Scoot: The Rolling Stones don’t act their age

July 16, 2019 - 12:24 pm

The sounds and struts from Mick Jagger on stage Monday night during the “No Filter Tour’s” stop at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans jogged memories of Mick as we have always seen him for over 50 years now!  

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The crowd was diverse ranging from Baby Boomer rockers who remember when each of the classic Stones’ hits was a new release to younger generations who had a second-hand introduction to The Rolling Stones via their parents taste in music.  Some even brought their young kids - perhaps with the intent of introducing them to music they believe is better than the music coming out today.

The concert opened with a modernized version of the “Star Spangled Banner” and the opening song was a surprise.  The Stones traditionally open shows with “Street Fighting Man,” but since their much anticipated concert in New Orleans was postponed one day due to Tropical Storm Barry – The Stones appropriately opened with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” with Mick’s opening lyrics “I was born in a cross-fire hurricane.” Mick told the crowd that they are the only band in history that had “an indoor concert cancelled because of rain.”  

The ecstatic response from the audience reflected the jubilation that The Stones were finally performing in New Orleans.  Mick also made mention of the fact that they were sorry they had to cancel Jazz Fest this year.  The Stones historic Jazz Fest appearance was cancelled when Mick had to have surgery.  

Mick Jagger looked great; and while he may have slowed down a little from the maniacal Jagger of the past – he was still active with the signature stage presence that only he moves like Jagger.

Mick came out wearing tight black pants, black shoes, black shirt and a red and silver mock glitter tails coat – which didn’t last long.  Mick’s costume changes rivaled a Cher concert.  Through the night Mick wore a blue sequined jacket, a red and black jacket and did something I have never seen a superstar artist do. At one point in the show, Mick removed his jacket and was wearing a current Rolling Stones tour t-shirt with the tour dates printed on the back.  Nothing like promoting your own merchandise.  It worked because I bought that exact t-shirt after the show!

No one expected The Stones to play all of their hits because if they did the show would still be going on.  The set list included “Let’s Spend The Night Together” - which was their second song, “Tumblin’ Dice,” “Angie” – which started out acoustically, “Honky Tonk Woman,” “Paint It Black,” “Start Me Up,” “Brown Sugar.” The crowd erupted with applause when Mick sang, “Sold in the market down in New Orleans,” “Miss You” and the encore was “Gimme Shelter” and “Satisfaction.”  The Stones had fans vote on which of these four songs they should play – “Under My Thumb,” “Live With Me,” “Bitch” or “Harlem Shuffle.”  “Under My Thumb” was the winner.

The only moment of soft applause came after Keith Richards did a solo of his song, “Slipping Away.”  It was as if the audience felt a respectful obligation to respond to the iconic member of The Stones that seems to have defied the odds and is still performing.

Mick was personal with the New Orleans audience and said they had been in town since Wednesday and that New Orleans has the “best food in the U.S.!” He talked about the crawfish, jambalaya and beignets they had been enjoying.  

Another very local reference from Mick came when he ran from the stage down the long runway and said, “I just came from the 10-yard line – let’s hope there’s not another no-call” – a reference to the no-call that led to the L.A. Rams beating the Saints and robbing the Saints of the opportunity to go to the Super Bowl.  Those local comments linked Mick with the audience.

The Rolling Stones concert Monday night in New Orleans was more than a concert – it was an event – it served as a mile-marker on the highway of our lives.  Yes, Mick, Keith, Ronnie and Charlie have gotten older and it’s obvious they chose not to spend money on plastic surgery, but the fact is they still look good. They are still performing with vigor, and we are still going to their concerts.

The idea that The Stones have allowed themselves to gracefully mature without the superstar temptation to surgically thwart the aging process speaks to the total authenticity that is The Rolling Stones.

As a Baby Boomer, who as a kid remembers The Stones, and as a radio personality who played their new releases through the years, I felt there was something very comforting about the idea that our discovery of rock was not a passing fade and remains an integral part of who we are as a generation

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