Eternal Rolling Stones: rock and roll lesson at their concert in Madrid before 45,000 people | Culture

Charlie Watts got the first standing ovation of the night. A video with images of the charismatic drummer when there was still no one on stage kicked off the Rolling Stones’ 24th concert in Spain. Then the cloudy sound riff guitar maker Street Fighting Man.

And there they were again. Mick Jagger with his dances; Keith Richards executing that characteristic feint movement with his right arm, and Ronnie Wood with his sucked face and mischievous smile. Just like in his visits to Spain in 1976, 1982, or 1990, 1995, 2017… Only someone was missing, the distinction of Charlie Watts, who left us in 2021, his gray hair and his flint rictus. The rest was there. When most of the 45,000 spectators of this Wednesday’s concert at the Metropolitan Stadium were born, the Rolling Stones already existed. Last night, only the moon that looked imperial in the sky of Madrid was older than them.

But they did it again. Already in 1990 it was said that it could be his last tour. 22 years have passed and of course we do not dare to say that this 2022, whose tour is called sixties (for the group’s 60-year career), it will be the last time we see them on stage. We no longer pay the entrance to listen again (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction either Jumpin’ Jack Flash. Not even the priority is to discover that song that they rescue from oblivion and that they haven’t played for years, in this case a out of time that sounded like glory. No, that is not our aspiration.

We go to their recitals to verify that it is true, that they are there, that those seventy-year-old grandparents are capable of standing up for two and a quarter hours enduring an electric shock that would knock down an elephant. And those shabby figures of Keith, Mick and Ronnie reveal to us that, even professing the most dogmatic atheism, miracles exist.

Atmosphere at the Metropolitan Stadium during the Rolling Stones concert this Wednesday.SUSANA VERA (REUTERS)

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This Wednesday, in the vicinity of the Metropolitan, with an excellent atmosphere and with hundreds of logos of the language stonian (in t-shirts, hats, tattooed on bodies…) making himself visible everywhere, Pedro Moreno, 58, drank a can of beer accompanied by his daughter, Marina, 24. She is the one speaking: “My father took me to the Calderón when I was five years old. I barely remember, of course; then he took me, also to the same stadium, when I was 13 years old, and there I already remember something. When he called me a few weeks ago by phone in Oviedo, which is where I live, to ask me if I wanted to come, my answer was: ‘But are they still alive?’ And here I am. I haven’t listened to his music in a long time. now i like him trap, but it seems like a great plan and I know that my father is going to enjoy it”. His father, next to him, couldn’t be more proud. There were young people, a lot of them; also hardened rockers in a thousand battles; fathers and mothers with their adolescent children, the latter with the motto “at least once in a lifetime”.

And they were not disappointed by the Rolling Stones, who offered a good concert. The staging is no longer as horizontal as before. Mick, Keith and Ronnie don’t play yards apart. Now the stage is big for them. They tend to collect, to gather in the center. They look at each other, touch each other, sign to each other. They act like they’re in a club, and that’s good news. They have even dispensed with inflatable dolls and other attractions to focus on music. The songs have slowed down, they execute them slowed down, with substance, inside. how good it sounds Tumbling Says in that quedon format, how amazing is Richards’s punctuation in slipping away. The frame holds, boy does it hold.

Mick Jagger, in top form during his performance.
Mick Jagger, in top form during his performance.Claudia Alvarez

Mick Jagger showed that he is not earthly, that he does not belong to the same world where you and I live. His face, furrowed by a thousand wrinkles, is that of a 78-year-old man. Not his body: fibrous and elastic. He moved his butt like only he knows how to do it and he always had a powerful voice. He spent the night humiliating those of us at his feet for his physical extravagance, considering that he is on his way to the 80s. raising hands to warm people. One only wonders what stuff this man is made of. Jagger, who almost always spoke in Spanish, was the owner of the concert. Keith (also 78 years old), next to him, is for the scrapyard. Seeing the dilapidated image of him present there is already a miracle. His thing is not gymnastics. He looks like he doesn’t do anything, he just walks by and smiles. We are even afraid that he will trip over something and break his hip. But every time his deformed fingers scratch the guitar, that’s the essence of rock and roll. He was seen in better shape than in previous visits, loose, enjoying himself.

And Wood, who just turned 75 yesterday, played his usual role, drawing the guitar sets with Richards and showing off solos, such as You Can’t Always Get What You Want. In the most battle-hardened pieces, the two guitarists put together a brutal sonic wall that seemed to emulate that of the Young brothers of AC/DC. That’s how loud they turned the volume. Steve Jordan, who sat on a battery as simple as that of his predecessor, complied, it would be missing more. And his function can be described as brilliant. But he missed the magic touch with swing of Charlie, his sophisticated presence and that tender image that he always gave thanks to the giant video screens: when Keith transmitted some complicit code with a gesture and he smiled. Yes, we missed you last night, Charlie.

They played the usual repertoire, because it turns out that’s what people want. If they don’t ring during the night Sympathy for the Devil either Honky Tonk Women it is very possible that we can legally claim our money back. It is absolutely unlikely that they will enjoy playing these classics, simply because they have played them thousands of times. But we like to think so and we make an act of faith to convince ourselves that they threw the rest just because they were in front of us and we had paid 150 euros. In the meantime, they opened a gap for Living In a Ghost Town, the piece they released in 2020, their first original song in ten years. Jagger printed a sentiment bluesy to the theme with a good harmonica solo. Midnight Rambler burst in dirty and dangerous. All three got badass on this one, Wood and Richards offering a barrage of guitars and Jagger blowing his devilish harmonica. It was the most rock and roll moment of the recital.

As the night progressed, a phenomenon that was the opposite of any show, unprecedented and exciting, was appreciated: it was the public that offered the Rolling Stones a party and not the other way around. People wanted to fill with warmth and encouragement those musicians who guided us with their songs through the wasteland of youth. As with the most pleasurable activities in life, everyone there left the stadium tired and happy. It may be the penultimate time we see them.