The Rolling Stones Start It Up (yea I just did that) In San Diego
In 1962, when The Rolling Stones were formed in London, the average yearly income in the United States was $5000. Last night at Petco Park in San Diego The Rolling Stones kicked off their Zip Code Tour and that yearly income would have bought one “platinum level” ticket. That’s right, just one ticket.
I have never been a huge Stones fan, but I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to see them live. I mean, really, statistically, they shouldn't still be alive, right? Mick Jagger is an actual walking, breathing, living cliche’ of a rock and roll front man. Who’s got the moves like Jagger? At 71, Jagger does. But that cliche’ rock star ran and danced around the stage for two solid hours last night like it was 1962. Although he didn’t fully utilize the length of the jettied catwalk, he did gallop across the width of the stage like a stallion. He couldn’t even be tied down to one spot and play the guitar for an entire song. The guitar seemed like an unwanted leash he quickly cast away to roam free again.
Jagger's only real rest came when Keith Richards took to the mike to sing lead on two songs in a row. This was, unfortunately and undeniably, one of the more awkward moments of the night. Where was Mick? Tea break? Nap time? IV of fluids? Hit of speed? I don’t know, but when the willowy front man reemerged in a leather jacket yielding his harmonica the crowd woke up and went berserk. Sorry Keith.
With few technological elements to hide behind, (besides three large screens around the stage), the show completely rested on the shoulders of the band. Stadium size rock stars without gadgets. A rarity to be sure. Just a concert filled with hits like “Jumping Jack Flash”, “Honkey Tonk Woman”, “Start Me Up”, “Brown Sugar” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” to keep the band and the crowd going.
And they did not miss a note. The guitars were crisp, the voices strong and the drumming constant. The backing band’s contribution could not go unnoticed and I think I even saw the saxophone player smile during his solo. And why not smile? The Stones leave space for guitar solos, saxophone solos, and backup singer solos. This gives fans the opportunity to break out into the aisles for an impromptu dance party.
Age is obviously just a number with this group of legends and thank God for that. A lot has changed in the past 53 years but somehow the members of The Rolling Stones have not. They have figured out a way to play a two hour rock show, as relevant and good today as it was three decades ago, filled with hits and full length feather boa coats.