The Rolling Stones Strut It Up at East Rutherford’s Met Life Stadium (SHOW REVIEW)

The August 1st rescheduled show at Met Life stadium wasn’t the first of the American leg of the “No Filter” tour, but there was more than a hint of curiosity in the air. The last time the Stones played a stadium show in the area it was Giants Stadium back in 2006. Mick Jagger seemed to have more than recovered from his heart surgery, but this was New York for all intents and purposes. How “back” were the Stones?

Shame on anyone who doubted them, but they played all night like they had something to prove and were fanfuckingtastic as a result. From the opening notes of “Street Fighting Man,” the band was in peak form. Jagger, who even had time to take out his Thursday to show Jimmy Fallon how to move like Jagger, was on fire all night. It was if he was mocking mortality as moved with even extra flexibility. There are times when it can seem like he is almost one of those many impressions of him. This was not one of those times. By “Tumbling Dice,” he was swiveling, strutting, and skipping like a man with a new lease on life. Of course, he actually is. However, the Stones have long been in uncharted territory. As Keith Richards likes to point out, they have gone farther than any rock band before.

The voted nugget on this night was “She’s Like A Rainbow,” which Jagger joked was due to its constant presence in commercials. For the largely acoustic number, the Stones were somehow able to make you feel like you weren’t in an 80,000 seat stadium at all. The same went for the two other rarities from the B Stage – “Sweet Virginia” and “Dead Flowers.” 

“Sympathy For The Devil” came earlier than on past tours and really let Ronnie Wood stretch out. Ronnie might have been the MVP of the entire night, in fact. He charged towards the front of the stage before each solo and tore shit up each and every time. Richards was no slouch either, and joked before his night pairing of tunes that everyone could go get a beer. In typical “Keef” style, he said it more as if he’d love to be able to join you and not because his songs are second rate. “Miss You” was its usual rave-up and allowed Daryl Jones to bring the disco bass line with even more funk than Bill Wyman did on the studio version. “Paint It Black” was the perfect microcosm of the show. It’s a relatively short song that had just a few extra bars than usual. Maybe it didn’t, but it felt like it did. That’s the genius of the Stones.

“Midnight Rambler” was a tour de force and Jagger even included a little “Sweet Home Chicago” after his harp solo. “Start Me Up,” “Brown Sugar,” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” are still the consummate warhorses but sounded anything but played out on this night. “Gimme Shelter” began the encore and allowed backup vocalist Sasha Allen to take center stage. She might not yet be where former Stones vocalist Lisa Fischer often was, but she’s getting there. “Satisfaction” topped things off before the fireworks show. With a second show on Monday night at Met Life, get there if its humanly possible and as the song says don’t you worry ‘bout what’s on your mind.

The Rolling Stones Setlist MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, USA 2019, No Filter

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