The Last Miracle of the Rolling Stones in Madrid

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A huge show to cover the shortcomings and limitations of age and routine? Not for Jagger and Richards, Who Gave Masterclasses in Rock and Roll, Blues and Rhythm and Blues

Tonight in The Rolling Stones, Madrid.
Tonight in The Rolling Stones, Madrid.Javier BarabanchoWorld

In ancient times, what happened last night in Wanda Metropolitano was described as a miracle. Antiquity is not in the sense of 1982, when the Rolling Stones gave their first heroic concerts in Madrid under a violent summer storm, but in the ancient era, when something extraordinary and exciting to escape the laws of nature seemed and a was attributed to the supernatural fact.

Because it was formidable and also inexplicable and, since you’re thinking about it, the analogy with Real Madrid’s previous Champions League or some of Rafael Nadal’s victories is perfectly acceptable.

Let’s start by saying that their drummer, Charlie Watts, the human glue in the complex balance of the group’s personality, died of throat cancer in August 2021. The concert began with a nice tribute to his memory, and Mick Jagger recalled that it was his “first concert in Europe without Charlie”. He said, ‘We miss him very much. Let us also tell you that Mick Jagger is happy to have his aortic valve replaced 79 years after his 2019 heart operation. That Ron Wood, who turned 75 last night, overcame his second cancer last year. And about the health of 78-year-old Keith Richards, how many times have you heard, or even told, a joke about donating his body to science when he died? And it’s all in the aftermath of a pandemic that seems to have put an end to the great world tours forever.

You’ll understand from all of this that last night saw Mick Jagger dancing, jumping, spinning and rocking his ass while singing bravely into the realm of thaumaturgy or, at least, mysticism. Something better than all the films of reformation that we have swallowed in our lives. But it wasn’t just an athletic thing: Keith Richards and Ron Wood had a bunch of intertwined guitars, that electric current that flowed like a charm and which they performed over and over again until it rang during each song. Did not become an underground mantra.

So in the end nobody gave a damn about them and they sounded like the best rock band in the world. Not the best rock group for its legacy, which is as consistent and influential as some others, not because of nostalgia, not because “this might be the last time”, but because of its present. just. at 10:17 a.m., when the image of Charlie Watts appeared on the screen and Keith Richards’ guitar immediately exploded like a whip raising Street Fighting Man’s riff on a shaky spring night; 19th nervous breakdown shaking like a hornet’s nest, at 10:21 pm; 10:30 p.m., accompanied by the creamy sound of tumbling dice; And even more so when they played “Live for the First Time”, out of time, one of their first great singles, good, playful, pop as it is malicious; 11:00 p.m. 24 p.m. Pumping up Miss You with disco-funk pounding bass in the chest; And of course at 23:37, the core of the concert like an impenetrable diamond, with a long (12 minutes) and very incendiary midnight rambler. No, it was not a miracle that he was still alive, but his glorious present.

Almost all of the songs performed by the Rolling Stones last night were written more than 50 years ago (most notably between 1968 and 1972, the period of the Stoney canon). The question is, how do they play them, because anyone can play them, but no one does it better than them. This is not an opinion. Here and now they do it in a great way, you’d think no one in the world could offer a better rock and roll concert at the moment. It is an opinion, but it is also a dogma of faith.

The backbone of the repertoire were the seven songs they always performed. But always, always. They all sounded at their last seven concerts in Madrid in 1982, 1990, 2003, 2007 and 2014: You Can’t Always Get What You Want (Last Night with Final Acceleration More New Orleans than ever), Tumbling Dice (What a Pleasure, I Enjoyed It), Honky Tonk Woman (Keith Richards’ Breath, Cubist Guitar Incredibly Loud, Absurd, Excessive, Shout: Amazing) Brown Sugar (Weapons in the Air), Start Me Up (A Party , A Big Party!), Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Awesome, saturated with power and adrenaline) and of course (I can’t get over) the satisfaction with which the concert ended in a cathartic extended version (Supreme Pleasure, breaking the atmosphere chorus). And it can be extended with another, which he has done on all his trips except the first one: sympathy for the Devil (as soon as the sensual rhythm of the bongos began to sound, people jumped like a spring). The pagan hymns of this magnificent Liturgy that culminated in a wonderful final section.

The fact that little was left of the normal script allowed the more or less loyal fanbase to compare and contrast their memories (perhaps emulsified in sentimentality) with harsh reality. And the reality was raw, but raw as an intense and powerful amalgamation of blues, rhythm and blues, funk and rock and roll (a concoction especially noticeable in Beast of Burden and Gimme Shelter, during which the bombings in Ukraine and the flag of the country attacked by Russia were displayed). Bassist Darryl Jones, pianist Chuck Leavell (the band’s music director) and drummer Steve Jordan, a 65-year-old boy whom Richards used in his solo career, has less swing than Charlie Watts (no one has more swing than Charlie Watts). is), but it provides more punch and more density.

The 54,000 people who filled the Metropolitano Stadium celebrated every detail with awe that followed a magic trick.

Thus began the first concert of the Sixties tour, similar to the tour they performed in the US last year and which they now use to celebrate the Rolling Stones’ 60th anniversary; This includes only 14 concerts spread across Europe during June and July, on comfortably spaced dates. There are only two left of that 1962 quintet, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, who, like Diaz Negritos, have all seen their teammates disappear. Unmatched charismatic adversaries, they have incredibly managed to remain the last and greatest remnant of the golden age of rock. be praised

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