Pop: Back to basics
ROLLING STONES SHEPHERD'S BUSH EMPIRE LONDON
Still, some things require a little dedication, and the chance to see The Greatest Rock'n'Roll Band In The World without the aid of binoculars won out in the end. Even if it meant enduring the drunken swell of the downstairs moshpit, Ronnie Wood having apparently bagsied the entire balcony for his family and friends. A popular chap, obviously.
Before the show, expectations naturally ran high. Would they just transfer their stadium set to the smaller stage, or, unshackled from the computerised schedule of props and lights, take the opportunity to do something different? Who knows, maybe they might be inspired by the intimacy to revert to their origins - come out of the blocks with "Come On", and lead us through a glorious celebration of their tyro majesty? Wouldn't that be great?
It would indeed. So when they finally appeared, they opened with "Shattered". That's right, "Shattered". You must remember it - it's on, er, that would be Emotional Rescue? No, Some Girls, that's it. This night, apparently, would not be a greatest hits show. Which was fine in principle - particularly since it offered a rare opportunity to hear "I Got the Blues" in its full Southern-soul splendour, burnished by a horn section led by Bobby Keys. It was somewhat less welcome, though, for the undistinguished "Melody", never performed live before; if it was a toss-up between this and "Honky Tonk Women", you thought, they had made the wrong choice.
It wasn't, though. "Honky Tonk Women" duly appeared, an enjoyably ramshackle affair despite the occasional mistiming of the interlocking push/pull guitar figures that drive the song along. The Stones brand of rock'n'roll is heavily dependent on the devil-may-care looseness which Keith and Ronnie have come to exemplify; here, they pushed that paradox about as far as it could go without disintegrating entirely.
The show drew to a close with the welcome familiarity of "Tumblin' Dice", "Brown Sugar" and an encore of "Jumpin' Jack Flash", all featuring extended codas, during which Mick energetically essayed his own berserk semaphore as the crowd sang along joyously. The closest they got to their roots all evening was a brisk, brash run down "Route 66" and, if rumours are to be believed, it may be the last time - yes, yes, I know - that they make that particular journey. I hope not: for like the road itself, they remain an evocative, talismanic reminder of a more rugged, pioneering era.
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Rashida Jones speaks out against male-centric porn saying 'women should have sex and feel good about it'
Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
Game of Thrones really doesn't want Danny Dyer - EastEnders star rejected three times
Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
The secret joke hidden in Silence of the Lambs' most famous line
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures