Rolling Stones Live!
Time is Still on Their Side
by Stella Brown
When the Rolling Stones strut out onto
a stage, the press notices. Reporters take turns playing the historian,
recalling the British music explosion of the 60's and the Stones' leading
role in that blast. Something about a band with that kind of longevity
that both intrigues and impresses. Articles are written, and photos snapped.
Much is made of their senior ranking in a fickle business that promotes,
perpetuates, and personifies youth.
But the band's ability to transcend the
spectrums of both time and space was evident at the Portland Rose Garden
arena on Tuesday, November 1, 2005. The self-proclaimed "world's greatest
rock-n-roll band" has produced a massive body of work that still lifts
an arena full of fans to their jumping, dancing, stomping feet. And the
hoards of parent enjoying the show with their kids clearly illustrated
the power of the Stones' music to bridge generations.
The tight two-hour set included "She's
So Cold," "Tumbling Dice," "Brown Sugar," "Sympathy for the Devil," "Miss
You," and "Honky Tonk Woman." The very receptive Portland crowd screamed
and sang along to favorites from the Rolling Stones catalogue of classics,
music that spans four decades. Three songs from the latest album were not
as well received, but that could have been because front man Mick Jagger
stepped back to let Keith Richards lead the effort. Not the best band decision.
While Richards has more than established himself as an iconic guitarist,
he lacks the charisma that Jagger effortlessly exudes with every swaggering
step. Did Mick study dance? He seems to glide on his toes, and definitely
still has the lithe form of a dancer.
The show hit a peak, for both audience
and performers, when Jagger dedicated a cover of "Night time is the Right
Time" in memory of the song's composer, Ray Charles. Joined by their 9-piece
horn section, the musicians clearly were enjoying this jam as much as their
enthusiastic audience was. The horn section wailed and rocked along with
the singers- yes, singers. Jagger's ever-strong voice, matched by Lisa
Fischer's powerful, soulful vocals, reverberated through the packed arena.
Sure, since their first show in July of
1962, these guys have aged- they are, after all, only human. But they certainly
have both staying power and stamina in a business that is not always loyal
to its artists. Maybe the real reason that we are just now checking the
age box for rock musicians is that the very history of rock has yet to
span the average human lifetime. We are still waiting for that spectrum
to come full circle, and the Stones still have time on their side.
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