Rebellious rock ‘n’ rollers The Rolling Stones raise hell in Boston like it’s 1972.

Forty-seven years later and The Rolling Stones can light up a starless, summer night like it’s 1972. At a packed Gillette Stadium, zany frontman Mick Jagger sashayed down the catwalk B-stage to their opener, “Street Fighting Man,” adorned in tight black pants and a yellow, black, and white moto jacket, matched carefully with a half-polka dot, half-gold button-up. Loud and waggish as always—you’d never guess he recently recovered from a heart valve operationJagger welcomed the audience to the gig, saying with a knowing grin, “Hope everyone had a lovely Fourth, though you know it’s a touchy subject for us Brits.”  

Psychedelic Day Of The Dead-themed backdrops exploded across the stage screens, rhythmically switching between bursts of color and stylistic shots of guitarist Keith Richards shredding on guitar. With each powerful riff by Richards and Ronnie Wood, the Stones’ secondary guitarist, Jagger fist-pumped the air. With a set list brimming with hits like “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It),” “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Midnight Rambler,” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” The Stones took classic songs from their discography. Halfway through the set, Jagger introduced each of the band members, calling upon guitarist Wood, drummer Charlie Watts, bassist Darryl Jones, backing singers Sasha Allen and Bernard Fowler, and ending with Richards; the rough and rebellious 75-year-old Londoner earned uproarious applause from the stadium. Richards stood before the microphone, grinned crookedly, and, looking into the glare of the stage lights, said, “Good evening, Boston, New England… wherever the hell I am,” which received laughs from the crowd. After his introduction, Richards sang lead vocals on “Slipping Away” and “Before They Make Me Run.” After Richards’ set, Jagger took a moment to thank the crowd. His tone was nostalgic when he said, “This is our 29th show in Boston, and I want to thank you for coming out to see us so many times. Thank you.”

Following Jagger’s wistful moment with the crowd, a slower, more sensual version of “Paint It Black”—paired with hypnotic black and white rippling effects on the screens alternating between shots of Jagger, Richards, Wood and Watts—began the second half of the set. After the slow build-up of “Paint It Black,” The Stones exploded into the high-energy “Start Me Up,” with yellow and red stage lights rippling across the stadium, causing the audience to go wild at the popular track, proving that “Start Me Up,” is as much of a crowd-pleaser now as it was when first released on 1981’s Tattoo You. The band kept the hits coming with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (on which Richards’ licks were particularly strong) and “Brown Sugar.”

Summoned by thousands of chants and cell phone lights, the band came back on stage for a two-song encore. “Gimme Shelter” had Jagger pulling backing vocalist Sasha Allen on the B-stage to join him for the female vocals of the famous track. Jagger and Allen’s intertwining voices were nothing short of striking—her soulful tone ensnared with Jagger’s classic rock ‘n’ roll sound created one of the most chilling, memorable moments of the night.

Closing the show with an extended version of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”—in which Jagger repeated the chorus and beckoned for the stadium to sing with him—complete with fireworks tearing across the black above Gillette, The Stones proved that they still know how to put on a hell-raising show—and they’re not done yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.