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Ladies and gentlemen… The Rolling Stones!

September 13, 2013


I’m afraid it’s going to be another one of those articles where I just gush about how amazing an artist is when I’ve had the fortune of being able to see them live.

This time, The Rolling Stones.

After the initial disappointment of missing out on tickets for the November dates at the O2 in London which were ticketed at around £1300 – much more than my poor student bank account could afford. Then they announced that they were playing the British Summer Time festival also in London but in Hyde Park in July 2013 and I knew I had to be there.

The Rolling Stones play in Hyde Park

I’m also aware of how overdue this article is, well my answer to that is that I’ve been working bit by bit on it since the day I saw them. I wanted to get it right, I wanted to do them the up most of justice. So after a long battle with my university computers, mid lecture, at 9am when usually I wouldn’t be properly functioning, I got them. I had to keep checking my Ticketmaster account. Because I couldn’t believe I’d actually got them!


Now, I’d never even been to Hyde Park before, but it’s somewhere I’d always wanted to go because of the iconic “Stones in the Park” on 5th July 1969, and knowing that they hadn’t played there since made this time round all the more special. There was only one person I would have considered taking with me to such and important and again, in years to come, iconic gig, and that was my Dad.

Although showing subdued interest at the news that I’d managed to get tickets, I could tell by the spring in his step the closer and closer we got to the park that it was getting harder and harder for him to hide his excitement. I think this had a lot to do with the fact that he’d seen the Stones before back in the July of 1995 on their ’94 – ’95 Voodoo Lounge tour (you know, the one with the giant mechanical fire-breathing snake?) and had assumed that it would probably be the last time he would be able to see them all alive and playing together. But no, here he found himself, about 15 rows from the front, on a gloriously sunny 13th July 2013, waiting for The Rolling Stones.

As they started up their set, I thought to myself that the sound was better than what I’d been able to take from the Glastonbury set they’d done earlier in the year and my Dad agreed, there was a better clarity and the noise went right through you like a good rock concert should.

There’s only one song you can start a Rolling Stones set with and that’s ‘Start Me Up‘ – which happens to be one of my favourites. I just love the idea of a woman having so much effect that they can make “a grown man cry”.

This was then followed by:

It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It)

Tumbling Dice

Emotional Rescue

Street Fighting Man (By Request)

Ruby Tuesday 

I was really surprised to see that they then played Doom and Gloom. Now I LOVE Doom and Gloom (as you can probably tell by my older articles about it) but I was surprised to see it in their set, what with it being a new song, I had just assumed that they’d stick to the classics. Pleasantly suprised!

Paint It Black came next. Shoot me down if you like, but I’d completely forgotten about Paint It Black. I know, I know. But you have to admit, there is something very un-Stones about it? Well, I think so anyway, or maybe I’m just trying to find a reason to justify my mistake! Either way, there is something very dark and almost hurried about the track, something which came to me when seeing it live, seeing all these thousands of people dancing as if in a trance to it. It was hard not to join in!

Honky Tonk Women

You Got The Silver (with Keith Richards on lead vocals)

Happy (with Keith Richards on lead vocals) – This was completely brilliant! My Dad really loves Keith Richards and it was great to see him up front, his voice really was not what I was expecting. It had an almost southern American drawl and bite to it, husky, weathered but oh so perfect!

Miss You

Midnight Rambler (with Mick Taylor)

Gimme Shelter

Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Sympathy for the Devil… WOO HOO! What more can I say? Well, a lot actually. This was my favourite of the whole set. Red smoke, Mick Jaggers outrageously over the top floor length black fur coat, strutting around as per usual. Then the crowd joining in with the whole “WOO HOO” throughout (and for most of the train journey on The Underground home too…)

I did film it for musicformygeneration when I was there but looking back on it now, my version was such shocking quality that it didn’t justify how good it actually was, so here is the one they did at Glastonbury.

Brown Sugar


You Can’t Always Get What You Want (with the Voce Choir and members of the London Youth Choir)

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (with Mick Taylor)

One of my favourite moments aside from the music was when Mick Jagger essentially dragged Charlie Watts to the front of the stage and said “Go on Charlie, say something.”, Yeah, yeah alright Mick, you can give it a go, but it might be like drawing water from a stone we all thought…  Watts was getting deafening cheers just standing there before, amazingly, after pausing for a while just said one word. “‘Allo.” and returned to his drum stool, sending the crowd wild. What an incredibly cool man!

The whole gig for me was just magical. I’d go see them again in a heartbeat and it was so nice to share the experience with my Dad who never thought he’d see them again live! Here’s to the next 50 years!


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