Friday, July 10, 2015

It's Not Just My Imagination: The Rolling Stones Rock Motown, Resoundingly -- Detroit Concert Review

Concert Review & Photos

The Rolling Stones
w/ opening act Walk the Moon
Comerica Park, Detroit
July 8, 2015

Having seen, greatly enjoyed and lavishly reviewed The Rolling Stones when they played in Milwaukee just 2 weeks ago, I don't think I need to spend countless paragraphs singing the praises of their Detroit concert.

Not that I couldn't. Or won't, to some extent.

Whereas it was great to see the Stones at Milwaukee's Marcus Amphitheatre with a relatively intimate 22,544 other fans, I was glad to again experience a Stones show at full stadium size (having done so repeatedly in past years).

As the home of the Detroit Tigers, Comerica Park welcomed around 40,000 people and was able to fit a much larger stage, video screens and catwalk in center field than squeezed into the Milwaukee pavilion.

With the four main Stones ranging in age from 68 to 74, they continue to remarkably defy time, with the band sounding great and Mick Jagger running and dancing like a whirlwind while sounding strong vocally. A couple times on the video boards, Keith Richards looked a bit befuddled, and I sensed him missing a couple of iconic chords, but in taking his standard turn at the microphone--for "Before They Make Me Run" and "Happy"--he seemed rather spry and in good spirits.

If you look at the Rolling Stones' full Detroit setlist on, you would note that it is much the same as they played in Milwaukee and at other stops on their brief, outdoor Zip Code tour of the United States.

But I felt lucky that out of the first 8 songs at Comerica, 4 were different than what I heard at Summerfest in Milwaukee.

"All Down the Line" in the third slot sounded terrific, and on a night where Mick overindulged in local references that never sound natural--"Michiganders," multiple mentions of the Tigers--the Stones nicely played their Some Girls Temptations cover, "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)" in homage to Motown.

Jagger also paid spoken tribute to other great musicians of Detroit, including Bob Segar, Eminem and Kid Rock.

Although I voted for "Street Fighting Man" in the internet poll, I'm happy "Rocks Off" won after losing to "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)" in Milwaukee. And the Exile on Main Street opener sounded terrific.

From Sticky Fingers, the zipper clad 1971 classic album whose reissue inspires the "Zip" Code moniker, I would have preferred "Wild Horses" to "Moonlight Mile," which I had heard in Milwaukee, but was glad to have it paired with "Bitch" rather than another "Can't You Hear Me Knocking."

This is getting rather long for what I meant to be just a brief re-review. So I'll simply say that, yes, the Rolling Stones were again phenomenal--for any age--and classics like "Gimme Shelter," "Sympathy for the Devil," "You Can't Ever Get What You Want" (accompanied by the Oakland University chorus) and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" were an absolute delight to hear--no matter how many times I have--in a packed stadium on a perfect night.

I am glad the show inspired a brief road trip that enabled me to see a couple great museums (look for subsequent posts), but on this night it was decidedly Detroit Stone City. (An oblique reference to the KISS song, "Detroit Rock City.)

And rather than more words, I'll leave you with a bunch of photos of the Rolling Stones in Detroit:

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