Tonight the Rolling Stones pitched up at a club in the north of Paris for an impromptu secret gig and rocked the house to its foundations.
600 lucky fans packed into the tiny La Trabendo rock club to witness Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood launch through a quick-fire barrage of hits, as well as one or two surprises.
After rehearsing in Paris and recording two new belters, ‘Doom and Gloom’ and ‘One More Shot’, as soon as the band hit the stage it was obvious they were out to have a good time and to celebrate five decades of treading the boards.
Right from the start, The Stones went back to their Marquee Club roots and launched into ‘Route 66’. Mick bantered with the crowd in French whilst Keith Richards cranked out his bluesy licks on ‘It’s Only Rock and Roll’. Then the twin guitars of Ronnie Wood and Keith trading on the Muddy Waters classic ‘Champagne and Reefer’. Charlie Watts, as always, occupied the drum riser with quietly amused dignity whilst emphasising his rock ‘n’ roll credentials throughout the set. Charlie WAS good tonight.
With long term keyboardist Chuck Leavell and bass player Darryl Jones also in tow, the Rolling Stones tore through a set which included ‘Miss You’, ‘Tumbling Dice’, Start Me Up’, ‘Midnight Rambler’ and ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ and the live debut of new single ‘Doom and Gloom’.
Mick Jagger was all frenetic energy, strutting around the stage and working the crowd, whilst his Glimmer Twin Keith Richards proved he is a master guitar player, effortlessly throwing shapes, laughing and joking with the band, foot stomping as always, as he turned out classic riffs. Hissidekick Ronnie shone throughout but especially through the funk of ‘Miss You’.
This was the Rolling Stones stripped bare, a fast rattle through the Stones’ catalogue, drawing upon five decades worth of material, all sounding as fresh as ever.
The crowd – who only paid 15 Euros for their tickets- went wild as the Stones came back on stage for an encore of ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ and ‘Brown Sugar’…a hot and sweaty night, the Stones back where they belong.
They came to Paris, they played, they conquered…and after an hour’ set, they were gone.
Whilst thousands will witness the band on their four arena shows in London and New York later this year, few will get to experience the Stones deliver in such an intimate, sweaty environment – it was a night to remember.
It’s Only Rock and Roll
When The Whip Comes Down
Champagne and Reefer
Doom and Gloom
Start Me Up
Jumping Jack Flash
Route 66 was right on. Keith was strong on the solo. Just great.
It’s Only Rock’n Roll with lots of smoke on stage. Too much. I wanted to see the band, and all I saw was smoke. But they sounded great. And again Keith did a great, great solo. I was wondering if Keith would do this through the show. Normally he is saving the best for the last.
Shattered : Mich is throwing his black jacket. He has got thre layers of cloths and he is now down to two. He is moving around like a madman on Manhattan, and it seems like is is on some sort of youth pill. I do know Mick would be on a pention plan by now, if he was a regular worker on a payroll, but this is not the average Mick. Ronnie is doing a great solo by the way.
When The Whip Comes Down: Mick with guitar. Ronnie pushed forward to the front of the stage by Mick. Mick and Keith at the back with Charlie, sharing the moment in an unforgettable silent “eye by eye contact” saying how great this is.
Champaign And Reefer: Keith is using the same black Gibson for the first five songs. Darryl has got a microphone, he is singing at times, Chuck is doing more singing. There are only 6 guys on stage, like in the 60’s. No backup musicians. No horns or saxophone. Just the Stones. And it is sounding great. This is a blues classic and it is again great.
Doom And Gloom: May be I had too high expectations for this one. I loved it in th studio version, and was sure it would be a classic live song. But it was more of a standard. I was missing the little extra we get on the monster songs like “Gimme Shelter” and “Street Fighting Man”. It was more like “Oh No …”. A good new song mut nothing outstanding.
Miss You: Mick on guitar with open tuning. Darryl doing an amazing solo playing. Mick harmonica. Ronnie solo. Perfect!
Tumbling Dice: Yes! It can be done without brass, and it is great! Keith is sharp and great, Ronnie is taking care of the solo playing.
Start Me Up: You can feel Mick is working the crowd like he is on a short contract. Onl 12 songs tonight. Lots of energy left. Working hard on the crowd, and it is easy tonight. Everybody is hands up and smiling faces as they do Start Me Up. This was just like the old days, like when Mik was just a young singer, except this is now 50 years later. I am amazed.
Midnight Rambler: If Mick was great on Start Me Up then he was outdoing himself on Rambler. Dancing, entertaining, waking up those few in the crowd who might still be a bit resistant. By now he had the crowd in his hands. And Rambler was just mmmmmmmm great!
They leave the stage. So I think this was a set of just eleven songs. Not really…
Charlie is back from behing the stage first. He is running a long drumroll while waiting for his band mates.
Jumping Jack Flash: Strong, fast, short, tight, feeling the show is coming to a sad end all too soon.
Brown Sugar: For the second time tonight NMick is pushing Ronnie forward to the front of the stage. What used to be a saxophone solo is now a great guitar solo done by Ronnie. This is a club show and again it is tight and short, so it feels like it is ending all too soon.
Final bow. Charlie is spotting a fan at the front row and he is actually picking up a pen and signing the cover. I can’t believe what I am seeing. The security guy is trying to signal the fact that the rest of the band is now half way to the hotel, well almost, so Charlie does this one which is great.