We had the opportunity to see The Rolling Stones with Trombone Shorty live at
Narodowy Stadium, Warsaw, Poland on July 8 2018. Here is our review:
Street Fighting Man
It's Only Rock'n Roll
Just Your Fool
Like A Rolling Stone
You Can't Always Get What You Want
Paint It Black
Honky Tonk Women
--- Band introductions
You Got The Silver (Keith Richards Vocal)
Before They Make Me Run (Keith RIchards Vocal)
Sympathy For The Devil
Start Me Up
Jumping Jack Flash
--- Band off stage
In 1967, the Rolling Stones played their first concert in Warsaw, and as the brilliantly informative guide on the walking tour We took the day before the 2018 concert told me, they helped start a cultural revolution in Poland. The band remain revered in this country, so much so that Lech Walesa wrote them an open letter before the concert asking them to speak out against the controversial judicial reforms that are currently taking place here.
The massive Narodowy Stadium was pretty much sold out and was almost full for support act Trombone Shorty. We had never heard of him before, billed as a jazz musician, We would actually put him nearer the ska category. He played a great set including a few instrumental versions of Green Day songs which I thoroughly enjoyed. He has a great voice and stage presence and would definitely be fun to see again. He hails from New Orleans so should be easy to find across the pond. He will also play in London next week at the BST festival in Hyde Park, perfect music for a relaxed summer evening.
On to the main event, starting with “Street Fighting Man” to get the crowd rocking. The first three songs seemed to go at an incredible pace and I was glad for a bit of blues on “Just Your Fool” (from the recent “Blue and Lonesome” album) if only to give myself a breather from jumping around so much. “Bitch” is always a cracker and a crowd favourite, as “Like a Rolling Stone” has become on this tour - tonight it was played for the 7th time this year. It seems strange that a band with such an extensive back catalogue should play a cover so often but it is a great song and the crowd love it, so who are we to argue?
Our favourite of the regular songs on the setlist is “Paint it Black” and we like it best played as the sun is going down as it was tonight. Mick stalks about the stage snarling like a tiger and throwing his mic stand all over the place. Everyone and everything around you seems to crackle in the summer heat and you realise why you have trekked across half of Europe to see a group of old men in a football (soccer) stadium.
Mick did a lot of talking to the crowd in Polish which we did not understand, but in English he said; “We’ve been coming here since 1967, hang on to everything you’ve learned since then” and we were told later that one of the things he said in Polish translated to; “I’m too old to be a judge, but I’m young enough to sing” so he obviously saw Mr Walesa’s letter.
Perhaps we are going on a little too long in this clearly biased review of a band we love so much, but we have to mention “Sympathy for the Devil”. We are big fans of drummer, Charlie Watts and he made a very rare mistake at the start of the song, like the consummate professional he is, he rectified it quickly, but then Mick’s mic failed twice so we were treated to an extra long instrumental intro. This band is so slick and these songs have been played so many times that small mistakes actually seem like a bit of treat, because they are rare and special.
The encore consists of “Gimmie Shelter” and “Satisfaction” Sasha Allen provides the female vocal for the “Gimmie Shelter” duet. Her voice is beautiful and powerful but throughout this tour she has had problems with her sound. Thankfully tonight she was clear and audible which was important since Mick’s voice was definitely starting to go a little by the end of the concert (The man will be 75 this month and this is date number 14 of the tour so it is understandable). It is good thing he is so well supported by Sasha and Bernard Fowler who also provides backing vocals.
Overall a fantastic show and a fantastic end to a fantastic tour of Europe. It started 10 weeks ago in Ireland and we have been privileged to be able to follow it to its conclusion, missing only 2 of the 14 shows. The strongest rumor among the fans who follow the tour is North America for 2019. If you have never seen the Stones we urge you to save up some money and buy a ticket. We know they are not cheap but they are not called The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World for nothing and this crazy travelling circus cannot go on forever. As Keith Richards once said; “You’ve got the sun, you’ve got the moon and you’ve got the Rolling Stones” make sure you see them live before the sun and the moon are all we have left.