honky Tonk Women” are the new songs from Bridges To Babylon. “Saint Of Me,” despite its subject matter, is very breezy, fun, and catchy. So much so that, when the band finish the song, the audience continue singing the chorus forcing the band to join in again.
“Out Of Control” also works very well onstage as a live piece. The subdued melody, the creepy organ, sultry saxophone along with Jagger’s harp build into a nice crescendo broken by the guitar duel of Richards and Wood. Where “Saint Of Me” is a bit too self-referential to be totally taken seriously, “Out Of Control” shares characteristics with the classics Stones at their most menacing and biting.
After Jagger introduces the band, Richards comes up to sing his two song set. Instead of singing “You Got The Silver” from Let It Bleed as he did in the first Wembley show, he chooses the contemporary “Thief In The Night” from Bridges To Babylon. “Before They Make Me Run” is the second song, before they move to the B-stage.
The B-stage set is the same as the previous night. “Route 66,” a near constant in their live repertoire since the beginning, is the first song. A cover of the Bob Dylan song “Like A Rolling Stone” follows. There have been comments regarding their selection of this song. There is the connection with the name of the band mentioned in the title, but were the Stones trying to say they are victims of blind hubris? Perhaps there is some thematic link between the Dylan song and the tunes on Bridges To Babylon, or maybe it’s gallows humor by the band. Either way, it’s a nice touch and something they wouldn’t repeat in the future.
The final part of the show also remains standard with “Sympathy For The Devil,” “Tumbling Dice,” “It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll,” “Start Me Up,” “Brown Sugar” and the encore “Satisfaction.”
The cover features a long shot of the Wembley stage with the band members standing, looking very somber, superimposed over the stage. Wembley 1999 2nd Night is worth having because of the great sound quality, the exceptional performance in front of the home crowd, and for the current paucity if Bridges To Babylon era Stones titles.