Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Rolling Stones rock Wisconsin

The Rolling Stones played to a sold-out crowd at Milwaukee's Bradley Center last Thursday. Unlike other tours where fans and critics alike greeted the Stones with excitement, the band's new album A Bigger Bang and its accompanying tour of the same name have been met with skepticism. With Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ron Wood each over the age of 60, many assumed they were simply too old to rock. Some had even suggested Viagra and Ensure as prospective tour endorsers. Fortunately, after carefully listening to the new album, critics were pleasantly surprised and those attending the rockers' recent shows were treated to energetic performances. Thursday night was no different, with an undeniably knockout event.

The evening began promptly at 7:30 with opener and guitar legend Buddy Guy. Looking robust himself at 69, Guy ran through an hour of blues standards along with cuts off his soon to be released Bring 'em In. His repertoire was a nice counterpart to that of the Stones, considering their music was directly influenced by blues artists hailing from the American South. After Guy's set concluded, the crew worked for about a half-hour to prepare the stage for the much-anticipated headliners.

At 9 p.m. the silhouette of Keith Richards walked across the stage meeting a spotlight to coincide with the opening riff of "Start Me Up". The rest of the band, including about 10 backup musicians, joined him on stage with Mick Jagger last to make an appearance. Each of the core members looked healthy and spunky, despite their ages. Jagger and Richards, in particular, ran around the stage for nearly the entire duration of the show.

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The Stones kept their repertoire interesting by playing favorites including: "Honky Tonk Women", "You Can't Always Get What You Want", "Miss You" and "She's So Cold," along with newer material from A Bigger Bang. To compliment their performance was an ever-changing light show coordinated with the songs and a large screen that displayed pictures of the band throughout their 40-year career.

Technically, the band was as tight as ever, playing the songs with as much gusto as when they were recorded. Jagger controlled the stage with his charisma but, more importantly, won over the audience with his steadfast vocal talent. Charlie Watts and Ron Wood played as proficiently as ever, keeping the beat and covering the leads respectively. Richards, as always, proved he is perhaps the greatest rhythm guitar player ever by leading the band with his indelible riffs and exuding a coolness reserved for few.

Toward the last quarter of the show, the principles and two others were raised and relocated on a movable stage that allowed those not in the first 30 rows to get an up-close view of the Stones. Without their posse of backing musicians, the band excelled by filling the gaps with great playing and singing.

After exiting the stage for a few minutes around 10:45, the Stones returned to do an extended version of "I Can't Get No (Satisfaction)" for their encore. The concert ended at 11 p.m., in total lasting three and a half hours.

If anything, the concert proved the adage that The Rolling Stones are, in fact, the 'greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world.' They have a charismatic front man, a great lead guitarist, professional drummer, the human riff himself and, of course, a cannon of great songs. In doing the only thing effective in silencing ornery critics, the Stones played better than ever. Bravo!

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