For The Rolling Stones, playing Cuba last year may have just been another notch on their fifty-plus year old touring belt, but its historical nature was significant and it was all caught on film for Havana Moon, the latest addition to the ever-growing DVD releases by one of the greatest rock & roll bands in the world.
When the Stones played their gig in Havana in the spring of 2016, Mick Jagger spoke Spanish most of the night and gave the rumored-to-be million plus people music they had never experienced live. “It’s about bloody time we got to Havana,” Richards said in a voice-over during scenes of modern day Cuba that actually begins the DVD. “It’s historic, I suppose, in one way,” added Charlie Watts. “Whether it’s remembered as something, you have to wait and see.” With lots of shots of adoring, singing fans throughout, the concert portion of Havana Moon opens with their “traveling through their history” video montage which began the shows on their last Zip Code tour.
After a glimpse of the band itself waiting behind the speakers to go out – Jagger mugging for the cameras & Richards having a laugh with Watts – they jumped into “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and roared through “Paint It Black,” “Brown Sugar,” “It’s Only Rock N Roll,” “Angie,” “Gimme Shelter” and the best version of “Satisfaction” I’ve heard in quite a while.
It was nice to see the inclusion of “Out Of Control,” one of the best songs on 1997’s Bridges To Babylon, which had only been played sporadically on their last tour despite that great Darryl Jones bass line percolating throughout giving it a hip-moving sizzle.
The bonus features are simply tracks not included during the “main” film portion: “Tumbling Dice,” “All Down The Line,” the Keith Richards sung “Before They Make Me Run,” a rejuvenated “Miss You” with some of the disco edges smoothed away by additions of slinky, tip-toeing on the edge of the blues rhythms; and “Start Me Up.” The booklet includes vibrant photographs from the show, and you can purchase Havana Moon in several different visual and audio formats, depending on your level of love for the band.
If you weren’t in attendance for this show, or missed a stop on their last tour, this is a nice addition to your music shelf, cause you’ll want to watch this one more than once.