Stones Down Under
(October 25, 2014) – The Stones launched their tour of Australia earlier today, in front of 53,000 people at the Adelaide Oval. Apart from a fan rushing the stage (immediately brought down by security; “part of the act,” said Mick), the concert featured no major surprises. (See set list above.) But considering that Oz hadn’t hosted the Stones since 2006, there wasn’t anyone complaining.
In fact, when Mick Taylor emerged for “Midnight Rambler,” he was greeted like a returning war hero. Although Americans and Europeans have grown accustomed to his guest appearances these last couple of years, this was the first time he was on an Australian stage with the band since 1973. And, as the nine-date tour progresses, it’s possible his duties will expand.
“Sway” and “Silver Train” are among the songs the Stones have been rehearsing since they got to Australia. So is Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone,” which they performed last night. (It won out in a fan-vote, versus “Rocks Off,” “Some Girls,” “Emotional Recue” and “Dead Flowers.”)
Earlier in the week, the four core members of the band stopped by the Oval to check out the stage and to meet the press. (Photo above.) It was more a photo op than a press conference, as the Stones fielded no questions.
The Adelaide concert – as well as this whole Australian tour – was initially scheduled for earlier this year. But shortly after the band touched down last March, they received word that Mick Jagger’s girlfriend, L’Wren Scott, had committed suicide, so they canceled all seven shows on the itinerary. They rescheduled them for October and November, and even added a couple more. (See current itinerary below.)
The Adelaide Oval is the largest venue that the Stones will be playing in Australia. The other locations are mostly in the 15,000 to 20,000-capacity range. However, their final date down under (November 22) will take them to New Zealand’s Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland, which holds around 50,000.
Notably absent from this tour is the Stones’ perennial sax man, Bobby Keys. The band says he’s “a bit under the weather,” so they’re substituting him with Karl Denson, a gent who’s played with – and was referred by – Lenny Kravitz.
When the Stones are done with these nine shows, they’ll take a break for the holidays. Then they hope to be back on the road in early 2015. Exact dates are unconfirmed at this point, but the band is negotiating with promoters in South America for some February-March bookings. Their usual stops, such as Argentina and Brazil, are rumored to be on the itinerary, as well as, for the first time, Colombia. Concert promoters in the city of Medellin – once a mecca for drug lords, but now a thriving vacation destination – are hoping to lure the Stones with a generous offer. (Insert your own joke here.)
Of course, if you can’t make it to Medelllin or to Sydney, you can cure your jones for the Stones by catching ’em on your TV or laptop. The Stones will officially be releasing their Hampton ’81 and L.A. ’75 concerts next month on DVD. Hampton ’81 is the one where Keith smacked that kid with his guitar, and L.A. ’75 is the one where Mick rode the inflatable phallus. Fun for the whole family, and just in time for gift-giving season.
Stones 2014 Tour of Australia and New Zealand
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