What does it sound like?:
The latest in the From the Vault series is the final show (in San Jose) from the North American leg of the No Security tour in 1999. The Stones had already released a No Security live album in 1998 which was actually taken from recordings from the previous Bridges to Babylon tour. A little confusing. I was lucky enough to attend two shows fron this leg in Boston and Chicago flying to the US especially to be there. At the time I thought that with time running out I should take the opportunity to see them in relatively more intimate arena shows instead of the enormous stadiums that they usually played in Europe. Chances were surely running out!
This was their 3rd successive year on the road which was the longest run since 1973, I think this shows in the competence and professionalism of the performance. The relatively intimate venues led to some interesting setlist choices, Moonlight Mile had been played on the tour, but not tonight, however we get a beautiful sung I got the Blues, a muscular Some Girls and Keith’s best lead vocal You Got the Silver. The recent Bridges to Babylon album is represented by the best two songs, a “singalong” Saint of Me (better in Europe) and a scintillating, bluesy Out of Control. The highlight of the show and all these shows is the trip to the small stage in the middle of the arena. We get the real essence of the Stones, stripped of backing singers and brass section, turning a basketball stadium into an intimate club. This 3 song set begins with the very first song from from their first album (Route 66), they then blast through Get Off Of My Cloud and a show highlight in Midnight Rambler which still carries a hint of the menace that has been somewhat lost in the more cartoonish recent versions. Back on the main stage they close with a 4 song “hits” section that happily does not include Satisfaction. This was always the least interesting part of the show for me, but they carry it off with relative aplomb.
Available in myriad different formats, Blu-ray, DVD, vinyl and CD sets, the video presentation is of it’s time. Very MTV influenced with lots of camera movement and cuts every 2 or 3 seconds. This is not really to my taste. Sound quality on the stream was decent. There are a few bum notes, there always are, but this is a pretty exciting performance from an interesting point in their live career. Could they still cut it live as they entered their mid 50s? You bet.
What does it all *mean*?
Offers more evidence that Mick Jagger is the consummate live performer of his generation, Keith Richards hadn’t entered full parody mode yet, Ron Wood seemed to be (relatively) sober and Charlie was once again good that night. They feed off an active audience fully into it, not a single smart phone can be seen!
Goes well with…
Might suit people who like…
The Rolling Stones, live music.