Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Rolling Stones at Churchill Downs: Piccu's Story Part II

When last I left you, I was standing in the rain waiting for the Rolling Stones to appear on the huge stage. It was 200 feet tall and was just the biggest stage I had ever seen. In fact, before the show fans could text a word to win a chance to move to better seats. The better seats happened to be inside the actual stage. There were four floors, two on each side of the stage, of fans watching the show unfold before them.

The Stones hit the stage with Jumpin’ Jack Flash, and as soon as I saw Keith Richards appear on stage I thought two things. One was, “Why is he wearing that goofy hat?” Two was, “Oh my God, it’s Keith Richards!!” I was seriously a little freaked out. It’s not everyday you get a chance to see a band that has made some of the greatest music in the history of mankind. And many of those songs were played this night.

Mick, I call him Mick, thanked us for coming out to see them in the “s*#t weather.” And by this time, it was pouring rain; you could tell the Stones were getting soaked as well. The Stones played It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll, then a song I wasn’t that familiar with called Oh No, Not You Again, then on to Let’s Spend the Night Together. Now, they broke out a song I had no expectation of hearing and it happens to be one of my all time favorites. Mick grabbed his acoustic guitar and the band started playing Dead Flowers. For those who are not familiar with this song, there is a line in it that says, “Makin’ bets on Kentucky Derby day,” which is very appropriate for the venue, Churchill Downs. It was a very nice surprise.

Now they moved on to super long versions of Streets of Love and Midnight Rambler, not two of my favorites, although I actually did enjoy Midnight Rambler. Next was Tumbling Dice, which thus far was the best song of the night.

Now Mick disappears and “Keef” comes out onstage and starts talking to us. We have no idea what he has just said, but he is going to sing a couple songs for us. He sings You Got the Silver and Little T& A. He is easier to understand while singing than when talking.

Now the whole band kind of disappears and my section can only see the performance on the big video screen on stage and the two right in front of us. What I later found out is that a small part of the stage moved out into the middle of the crowd and because every one was standing in the seats, I never saw them out there. This was a small stage, almost like a club stage and the Stones took it up a notch. They started this part of the show with Miss You, the song on which I first made a call to Bratch. I left a message on his phone of the crowd and I singing along. Then we got Rough Justice and Start Me Up. Then we heard the cowbell start up and the band tore into Honky Tonk Women. On the main stage a huge blowup Rolling Stones’ tongue logo appeared. With the wind and rain, the tongue was wagging throughout the song.

Now the band returns to the main stage for a song I wasn’t sure if they played live, Sympathy for the Devil. A song that is so damn good you feel bad for liking it so much. The intro went a couple of minutes and the crowd chanted “Hoo-Hoo, Hoo-Hoo” until Mick began to sing. This song provided a surprise when flames shot up out of the tip top of the 200 foot stage when Mick got to the end of “Hope you guessed my name.” It was amazi-zi-zing. Best performance of the night as far as I was concerned.

Then we Paint It Black, and the next song, Brown Sugar, was the next song that I called someone and left a message. This time it was Sleeping Boy and I left the whole second verse and chorus on his machine. After this the stage goes dark for a few seconds and the Stones returned for what is considered their encore. It didn’t seem like the encore because they didn’t leave and make us beg and chant for them to come back. Anyway, they went into a great rendition of You Can’t Always Get What You Want, which the crowd sang the whole way through. This was the song that really gave you the chills because 50,000 people were all singing along. Then the final song was a down and dirty sounding Satisfaction. This is not one of my favorite Stones songs, but they really rocked this mother out or something like that. This was the second time I called Bratch and he answered and got to hear a 50,000 person sing along.

So that was it, the best concert I have ever been to. I dare anyone to try and top it. Well, at least anyone under the age of 35. I want this information to be in my obituary and on my tombstone. If you ever have a chance to see them, I highly recommend it; in fact I wish I had sprung for the $300 tickets about half way through the show. I was kind of surprised that they did not sing Gimme Shelter or Angie and Wild Horses, but it was well worth the rain and ticket prices. In other news I did not use the bathroom until I got back home. That was 7 hours and 45 minutes of extreme bladder control. It was a momentous night all around.


Travis said...

I can top it. I saw Jimmy's Chicken Shack at the Copper Dragon in Carbondale, Illinois. Easily best show ever. Way better than the Strolling Bones, or whoever you're talking about.

Piccu said...

I'll pretend I didn't read that.

BRATCH said...

If their ever was a venue with more history than Churchill Downs, it's the Rusty Lizard bar in Carbondale, Ill.

And if their ever was a band that no one has ever heard of that is better than the Rolling Stones, it absolutely has to be James' Cock Barn, I'm sure.