The Rolling Stones blow the roof off B.C. Place with their first concert in Vancouver in ages!

Vancouver – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood know how to put on a rock ‘n’ roll show.


  • When : Friday, July 5 at 8 p.m.
  • Where: B.C. Place Stadium, 777 Pacific Blvd., Vancouver

How is it that Keith Richards is in better shape than Joe Biden? By rights only one of them should still be standing, and it’s not the one who fell out of a coconut tree. And yet Richards and blues brother Mick Jagger go on. And on. I mean, all the health and wellness articles in the world can’t explain how Immortan Mick has lived to become the most dangerous senior citizen since Betty White.

But here’s the thing: at B.C. Place Stadium on Friday night, these guys rocked. They played with the passion and ferocity of a band half their age. Which, come to think of it, is still kind of old.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Rolling Stones began with Start Me Up. And is there a more perfect way to open a rock show? The go-go randiness of Let’s Spend the Night Together followed, keeping the sexual energy of the two-hour Cialis commercial flowing.

There were many more highlights during the show, the band’s first in the city since 2006.

Jagger likened Vancouver to “the girlfriend you only text with and then when you see her you realize how much you’ve missed her.” Um, thanks?

For each concert on the current 16-city tour fans can vote on a song from a choice of four. For tonight’s treat, the last vestiges of democracy spoke and chose Street Fighting Man. The band turned in a ferocious performance.

Angry, the first of four songs off the new album Hackney Diamonds, was a reminder that Jagger and Richards can still write a hook when they put their minds to it. Or that they can hire someone who can, namely co-writer and producer Andrew Watt. And how funny is it that Mick is still complaining about girl troubles 60 years after (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction? Is this what I have to look forward to? I should be so lucky I guess.

Somewhere around the middle of the set the nearly ageless sex symbol took a breather and Richards took over. Playing a Telecaster that looked like it had been dragged down 100 miles of bad road, Johnny Depp’s role model mumble-crooned the mild Tell Me Straight (off Hackney Diamonds), Tattoo You’s NSFW rocker Little T & A and the Some Girls gem Before They Make Me Run.

As the latter ended the screens around the stage were bathed in red and the familiar opening chords to Sympathy for the Devil sent a shiver down 50,000 or so spines. Then Jagger reappeared.

This was how you put on a rock ‘n’ roll show.

A surprise for this reviewer was Midnight Rambler. The seedy ‘70s rocker had always struck me as serial killer fan-fiction. But by this point in the evening the band was so on, I mean it was a machine, that a 12-minute blues odyssey, complete with Jagger blowing harp like a train-jumping hobo, seemed like the best idea in the world.

One of the most impressive performances of the night came courtesy of Chanel Haynes. The backup vocalist blew the roof off the joint with her show-stopping solo turn on Gimme Shelter.

Richards’ and Ronnie Wood’s guitars sounded magnificent on the set-ending Jumpin’ Jack Flash, more stadium-filling and merciless than they had all night.

Along with the Jurassic Three of Jagger, Richards and Wood, the band is made up of Rolling Stones touring stalwarts bassist Darryl Jones and keyboardist Chuck Leavell along with keyboardist Matt Clifford, sax players Karl Denson and Tim Ries and backup singer Bernard Fowler. Steve Jordan has replaced original member Charlie Watts, who passed away in 2021, on drums.

During the first song of the encore, Haynes gave Jagger another run for his money. This time it was during their duet on Sounds of Heaven. Another Hackney Diamonds cut, it’s the kind of staring-into-the-abyss gospel number that could only have been written by people approaching their final countdowns.

And then how fitting that it was followed by the song that, in some ways started, and says it all, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.

I wanted more; I loved every minute of it, even Wild Horses (a bathroom break song for the gents if ever there was one).

But that was it for the Rolling Stones Hackney Diamonds Tour at B.C. Place Stadium.

By the way, opener Ghost Hounds sounded great, at least from outside the stadium, and Jagger made sure to acknowledge the Pittsburgh band’s set.

Source: Vancouver SUN

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