Friday, June 12, 2015

"You don't always get what you want." Well, I sure did!I

My buddy was given two tickets to the Rolling Stones concert in Atlanta.

Two REALLY good - expensive - seats.  More than I have ever paid to see a concert.

Paul McCartney was cheap in comparison!

So Tuesday morning, we took off for the 310 mile, 5-hour, drive to see Mick and the gang.

Kept an eye on the weather on my Smartphone app. Green and yellow with a red cluster was NOT good news, but none was near us.

Really just a little rain.

Until we were 30 miles from downtown Atlanta. It was a little after 3:00 pm when the skies opened, traffic slowed and hydroplaning started happening as we tried to be in the correct lane in the snarl of blending freeways. Yikes.

Then, suddenly, it stopped raining.

We parked, dropped our bags at the Marriott and took the MARTA to the Georgia Tech campus and joined the milling crowd and found the gate we needed to enter out onto the actual football field.

White folding chairs - hundreds? Thousands? - were set up in neat rows on interlocking white panels that protected the fake grass.

Seats in one end zone were not being used - they were behind the huge stage - but the chairs on the field added to the total of 42,000 seats for this musical setup.

The opening act was St. Paul and the Broken Bones who had closed the Spoleto Festival on Sunday. We saw him about a year ago at the Pour House. His gigs have grown enormously as he travels overseas and all over the U.S. He wowed the Atlanta crowd.

We were there to see the Rolling Stones and they gave the impressive high-energy performance we had hoped to see.

The staging was first rate. The sound quality belied it being in an open  air stadium.

The lights were a bright, dazzling show in themselves.

Did I mention we were in the 14th row, on the aisle, so I had legroom and could stand and zoom in when needed.

Jagger was in continuous motion.

No exaggeration.

Prancing, dancing, skipping, hopping.

Arms raised, arms flapping.

Hands clapping. Singing while running.

Racing along with his shirt flapping from one side of the stage to the other and back again.

Then strutting out on the catwalk.

Keith Richards had his time in the spotlight as did Ronnie Wood and other members of the band.

Charlie Watts manned the drums for the 2-hour show and for the two encore songs.

I brought my camera up to my eye for a brief moment Jagger actually stopped and stood still, opening a bottle of water.

I clicked and didn't realize I had caught the arc of water as he doused a few in the audience and laughingly said "Hey, cool off!"

Luck was with me. LOL.

Then he was off running again, darting back and forth in front of the other three main band members.

I wanted to get all four in a tight shot together in stage center.

Will need some more of that lucky shot karma.

 Well, these ARE the main four faces gathered together, but not quite what I meant.

Outside the stadium a radio station had a small jazz band playing and Stones-on-a-stick for people to use for their selfies.

Or other photos too, I suppose.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution the next day ran a review of the concert and recapped the last two times the Stones were in the city.

Guess this is where I'll find statistics and I did learn the name of the little jazz band playing outside to amuse the crowd was "Wasted Potential Brass Band."
Here is one of the few moments I caught when the core Stones are relatively close together.

By this time, Jagger has changed clothes several times, played a guitar, blew an harmonica and has moved on to a pair of maracas.

He also has raced from side to side of the main stage and numerous saucy jaunts out on the catwalk.

Two huge steel towers were erected about the 30 yard line that housed huge speakers for the fans in the upper tiers as well as the spotlights that tracked the band.

At the conclusion of Sympathy for the Devil, Jagger let the bright red feathered wrap he was wearing drop off his shoulders and slide to the stage.

Another rare moment of motionless drama and my zoom lens brought in the details that delight a photographer.

I sense he also was catching his breath and gathering his strength to jump right back into his restless pace.

The link to the AJC newspaper stories about the Stones' tour stop contain great tidbits such as the proposed set list and, the next day, the list of actual numbers played.

Perhaps ALL of the show is carefully choreographed and planned but I felt Mick would just take off in any and all directions as he felt moved by the music.

He has lead this tight band for many decades so I am sure they are totally in tune with whatever he decides to do.

(Click on the photos and links for more details.)

A nice guy with a camera sat in front of me and he mentioned this was his 15th Stones show.

He added that others in the national fan club had attended many, many more.

He asked how many I had seen.

I said "Counting tonight, I have seen one."

This final photo shows how 42,000 people can see what's going on.

Tall vertical screens were placed on either side of the stage and a giant horizontal screen was in the middle.

As we slowly filed out of the stadium, I looked back at the sea of white chairs, now empty and not as neatly aligned.

I savored just how nice it was to be seated up close to the action.

(Be sure to click on the photos and links for more details.)

There's a stadium link that shows the behind-the-scenes 5 days it took to put this all together! Also some more great concert shots.

Hmm, they play again in Raleigh on July 1....

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At Wed Jun 17, 08:47:00 AM , Blogger Paul said...

It's amazing that Mick Jagger is 71 and has that kind of energy. Wow!

At Fri Jul 24, 08:57:00 PM , Blogger chuckography said...

I just read that he has been cheating on his young girlfriend...with someone even younger! It also gave his age as 72. LOL.


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