On the 5th June 2018, we saw The Rolling Stones at Old Trafford Manchester as part of their No Filter Tour. On a glorious evening in Manchester, I watched the Stones with my mum who was seeing them for the first time since 1965. Our review is an addition to our very occasional Music Legends Concert review series.
A lot has changed in the world in the World since 1965. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is that The Rolling Stones are still touring. In fact, Keith Richards recently announced that they were “only just getting started“. Perhaps after 56 years, Keith is being a little optimistic that the band is still in its infancy but for a huge Old Trafford crowd, the band played with a passion which suggested there was no sign of retirement yet.
Even with the Stones, a lot has changed since 1965. When my mum last saw them it was at the Liverpool Empire. Last nights crowd was some 25 times bigger. In 1965 she was lucky enough to see the original Stones lineup including Brian Jones. Back in 1965 Ronnie Wood had not even joined The Faces and was still in The Birds.
However, Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger & Keith Richards were present in 1965 and were at Old Trafford. Whilst they have clearly aged there was no sign of slowing down during the show. All members are now over 70. Over the last week, Ronnie Wood has celebrated his 71st & Charlie Watts his 77th birthday. Charlie was particularly impressive during the night and did not even look like he broke a sweat playing the drums for 2 hours. In comparison, Roger Taylor when I saw Queen last year now needs a 2nd drummer to support him. Poor Phil Collins can’t even play the drums anymore.
They played a selection of songs spanning their career over just under 2 hours. In total, they played 19 songs with a mix of their most well-known songs plus a few more rare album tracks. The night finishing with stunning renditions of Gimme Shelter and Satisfaction.
— The Rolling Stones (@RollingStones) 5 June 2018
Perhaps there is some sign of slowing down as throughout this year their setlist has only been 19 tracks but in 2017 it was usually a couple more. In the UK there is a reasonably strict 10:30 curfew so it will be interesting to see if the set is extended when they hit Europe over the next month. Perhaps in 2018, a 2-hour set is quite reasonable from a band who are mostly now in their mid-70s? Afterall, many younger acts regularly perform much shorter sets.
The show itself is stunning. There are 4 huge LED screens being the backdrop of the show. A fantastic selection of lights and pyrotechnics accompanies the show. Unfortunately, it did not start getting dark until 9:30 so the best of the staging was only seen in the closing hour.
The crowd at Old Trafford, which was a mix of old & young, clearly enjoyed the show with the band receiving a fantastic reception and a feel-good atmosphere being present throughout the night.
The only criticism of the night was Old Trafford. We were in the Bobby Charlton stand which is the one side of Old Trafford that hasn’t been massively redeveloped. Some guests in the pitch standing area accessed through this route. Whilst the stand might cope with the matchday crowd it could not cope with the several extra thousand guests accessing through this route on to the pitch. The crowd in the concourse between Richard Ashcroft finishing and The Rolling Stones starting was bordering on dangerous. Crowds do not usually bother me but on this occasion, it was pretty scary. I dread to think what would have happened if someone had fallen. I understand Billy Joel is due to appear at Old Trafford later in the month and something must be done to review safety prior to this gig.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) 6 June 2018
Overall, a fantastic summer evening watching a legendary band. My mum enjoyed the show and hopefully, she will not wait another 53 years until she sees The Rolling Stones again.