Written by Jim Bille
Dec 15, 2012 at 08:00 PM
ImageThe Rolling Stones finished up their (50 Years and Counting) mini tour last week with the final two shows in Newark, New Jersey. The first two concerts were held at London’s O2 Arena, the third was at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

These shows were highly anticipated by excited fans worldwide. They are after all the The Rolling Stones. As an extra bonus, each concert featured guest stars performing with the band on select numbers. Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Mary J. Blige were on hand for the London shows as well as former Stones band mates Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor. 

The Brooklyn show included Gary Clark Jr., Mary J. Blige and Mick Taylor. For the fifth and final show Saturday night the Stones invited The Black Keys, Lady Gaga, Mick Taylor, John Mayer and The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen, to chip in on a few numbers. Not that the Rolling Stones needed any support but the addition of these artists really gave the event an extra kick as each guest paid homage to the “Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World”.

Lady Gaga joined in on the Stones classic ‘Gimme Shelter’ swapping vocals with Jagger while John Mayer and Austin Texas native Gary Clark Jr. took control on the Don Nix standard “Going Down”. The Black Keys helped out with the Bo Diddley penned “Who Do You Love” and Springsteen’s support and duet with Jagger on “Tumbling Dice” was classic. 

ImageEven with all of the additional talent onboard my personal favorite guest had to be Mick Taylor. Many people are of the opinion the Stones musical hey days were cut short when Taylor left the band late in 1974. I don’t necessarily believe that but there was no mistaking that 70’s Stones sound when Taylor was featured on “Midnight Rambler”. I’ll date myself and mention that I saw the Stones when Mick Taylor was a band member in 1972 at the Akron Rubber Bowl and still remember his contribution to that show and to the Rolling Stones legacy.

The music featured during the concerts touched on just about every Stones era, from the early 60’s through their most recent releases “Gloom and Doom” and “One More Shot”.

Starting off with “Get Off of My Cloud” the band rekindled memories of the British Invasion in which they were so much a part. If the opening number didn’t set the hook in the older fans then “This May Be The Last Time” definitely did. For the third ultra classic number of the show, Ron Wood nailed “Paint it Black” on electric sitar which helped define the best blast from the past tune of the evening.

Keith Richards took center stage after band introductions for his renditions of “Before They Make Me Run” and “Happy”. Richards’ vocals and guitar playing have not faltered over the years and his delivery of these two numbers was spot on.

At 69 years young, Mick Jagger seems unstoppable. The Jagger swagger was very much intact as he gyrated and cavorted about the stage with apparent ease pointing his finger at everyone in attendance throughout the entire evening. Jagger’s voice did not waver as he maintained vocal accuracy on each number. He still has what it takes to fire the audience up and keep them on their feet and dancing for the entire show. There has never been and most likely will never be another showman quite like Mick Jagger.

ImageCharlie Watts was just plain cool. The dapper time keeper of the band just keeps the Rolling Stones engine running with his precise rhythm and beat. His playing has always been the heart and pulse of the band and he showed no sign of high mileage during the almost three hour set. Charlie Watts plays the perfect beat, period.

Being around for fifty years is no small accomplishment. Many of the Rolling Stones peers or rival bands from the 60’s have either disbanded or are no longer with us so to see these guy’s bury the hatchet and get back to business is always a treat. 

Don’t even consider the Rolling Stones as being over the hill, they are re-energized and on top of that hill and are not about to be knocked off anytime soon.

Full Set List 12/15/12

Get Off of my Cloud
The Last Time
It’s Only Rock and Roll
Paint it Black
Gimme Shelter (with Lady Gaga)
Wild Horses
Going Down (with John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr.)
Dead Flowers
Who Do You Love (with The Black Keys)
Doom and Gloom
One More Shot
Miss You
Honky Tonk Women
Before They Make Me Run
Midnight Rambler (with Mick Taylor)
Start Me Up
Tumbling Dice (with Bruce Springsteen)
Brown Sugar
Sympathy for the Devil
You Can’t Always Get What You Want (with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street)
Jumpin’ Jack Flash
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction