The Rolling Stones – Friends Arena, Stockholm 31 July 2022

8/10

In the summer of 1982, I was a thirteen-year-old boy who bought a tour t-shirt with a tongue on it. The band was called The Rolling Stones, widely described as 40-year-old “rock uncles”, most likely doing their last tour. Another 40 years later, I watch the Stones again, three of the members remain, and WHAT ENERGY they radiate. Mick Jagger seems to be in total denial of the concept of aging, as he strides across the stage at almost the same speed as once upon a time. Ron Wood and Keith Richards as always keep a lower profile, but there is no sign of fatigue either. When Richards takes over the mic halfway through to sing gems “You got the silver” and “Connection”, two out of many shivers run down my spine. Similar shivers arise, for example, from pop song “Out of time” (oddly enough not performed live before this tour), “Honky tonk women” (I am mercilessly awoken by who is actually on stage!) and when Richards start riffing the world’s best song “Midnight rambler”. The most touching moment, however, comes during “Gimme shelter”, when choir lady Sasha Allen takes the stage’s catwalk to sing her lunges out. I start crying. The tears flow. “Rape, murder, it’s just a shot away” to projections of bombed cities in Ukraine. It’s so damn strong. It is also during such events, as in “Midnight rambler”, “Sympathy for the devil” or the afore-mentioned “Gimme shelter”, that you find the essence of what The Rolling Stones are really about. Blues, soul and dark gospel. For a while in “Midnight rambler” the core of the band is gathered around the drums, as if they were playing a small club.

Do I miss anything? I read that the masterful “Can’t you hear me knocking?” was performed at a number of concerts, so its absence is disappointing. Of course, Charlie Watts is dearly missed. The opening slideshow reminds you of how important the drummer was, musically as well as visually. But his replacement Steve Jordan is fine, to say the least, and has even taken up Watts’s raise-hi-hat-stick-on-third-strike manner. I willingly admit that the band is less than tight in places. Also, the sound sways both here and there. And Ron Wood plays a very ugly electric guitar.

So – was the ticket worth its 2000 kronor (200 Euros) for front standing? F**k that! I had the time of my life.
In the summer of 2022, I am a fifty-three-year-old boy who buys a tour t-shirt with a tongue on it. The band is called The Rolling Stones, and generally feels like 80-year-old rock uncles who can last a good while longer.

Who: The Rolling Stones
Where: Friends Arena, Stockholm
When: 22-07-31
Rate: 8/10

Photos by Victor Kinnhammar

The Rolling Stones – Friends Arena, Stockholm 31 July 2022

August 2, 2022

In the summer of 1982, I was a thirteen-year-old boy who bought a tour t-shirt with a tongue on it. The band was called The Rolling Stones, widely described as 40-year-old “rock uncles”, most likely doing their last tour. Another 40 years later, I watch the Stones again, three of the members remain, and WHAT ENERGY they radiate. Mick Jagger seems to be in total denial of the concept of aging, as he strides across the stage at almost the same speed as once upon a time. Ron Wood and Keith Richards as always keep a lower profile, but there is no sign of fatigue either. When Richards takes over the mic halfway through to sing gems “You got the silver” and “Connection”, two out of many shivers run down my spine. Similar shivers arise, for example, from pop song “Out of time” (oddly enough not performed live before this tour), “Honky tonk women” (I am mercilessly awoken by who is actually on stage!) and when Richards start riffing the world’s best song “Midnight rambler”. The most touching moment, however, comes during “Gimme shelter”, when choir lady Sasha Allen takes the stage’s catwalk to sing her lunges out. I start…

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