The Stones

June 21st, 2024The Stones

A nasty, weekly weather forecast, was the focus of my and Susan’s attention preceding this very major concert, and was the main reason for our extended trip to The Big Apple.

by Darren Lowe

The Rolling Stones – Metlife Stadium, NJ, 23/05/2024

A nasty, weekly weather forecast, was the focus of my and Susan’s attention preceding this very major concert, and was the main reason for our extended trip to The Big Apple.

Thankfully, thunderstorms and very heavy rain were all over by midday. The Stones played two
concerts at Metlife Stadium, a short 20-25 minute journey by coach from the port authority.

We attended the first Thursday evening after purchasing tickets when the sale went online at some ungodly hour. Stressful but we managed to get floor tickets.

This was an absolutely mind-blowing concert experience. The best stadium sound I can remember with a fantastic view, and a great, vocal and excited US audience. In fact, the walk from bus to entry was my first live view of the tail-gating phenomena.

Rows of people with full camp and BBQ set up with beverages and a different Stones song every
few metres at full volume.

This was a major event, in a city with a lot of major events, which was a talking point over the next few days as we walked the streets of NY in Stones’ logo t-shirts.

Jon Batiste, with a 10-piece band including back singers and dancers, gave us a wonderful 45-minute support set. The multi-instrumentalist was a consummate showman with his funk infused, New Orleans-inspired set.

Fantastic musicians, back up singers/dancers and a taste of how the catwalk was to be used. We were closer to the action than I can remember in any of the umpteen times I’ve seen The Stones.

The Stones came on stage about 9.25pm with a glorious, intense exciting build up including Mick’s silhouette through the very large rear stage curtain.

As has been the cast throughout the first few gigs of the tour, the band opened spectacularly, with Start Me Up.

Now, as I’ve said to many friends in the past few days, I really don’t care how old these guys are anymore. This gig was amazing.

To the set list soon but the musicianship is astounding, possibly among the best gigs I’ve seen the
band play.

Mick is often remarked upon re his fitness, but it really needs to be acknowledged, as I know it always is, that he is of a certain age, running about on stage for two hours while singing! Incredible.

For the first time I can really remember, I was able to distinguish the separate playing of Keith and Ronnie, they are in remarkable form.

Listening, waiting, knowing when to back-off. That fabulous loose Stones sound. Clear, crisp, particularly on Jumping Jack Flash and on their acoustic interlude where we got to hear the very exciting You Got the Silver.

The touring musicians, many long term, were exemplary. Chuck Leavell, Bernard Fowler, Matt Clifford, Darryl Jones, Tim Ries and Karl Denson have all played with band for extended periods.

More recently there has also been Steve Jordan, since 2021 and Chanel Hanes since 2022. As usual, she blew the house away with her part in Gimme Shelter.

Despite playing hits in the bulk of their set I don’t see them as a nostalgia act, as they are still playing remarkably well and with 60+ years of material to draw from.

Being in New York, sorry Jersey, we got Shattered and Miss You and the fan voted Wild Horses. Nice choice. And a sprinkling of early hits including Get Off My Cloud and Paint It Black. I personally loved hearing It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll.

You know it’s a great gig when you are on a high the next day, exciting, glorious rock sings, still played with passion and enthusiasm after 62 years.

Next edition – Neil Young and Crazy Horse at Forest Hills Stadium, NYC.

More Articles

Back to top