The Rolling Stones, Now There Are Three

I attended the final concert on the Rolling Stones American tour at the Hard Rock Casino in Miami. The indoor setting and limited seating made the concert an intimate affair. There was no glitter behind the band, just wonderful rock music orchestrated by the unquestioned leader of the group.

At 78, Mick Jagger is a phenom. For over 2 hours, the greatest lead rock singer belted out 17 of the most well-known rock songs in history and seduced 7,000 attendees.

The Stones are the foremost rock and roll band ever. The group includes some of the most talented musicians in the business. And the performances of all of the main players that include Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood are mesmerizing.

Of course, the influence of the late drummer of the band, Charlie Watts, hung over the presentation, and the surviving Stones affectionately showed their appreciation for Watts’ contributions to the band and his friendship. Watts died on August 21st and was 80 years old. Now there are three Stones remaining.

My wife and I are concerned that each tour may be the last for this iconic group. A short while ago Jagger had a heart procedure and since then has bounced back with great enthusiasm. Watts’ demise was a second warning that live Stones’ concerts are in grave danger in the not too distant future. I’m determined to see every tour from this point forward to ensure I experience greatness as long as it lasts.

Back to the concert. Asking what the best song is moot. Every song is historic and causes goosebumps for those tuned in. The songs that everyone craves to hear are 50 and 60 years old. They never have and never will be diluted by time. They sound great even after so much change in the recorded music industry. And no one puts on a better show than Jagger and his friends.

In previous concerts I thought Keith was assuming a greater role. Mick was maybe a few steps slower and perhaps not as sexy as in the past. It just wasn’t true on my magical night. Jagger set the concert hall on fire with his unique dance steps and unchained masculinity. Physically, the undisputed leader of rock and roll looks like a million bucks.

But Jagger gets a lot of support. Richards has been and still is a grandmaster of the guitar. His chords are so enthralling. He projects an age-old bad boy image of the band. At 77, he still pulls it off. Wood is about the best supporting actor one could find in a band. He had some rock riffs that were bone-chilling.

The replacement drummer, Steve Jordan, filled in nicely for Watts. He seemed to be pushing himself physically as the evening progressed, unlike his predecessor who cruised through the music for decades.

The female diva for the tour was Sasha Allen. She was hot, dancing for Jagger and the audience. Her performance of Gimme Shelter was mind-blowing.

In summary, it is my humble opinion the Stones have cemented their reputation as the greatest rock group in history. They’ve experimented with many different genres over the years, including hard rock, country, rock, the blues, etc. All of these were on display. This range is the most diverse of any rock band in the past or present. The longevity of the group is unmatched. The Stones have the most famous rocker, leader and entertainer of all times. And, the Stones concerts are unforgettable even if you have seen them as many times as I have.

It’s been comforting to grow old with the Stones since my first concert in 1969. I am sad in advance that it will eventually end.  

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