The Rolling Stones – Bridges To Bremen
(Promotone / Eagle Rock – 2019)
A nice long show from The Rolling Stones on September 2nd, 1998 that is beamed all over the world with Sir Mick welcoming each country when they start watching. “It's like the Eurovision F*ck*ng Song Contest” he says – well I gotta hand it too him he is right there.
The stage as you can imagine is utterly enormous – well it is the best Rock 'N' Roll band on Planet Earth so it's gotta be done one a grand scale or not at all. In fact, there are actually two stages – the second being a smaller one whereby the boys are taken to it by ways of extending projectile expand
bridge to play in the centre of the Weserstadion kicking out songs like 'It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (But I Like It) or killer take of Bobby Dylan's 'Like A Rolling Stone' – epic stuff indeed!
This was on the fifth and final leg of the Bridges to Babylon Tour – the first where the Stones had the B stage for the all the tour as well as allowing fans to choose a song of their choice via the bands website – tonight 'Memory Motel' has it's time to shine which is seldom ever heard. What is really nice about this gig is the fact that you see the band shaking and slapping hands with fans as much as they can plus Ronnie Wood signing for a few folk as well which is really cool of the man to do.
Lovely to see the late, great Bobby Keys on saxophone who passed a few years ago and quite a few laughs and smiles from Charlie Watts too from behind the kit. Leah Wood, Daughter of Ronnie has her 1st appearance on TV as well doing backing vocals for Keith Richards on 'Thief In The Night' with the God himself in superfine voice who also cranks out 'Wanna Hold You' too!
Jagger as per usual wears you out just by watching him – he never seems to hardly ever stop still and never misses a word either – his workout regine must be of military precision and no doubt the diet fit for an athlete. These London boys also provide a mighty horn section too in the form of Andy Snitzer (Saxophone – also keyboards); Kent Smith (Trumpet) and Michael Davis (Trombone) alongside the already mentioned Keys of course who added those extra needed brass sounds to add extra elements to most of the milestones in the set.
Darryl Jones the bass man of the Stones is loving every second whilst Lisa Fischer at times steals the vocal show from Mr. J on many an occasion – her pipes are to die for! There are not many around that can match her which is the same that can be said for her male counterparts, Bernard Fowler and Blondie Chaplin. This black backing choir is rather impressive to say the very least.
As you may have guessed, many of the classics are in place at this concert which starts up with (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' and finales on 'Brown Sugar' with jewels and gems like 'Gimme Shelter'; 'Miss You'; 'Sympathy For The Devil' and 'Honky Tonk Women' plus more recent cuts at the time like 'Saint Of Me'; 'Flick The Switch' and 'Out Of Control'.
It rains later on during the event but that does not deter them at all as they soldier on since they are true professionals – no-one slips over or gets fried either but Ronnie's Strat goes out of tune a bit or plays the odd bum note where you see the grimace of Keith as plain as day or night in this case under the bright spotlights. It's also rather funny that after Mick introducing the audience to every member of the enitre live band, finishing on Keith, Mr. Richards doesn't bother introducing Mick but instead plays a few songs of his own – typical Keef that – hahaha!
An excellent show it certainly is from Germany with the DVD also having bonus tracks from Soldier Field, Chicago from the same tour that sees Mick on guitar for Rock And A Hard Place'; 'Under My Thumb' with some grooving sounds and the man in a hat; a bit of Keef on vocal giving us 'All About You' with marvellous backing and the legends on the small stage for Let It Bleed – a personal favourite of mine to end on where Chuck Leavell nails those notes on the ebony and ivorys. Ronnie is on that old black and silver guitar used in the faces days, whilst Mick is on acoustic throughout too. I hope this gets released as a full show DVD as its just as good as the main show.
Not many bands have as much energy and stamina that are half their age, as well as a set that goes well over 2 hours long without a break in the middle.
Keep It Rolling!
By Glenn Milligan