There's really no argument that The Rolling Stones embody everything that is rock'n'roll, even as they approach their 70s. They proved yet again that age is just a number on Saturday night at the new Brooklyn Barclays Center. This marked the first of four Stones scheduled appearances in the US this December.
The band came out roughly 45 minutes late, but the energy and suspenseful satisfactions of just merely seeing the red, iconic lip stage was felt by all. Like the shows at the O2 Arena in London, it started off with clips from numerous celebrities and people, expressing what the Stones meant to them. Johnny Depp, the close pal of Richards grinned as he inhaled a drag of his cigarette, "it's good music to do bad things to."
After 50 years, that statement couldn't hold more truth. The Stones opened up the night with "Get off of my Cloud" and ran right into the '64 classic "I Wanna Be Your Man" (given to the band courtesy of Lennon and McCartney). Whether you were in nosebleeds (sigh) or inside the pit of the stage, you could just feel that this wouldn't be the last time the Stones would come together once and for all.
As long as Sir Mick can still strut around the stage, fearless and tapping around draped in a sequin jacket, Richards and Wood can power through the riffs like it was 1976, and Charlie can remain as cool as ever behind the drums, they will never fail to amaze the crowd.
Jagger made a joke about how they had taken the J train to the show, like Jay-Z had the previous week before for his last gig at the Barclays Center. I'm pretty positive that the last time any Rolling Stone had ever been in a public transit, let alone a New York Cab, was most likely 50 years ago too.
The night's special guests were Mary J. Blige and Gary Clark Jr. Blige belted out a powerful "Gimme Shelter," and Clark tore through a rendition of "Going Down." Personally, I thought Clark's contribution of blues chords was one of the biggest highlights of the night, bringing everyone to the roots that brought the band together in the first place.
Unlike the London shows, former members Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor did not make any appearances in Brooklyn. The loss could be noticed, but not entirely felt.
The two most chilling performances of the night had to either be "Wild Horses" or "You Can't Always Get What You Want." The ballad of "Wild Horses" rang through the arena, and was easily Jagger's most vocally accomplished song of the show. He may have snipped a few of the words during "Miss You," but during "Wild Horses" we witnessed a truly dignified performance.
The Choir of Trinity Wall Street opened up "You Can't Always Get What You Want." This performance left me covered in goosebumps, and I'm positive I'm not alone on that.
Richards wowed once again with his songs "Happy" and "Before They Make Me Run," giving the crowd exactly what they wanted. If you looked hard enough, you could notice Richards almost shaking his head at moments when the stage looked too spectacular (if that's even possible).
The Stones have quite the week ahead of them. On Wednesday they will be sharing the stage at the 12/12/12 Hurricane Sandy Relief Concert with an impeccable roster. On Friday the 14th, The Stones will be playing the first of two shows at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. The following night (12/15) the gang will be invading the stage with the Black Keys, Bruce Springsteen, and Lady Gaga in celebration of their last show of the tour. Upon hearing this news, I was surprisingly not jealous at all. Seriously. The Keys and the Boss are great and all, but I prefer my Stones Gaga-free.
Anyone who gets a chance to see The Rolling Stones, no matter how old they get or who makes an appearance, is truly lucky. We know it's only rock and roll, but we really, really, really, like it.
Setlist 12/08/12 Barclays Center
"Get Off Of My Cloud"
"I Wanna Be Your Man"
"The Last Time"
"Paint It Black"
"Gimme Shelter" feat. Mary J Blige
"Going Down" feat. Gary Clark Jr.
"All Down The Line"
"One More Shot"
"Doom And Gloom"
"Its Only Rock 'N Roll (But I Like It)"
"Honky Tonk Women"
"Before They Make Me Run"
"Start Me Up"
"Sympathy For The Devil"
"You Cant Always Get What You Want"
"Jumpin Jack Flash"
"(I Cant Get No) Satisfaction"