Live review: the Rolling Stones at Hyde Park 3/7/22

It’s been over thirty years since attending my first and only previous Rolling Stones gig, when I went with my dad to Manchester’s Maine Road back in 1990. My dad’s thinking back then was that if I wanted to see them live then 1990’s Urban Jungle tour might be my last chance.

Thirty-two years later and they are still at it, well Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood anyway. The set opened with a poignant tribute to Charlie Watts up on the huge screens and Jagger dedicating the concert to him.

Opening up with a wonderfully energetic version of ‘Get Off My Cloud’ to get us all instantly in the mood, the hits keep rolling. Timeless classics all, I was particularly moved by a poignant rendition of ‘Angie’ and a beautiful ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’, a song we played at my dad’s funeral back in 2007 so it has special meaning for me.

There was quite a lot of banter with the crowd, a playful Jagger welcoming us to the “American Express British Summer Time Covid super-spreader event” at one point. This is the fifth time the Stones have played Hyde Park, the vocalist reminds us. “The first one was free,” he says, recalling that legendary Hyde Park concert back in July 1969 following the tragic death of Brian Jones. “The following ones were not free,”  he says with a wry grin, acknowledging the hefty wads of cash that most of us had forked out for the privilege of being here tonight.

Keith Richards is in his element, taking lead vocals for a couple of songs,  ‘You Got The Silver’ (from Let It Bleed) and ‘Happy’ (from Exile On Main Street). It also gave Jagger a short rest back stage. But for the rest of the concert he’s bopping and preening and dashing out into the crowd on the famed ‘ego-ramp’, the same as he’s always done in a way that’s just impossible to believe he’s now almost 79.

As Matt, my gig partner for the day points out, it’s not a massive entourage of a backing band. Jagger, Richards and Wood are joined by the ever-present Darryl Jones, who took over from Bill Wyman back in 1994, and Steve Jordan filling in for Charlie Watts since the latter’s shock demise last year. Alongside them are Chuck Leavell and Matt Clifford on keyboards, Bernard Fowler on backing vocals and percussion, Tim Ries and Karl Denson on saxophone, and Sasha Allen on backing vocals. Both the sound and on-stage vibe is perfection.

Jagger’s soon back on stage and the band launch into an extended, super-funked-up version of ‘Miss You’, an opportunity for a mass boogie by the Hyde Park crowd and communal “ooh-ooh ooh-ooh ooh-ooh-ooh” backing vocals before we move straight into a deliciously laid-back ‘Midnight Rambler’, with bags of harmonica from Jagger and Richards and Woods trading country-flavoured guitar licks.

And there’s still time to pack a whole more classics in: ‘Paint It Black’, ‘Start Me Up’, ‘Gimme Shelter’, ‘Jumping Jack Flash’. Another poignant moment comes as the big screens depict an eery tableau of bombed-out buildings during ‘Gimme Shelter’ as the band’s tribute to Ukraine, with backing singer, Sasha Allen, duetting with Jagger on this one and demonstrating what a fantastically soulful voice she’s got as she joins him on the ramp out into the crowd.

Unlike the Eagles last week, who launched straight into their encore set without the hassle of going off stage and coming back on again, we did have to wait a couple minutes for the band to return and conclude with ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ and riotous, life-affirming ‘Satisfaction’.

I probably won’t get to see them again, regardless of the band’s future plans as they reach their sixtieth anniversary milestone. But this was special and something I’ll remember forever.

Set-list:

Get Off My Cloud

19th Nervous Breakdown

Tumbling Dice

Out of Time

Angie

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Like a Rolling Stone

You Got Me Rocking

Honky Tonk Women

You Got the Silver

Happy

Miss You

Midnight Rambler

Paint It Black

Start Me Up

Gimme Shelter

Jumping Jack Flash

Sympathy for the Devil

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Related posts:

Review: The Rolling Stones ‘Exhibitionism’ at The Saatchi Gallery

Live review: the Eagles at Hyde Park 26/6/22

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13 thoughts on “Live review: the Rolling Stones at Hyde Park 3/7/22

  1. Cool review Darren! But i dunno if you are not going to see them again. The rumour goes that Jagger wants to get at least 130 years old and Richards 135 (that’ll be a challenge) and the world tour of 2055 is already annouced.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So happy for you, Darren, you could be there. These types of shows will stay with us forever.

    About a week ago, I saw a clip of “Start Me Up” from the Stones’ June 25 Hyde Park gig. Mick Jagger still had the swagger, moving like Jagger – unbelievable! The band sounded great as well.

    I saw the Stones last during their “No Filter” tour in New Jersey in August 2019 and had a ball. Charlie was still around, which was really cool. I will say he and Keith Richards looked fragile, but they were all still bringing it, especially compared to Jagger who only a couple of months prior to the gig had undergone heart surgery!

    The above New Jersey gig, my second Stones show, probably was my last time seeing them. But who knows. The Stones are among my all-time favorite bands right after The Beatles. I saw Paul McCartney for the third time three week ago. Music is highly emotional and related decisions oftentimes aren’t particularly rational!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Even though Macca no longer has his old voice, he still has the heart and soul of a true musician who continues to get a kick out of performing. I just find it so inspiring to see him on stage.

        With Eagles and the Stones you had two top notch acts back to back. That’s really great!

        Any other concert plans? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I guess it’s tough to beat Eagles and the Stones, but you definitely got some intriguing sweet stuff coming up.😀

        Is that Saxon, the metal band? I had no idea they are still around. I will quickly need to add the qualifier that while I generally dig hard rock, I never got much into metal. Of course, I realize the boundaries can be pretty fluid!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m a huge fan – 40+ albums between CD and vinyl – but only managed to see them twice. @ 2003 and 2006 I think. They are amazing! Glad you enjoyed it. Paul who is the co-founder of our blog, was also at the show and loved it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s amazing how much energy these guys have considering their age! I keep trying to get into the Stones because of how good they sound live, but I can’t get over their jam sessions, which make their songs even longer. Any studio or live album recommendations?

    Liked by 1 person

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