PG NewsPG delivery
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Home Page
PG News: Nation and World, Region and State, Neighborhoods, Business, Sports, Health and Science, Magazine, Forum
Sports: Headlines, Steelers, Pirates, Penguins, Collegiate, Scholastic
Lifestyle: Columnists, Food, Homes, Restaurants, Gardening, Travel, SEEN, Consumer, Pets
Arts and Entertainment: Movies, TV, Music, Books, Crossword, Lottery
Photo Journal: Post-Gazette photos
AP Wire: News and sports from the Associated Press
Business: Business: Business and Technology News, Personal Business, Consumer, Interact, Stock Quotes, PG Benchmarks, PG on Wheels
Classifieds: Jobs, Real Estate, Automotive, Celebrations and other Post-Gazette Classifieds
Web Extras: Marketplace, Bridal, Headlines by Email, Postcards
Weather: AccuWeather Forecast, Conditions, National Weather, Almanac
Health & Science: Health, Science and Environment
Search: Search by keyword or date
PG Store: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette merchandise
PG Delivery: Home Delivery, Back Copies, Mail Subscriptions

Headlines by E-mail

Headlines Region & State Neighborhoods Business
Sports Health & Science Magazine Forum

Stones' song list is set for the blues

Thursday, March 11, 1999

By Gene Collier, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Ten years ago, just prior to the announcement of the Steel Wheels tour, aging boomers wondered idly whether the Rolling Stones would ever tour again. Now they wonder whether the Rolling Stones will ever stop touring.

The No Security tour, sometimes derided as the Social Security tour, reaches Pittsburgh tonight as more or less an extension of the Bridges to Babylon tour, which followed the Voodoo Lounge tour almost before the stadium stages were ripped down. And the Voodoo Lounge tour was a virtual replay of the Steel Wheels Tour with some allowances for a contemporary studio CD.

This time, though, the Stones have stayed almost exclusively indoors in much smaller venues, and, with no current studio CD sitting on store shelves aching to be hyped, the band has some rare latitude to construct a more functional set list. The audience at the most recent shows in Washington, D.C., like the one that will convene at the Civic Arena tonight, is acutely more interested in classic Stones than in their uneventful '90s studio work.

A "more intimate" setting - although it's hard to think of an 18,000-seat relic of architectural cookware like the arena as intimate - is allegedly part of the justification for ticket prices that average $150. But the Stones have done their best to at least feign some intimacy with an effective device generally identified as the B Stage.

At about the halfway point in a one-hour, 50-minute set in Washington, the band left the main stage from its front lip via a runway through the crowd (you parents might remember this configuration from "Sesame Street Live") and walked to a smaller stage near the center of the floor seating.

In that setting, they played a scalding version of Bobby Troup's "Route 66", which they did on their debut album a scant 35 years ago, "When the Whip Comes Down," "Midnight Rambler" (Jagger's lyrical letter to the Boston Strangler) and "Tumbling Dice."

The bulk of this concert seems designed to underline the band's blues roots. The more chaotic classics - "Satisfaction," "Get Off My Cloud," "Street Fighting Man," "Ruby Tuesday," "Gimme Shelter" and "19th Nervous Breakdown" - have not found a place on the set list anytime in this tour.

The deliciously wobbly "Sweet Virginia," from the ageless "Exile on Main Street," and the underrated "Saint of Me," from the otherwise forgettable "Bridges to Babylon," have been on and off the list. They did "Saint of Me" in Washington, but not "Sweet Virginia." "Moonlight Mile," never performed live until this tour, has been played consistently, "Under Cover of the Night" less so.

What looks as though it'll be the top-grossing tour of '99 has little flash, and none of the ornate staging that accompanied the outdoor shows - no giant inflatable topless prostitutes. But hey, you can't have everything. There is no gimmickry save one Jagger appearance from beneath the floor. The show has only the most promising of elements: Mick, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ron Wood, bassist Darryl Jones, who supplanted pensioner Bill Wyman in 1994, some backup singers led by the sultry Lisa Fischer, and a horn section featuring the redoubtable tenor sax man Bobby Keys.

The whole thing brings to mind the obscure Jagger lyric, "The elephant's in the bedroom, throwing all his weight around."

There's no guarantee you'll hear the same tonight, but here's the set list from Washington: "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "Live With Me," "Respectable," "You Got Me Rockin'," "Honky Tonk Woman," "Saint of Me," "Some Girls," "Paint It Black," "You Got the Silver," "Before They Make Me Run" and "Out of Control." And on the B Stage: "Route 66," "When the Whip Comes Down" and "Tumbling Dice." And for the Main Stage return: "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll," "Start Me Up" and "Brown Sugar." The encore: "Sympathy for the Devil."

bottom navigation bar Terms of Use  Privacy Policy