The Rolling Stones

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author IM date 13/07/13 venue Hyde Park, London, UK

Love them or loathe them, The Rolling Stones are an interesting band. Hailed by some as the greatest band ever, others consider them to be a one hit wonder and some even say that’s an exaggeration. After selling out one date at London’s Hyde Park, The ‘Stones added another date, just to make sure no-one missed out on the extravaganza.

If you’re the sort who has never been near a festival in your life, the whole event probably seemed pretty ‘rock ‘n’ roll.’ However, for those more familiar with the rock/metal world, it would have appeared pretty lame. It was the sort of event where middle class people flock to sit in a park in an affluent area of London, with picnic baskets whilst wearing a pashmina, for a ‘wild time.’ Whilst the crowd did indeed appear to know every single lyric of every single song, they also seemed like the types whose idea of really letting themselves go entails sipping white wine from plastic wine glasses and shouting “whoop whoop.”

The Rolling Stones

With all the arrogance of a pompous peacock with something to show off about, Mick Jagger pranced across the stage with an incessant enthusiasm, as though he were the Messiah himself, in a very tasteless shirt. Kicking off with “Start Me Up,” the ‘Stones cavorted about the stage to rapturous applause.

The catchy “It’s Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It)” had the audience jumping up off their tartan rugs within seconds, but still managed to sound hollow. The popular “Ruby Tuesday” was certainly delivered with more sincerity. Switching to a black and white video of the stage for “Paint it Black,” the 'Stones painted themselves in a more favourable light. One of the most popular ‘Stones hits, this rendition was certainly worth watching. “You Got The Silver,” with Keith Richards on vocals was again one of the more enjoyable numbers. Mick Taylor was brought in for “Midnight Rambler,” creating a marked improvement in the performance overall. The undeniable highlight was without doubt the ultimate ‘Stones track, “Gimme Shelter,” which is even considered ‘quite good’ by those who can’t even stand the band.

Hearing Mick Jagger shouting “whoop whoop” did indeed become irritating after a while, but one cannot help but admire the band for their audacity, embarrassingly bad dress sense, enthusiasm and completely unrivalled arrogance.

The stage became enveloped in smoke and videos of flames for popular track, “Sympathy For The Devil,” just to liven things up a bit. This was followed by “Brown Sugar” which completed the main set. The 'Stones returned with “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” which was delivered with a fairly mechanical style of enthusiasm, followed by “(I can’t get no) Satisfaction” with Mick Taylor. The band certainly revelled in their own glory, repeatedly bowing and congratulating each other, possibly for managing to get through the entire set without falling asleep.

Music snob? Perhaps, but make no mistake, labelling The 'Stones in Hyde Park a “rock concert” would be an even wilder statement than Mick Jagger’s purple shirt.

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