The Rolling Stones Glastonbury Festival 2013

The Rolling Stones Glastonbury Festival 2013
glastoprog We are still recovering from this year’s Glastonbury festival. The weather at the weekend was super, and Marie, David, Laura and I had a great time at the festival. For me the highlight was, without a doubt, the first appearance of the Rolling Stones at Glastonbury. I so wanted them to live up to the occasion, and by and large, they did. Their set had a few small changes from the gig that I attended at the O2 London last November. Anticipation for this gig was high, and the expectation of the festival crowd was pretty high. The Stones came on stage just after 9.30pm on Saturday night, opening with Jumping Jack Flash. Jagger was a bundle of energy strutting about the stage; Keith was Mr Cool chugging out those familiar riffs. We were sitting on a viewing platform towards the back, and the sound was clear but it just wasn’t loud enough. It did improve as the set progressed, but didn’t reach full volume. I heard later that some of the speakers near the rear of the field weren’t working. Nevertheless, this was a great opener and the crowd was completely up for it. The field was rammed; I’ve never see a place so full; I wonder how many people were watching Chase and Status on the Other Stage. Next up was It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll, followed by Ronnie’s electric sitar signalling the start of Paint It Black. This song has become one of my favourites. The screens showed black and white images of the band; very sixtiesish. Wonderful; it just doesn’t get any better. Then we were into Gimme Shelter; Jagger trading lines with Lisa Fischer who did an excellent job. The next song was a surprise. Mick explained how he had spent Friday night visiting Shangri La and watching the Artic Monkeys (yeah right, Mick, sure you did) and then met a “Glastonbury Girl”, which was the title of the next song. Actually it was a reworked version of their 1968 song Factory Girl, with the lyrics changed to match (“offered her my luxury yurt” ! :)). A nice touch which went down well with the crowd, and although a little tacky was a pretty good song. Wild Horses followed and then a new track Doom and Gloom, which I’m sort of getting to like now. Then Jagger introduced Mick Taylor for Can’t You Hear Me Knocking. Don’t get me wrong, this was an excellent Stones performance, but it was around this point that I began to wonder what some of the crowd were making of it. Sure Stones fans would love it, but I sensed the majority of the crowd didn’t know (or care) who Mick Taylor is, and had never heard these songs. Still the crowd reaction remained strong and positive. Anyway next up was Honky Tonk Women which everyone sand along to. By this point I realised that we weren’t going to get any special guest; but hey who cares, this was Glasto and the Stones. Then Keith got his turn to lead on a couple of songs which were You Got the Silver and Happy. Mick returned for Miss You, and was joined by Mick Taylor for Midnight Rambler. This one took me back to Knebworth in 1976 (but, again, I would guess the majority of the crowd didn’t know it). Then we got another surprise. Mick announced that they were going to play a track from Their Satanic Majesties and the band launched into 2000 Light Years from Home. This was, apparently, the first time the Stones have played this for more than 20 years. The screens showed some great psychedelic liquid lens effects. Amazing. We were on the home run now. Sympathy for the Devil was next, and at this point the metallic phoenix perched on the top of the pyramid stage started to flex its wing and rise from its slumber. Start Me Up, Tumbling Dice and Brown Sugar completed the main set. For the encore, the band returned to play You Can’t Always Get What You Want, accompanied by the same choir as at the O2 gig. Satisfaction was the very last song with everyone singing along and Jagger being the ultimate showman. Excellent. The Stones nailed it and showed why they remain at the top of their game some 50 years after they started classic british rock. Was it good? Yes of course. I can think of only two areas that could have been improved. First the sound and the volume at the back of the field wasn’t as good as it might have been. And second I thought for a Glasto crowd a few more hits would have really slayed everyone. But then you really can’t always get what you want. David and I will see them again at their second Hyde Park gig on 13th July. I can’t wait.

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