Concert Review - The Rolling Stones, NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
I finally crossed a big name off my concert bucket list yesterday by seeing The Rolling Stones at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX. The first thing I want to say right out of the gate is that for a band that is collectively in their seventies, they played with as much, if not more energy than any band or artist I have ever seen live. Also, their stage production was world class and second to none. They came right out of the gate with "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and absolutely rocked the crowd. The entire football stadium was moving to the music.
Mick Jagger is an absolute fireball of energy. During every song, he paced the massive expansive stage, dancing as he went and singing simultaneously, all while pumping the crowd up. He didn't talk much between songs (though he was always gracious to the large crowd gathered), but he did tell a couple of fun tales and jokes that had the audience going (including apologizing for having heart surgery and delaying the first date of the show and "fucking everything up"). A concert for Mick Jagger is more than just a show, it's a full on event. He has wardrobe changes and marks you can tell he hits to accomplish this and make the show run. He's a tireless performer who I gained even more respect for. What's better is he would sometimes extend songs for the hell of it and play with crowd having them sing call and response "Heys" and "Ohs" with him.
Up next, I want to talk Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood. Having the opportunity to see him and Ronnie Wood share guitar duties was incredible. They'd each take turns soloing depending on the song. And both of them are just masterful guitarists to see perform live. Richards even had a couple of songs in the set that he took lead vocals and played guitar and those were great. It's brings such a different dynamic to the show and it was cool to see. Richards is just the coolest guy on the stage as he can rip off a complicated guitar solo and make it look effortless. Then he'd shoot a sly grin at the end because we're all in on music here. Ronnie Wood also immensely impressed me as he flew around the stage shredding on his guitar and interacting with the crowd while he did it. Charlie Watts was the most low key of the group who almost looks shy of being there, but when you get him behind the drum kit he kills it.
The group's backing band is also an integral part of The Stones stage show. None of the shined brighter than backup vocalist Sasha Allen, especially on "Gimme Shelter". Allen and Mick Jagger strutted around the stage and she absolutely nailed those difficult vocal parts. Bassist Darryl Jones also did some amazing work throughout the night, particularly on some amazing bass solos on "Miss You".
This may be the last American tour for The Stones for a while. If you have an opportunity to see them (even if it takes a long drive, heck we almost did four hours!). I would highly encourage you to do it, you won't be disappointed by what they have to offer.
Rating - 5/5
Jumpin' Jack Flash
Let's Spend the Night Together
Out of Control
Can't Always Get What You Want
Sweet Virginia (acoustic)
Dead Flowers (acoustic)
Sympathy for the Devil
Honky Tonk Woman
Slipping Away (Keith Richards)
Before They Make Me Run (Keith Richards)
Paint it Black
Start Me UP
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction