Rolling Stones UK tour review: 'The one and only rock and roll band' conquer London with astounding flair

A 66,000 strong crowd gathered on a warm May evening to pay tribute to their idols

Jane Hall Wallace
Thursday 24 May 2018 08:31
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And so the Rolling Stones came home to London. To conquer and vanquish any doubts about their eternal youth and vigour in their later years.

At the London Stadium with this one and only rock and roll band, it is possible to see all of music poetry and art play out – we see tragedy and comedy alternate as per Shakespearean tradition – the audience is taken through highs, tender lows, laughter and jubilation, at a show delivered with a flair that astounds and delights.

Mick Jagger is omnipresent, bursting on to the enormous stage in a silver, black and red jacket

This 66,000 strong crowd of fans gather on a warm May evening to pay tribute to their idols. Mick Jagger is omnipresent, bursting on to the enormous stage in a silver, black and red jacket to the rumbling strains of “Street Fighting Man”, moving directly into “It’s Only Rock ’N’ Roll” then soothing us with “Tumbling Dice”, prompting roars with those opening notes of “Paint it Black”.

They raise the tempo with the drawn-out chant of “You Can’t always Get What You Want”, which lasts almost 16 minutes sung with the crowd.

Jagger is by now stripped down to his black rhinestone shirt hanging loosely on his skinny frame; Keith Richards resplendent in his turquoise green top with matching trainers – the colour of the waters in Turks and Caicos, which has been his beach retreat over the years. Those dark eyes flash, he watches everyone in the crowd as he strums his Fender Telecaster, his image mirrored, giantlike, on a huge plasma screen.

The time tested method of Ronnie Wood’s pairing with Richards – the weaving double-playing – makes for the best guitar music in the business, through “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Brown Sugar”, before things get serious on “Gimme Shelter”. Darryl Jones holds down the beat with his bass on “Satisfaction”. Even Charlie Watts looks happy and smiling.

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