the Rolling Stones electrified Madrid to kick off their European tour

the Rolling Stones electrified Madrid to kick off their European tour

On the same subject

The Rolling Stones: 60 years of career in pictures

PORTFOLIO – The Rolling Stones begin their European tour to celebrate their 60th anniversary this Wednesday, June 1, 2022 in Madrid (Spain). The opportunity to revisit the history of this legendary English rock band.

Among the giants of rock, no group has lasted as long as this one: sixty years exactly. Officially founded in June 1962 in London, the gang of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards has been celebrating this anniversary since Wednesday, in the only place that really belongs: on stage. With 14 European dates only, placed under the “Sixty” banner. The public of the Garorock de Marmande or the Vieilles Charrues bretonnes once cherished the hope of having the honors. Failed: in France, only Lyon (July 19) and Paris (July 23) will participate in this other jubilee, also royal.

The Rolling Stones on Tour: A Company on the Go.


The Rolling Stones on Tour: A Company on the Go.

Stephane Jonathan

Everywhere, the Rolling Stones logo appears.


Everywhere, the Rolling Stones logo appears.

Stephane Jonathan

The multiplied logo

For the kick-off, Madrid was sold out this Wednesday evening, with 53,000 spectators gathered in the stylish enclosure of the recent Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, temple of Atlético de Madrid for five years.

From midday, the excitement rises, palpable, around and inside the stadium where the technicians are still busy. At midday, unofficial refreshments have already unpacked their camp on the outer slab, beaten by a summer sun. And the first spectators to arrive, long hours before the opening of the doors. “This will be my 22e concert of the Stones” explains Thierry, 59 years old and came especially to Madrid. “The first time was in 1976, I was a kid”.

At the merchandising stand, souvenirs are snapped up at exorbitant prices.


At the merchandising stand, souvenirs are snapped up at exorbitant prices.

Stephane Jonathan

Everywhere, the famous lippu logo sticking out its tongue multiplies in thousands of copies. On caps, clothes, tattoos… The public looks like a family: parents flanked by their offspring, seniors in droves, young people too excited. Almost all sporting a band T-shirt. A way of affirming one’s membership in the clan of “those who have already seen the Stones”.

From 6 p.m., the first part begins with Vargas Blues Band, joined by a singer named John Byron Jagger, nephew of the party boss. It continues with the heavy and epic rock of the Catalan group Sidonie. While at the merchandising stands, charms and textiles from temple merchants sell for exorbitant prices to a public who have already paid between 160 and 380 euros per head to enter.

In the Wanda Metropolitano stadium, before the Rolling Stones concert.


In the Wanda Metropolitano stadium, before the Rolling Stones concert.

Stephane Jonathan

At the edge of the stage, the schedule for the day is displayed for the artists and technicians.


At the edge of the stage, the schedule for the day is displayed for the artists and technicians.

Stephane Jonathan

Mick Jagger, galvanizing

Finally, shortly after 10 p.m., the sound system spits out the mythical and expected announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen: The Rolling Stones”. A snap of the snare drum precedes a drum solo: on the giant screens are displayed images of Charlie Watts, the historic drummer of the Rolling Stones, who died last August.

During this short tribute, the group comes on stage under the cheers, settles down, and attacks “Street Fighting Man”. Mick Jagger amazes: at almost 79 years old, the singer carries around his silhouette of a slender young man from one end of the stage to the other, while singing in a powerful voice that is never faulted. Cinched in red satin, Mick dances, harangues the crowd, sometimes still runs…

Alongside him, guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood seem a little out of date. The first appears bundled up under a sad cap and in a rather tart leopard jacket; the second displays a haggard gaze and a mop of hair painted jet… But the chords they strike on “19th Nervous Breakdown” resound like a slap in the face: scathing and severe.

HANS KLAUS TECHT/AFP

Illico, the concert unrolls nuggets. The greasy, silky blues of “Tumbling Dice” precedes a pure gem: “Out of Time” (1966), which the band hadn’t played in concert for… more than half a century! King of the playthings, Mick does not even need to do tons for the public to sing with him and the stadium is already on fire.

Keith Richards, Imperial

Very impressive, Mick Jagger is everywhere, totally galvanizing. A singer with an incredibly youthful tone, he remains an exemplary harmonica player, full of feeling and skill. Smart, he challenges the public in Spanish, makes them sing “Happy birthday” for Ronnie Wood (who celebrated his 75th birthday on stagee birthday under a rain of confetti), multiplies the “muchas gracias”…

Steve Jordan and Keith Richards.


Steve Jordan and Keith Richards.

HANS KLAUS TECHT/AFP

The group behind him beats hard. Two brass instruments, two choristers and two keyboardists (1) enhance the score with harmonic breadth, when the quintet has fun between pure rock, blues and ballads. If Ronnie Wood seems to pick it up more often than not (that bread, at the start of “Satisfaction”!), those who claimed Keith Richards out of order may reconsider their judgment. Without ever tripping, the guitarist with the face of an old pirate knits powerful and lively solos, knows how to groove “Miss You” or “Midnight Rambler”, and sends “Paint It Black” to sparkle in the night. At the microphone in the middle of the set, he sings with the necessary nerve the tonic “Happy”, then coos like a crooner destroys his ballad “Slipping Away”.

“Gimme Shelter” stands out as a summit of the concert. Hypnotic as hell, it’s a call for help and peace composed in the middle of the Vietnam War. Here, the song is accompanied by a series of images of Mariupol in ruins and dressed in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. Mick Jagger repeats these two words over and over, like a mantra: “Gimme Shelter” (“give me shelter”).

After two and a quarter hours of a tense and exhilarating concert, the public came out a little dazed but tremendously electrified. On the transhumance path to leave the stadium, many take out their cellphones one last time for a final souvenir photo or a stupid selfie. And in the overcrowded metro on the way back, some continued to sing the “Ouh Ouh” from “Sympathy for the Devil”. Music drunk. Completely Stoned.

Backstage at the concert.


Backstage at the concert.

Stephane Jonathan

(1) Discover this Sunday in “Sud Ouest Dimanche” the interview with Chuck Leavell, musical director and keyboardist of the Rolling Stones since 1982.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.