Total Satisfaction: The Rolling Stones at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, May 3, 2013

Occasional correspondent and BumsLogic contributor Darryl Walter went to the Stones concert in L.A. so you wouldn’t have to. Here’s his review:

“Who would spend that much money for a bunch of old aging rock stars?”

“They haven’t put out anything of value in decades.”

“Mick and Keith hate each other.”

I heard these and other comments about the 2013 Rolling Stones “50 & Counting” tour but when I found out that I would be in Los Angeles on business, I knew I wanted to see this show. After all, they are the undisputed “World’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band. No other band, NO OTHER BAND, has been rocking out for half a century.

One of the things that make the Stones special is the riffs, Keith Richards has created some of the most notable riffs in music, it only takes a few seconds of hearing the first chords of “Jumping Jack Flash,” “Satisfaction,” or “Brown Sugar” and you know what is coming.

Rolling Stones

Photo courtesy of Filth Mart, West Hollywood.

Before the concert started, the UCLA Bruins Marching Band performed “Satisfaction” while marching and grooving on the floor of the Staples Center. A video montage that contained clips and quotes from fans throughout the years preceded the Marching Bruins.

The show opened with “Get of My Cloud” and then the band tore into “The Last Time.” Mick thanked the Los Angeles crowd and acknowledged the backlash for the high-priced tickets by asking if it is really just Beverly Hills, Brentwood, and parts of Santa Monica that were at the show.

Mick and backup singer Lisa Fischer went to school on “Gimme Shelter,” followed by special guest Gwen Stefani coming out for a duet on “Wild Horses. Gwen probably should have stayed in Orange County rather than embarrass herself trying to follow the powerful vocal prowess that Lisa Fischer had just displayed on “Shelter.”

Mick and Keith brought out the acoustic guitars for “Factory Girl” and then, in a total change of direction, the band played “Emotional Rescue.” Mick said it was the first time EVER that they performed the song live.

Keith Urban made a guest appearance on “Respectable,” but the song really belonged to Ronnie Wood as he tore it up. Being a huge fan of Keith Richards, I always enjoy when he takes center stage with the microphone. After Mick did the band introductions, Keith took the lead on “Before They Make Me Run” and “Happy.”

Former Stones guitarist Mick Taylor was the next “guest,” as he joined his old mates on “Midnight Rambler.” With Jagger playing the blues harp and Taylor on lead guitar, this reminded everyone that the core of the Stones sound for fifty years is American rhythm and blues.

Following the only song in the entire set that I could have done without, “Miss You,” the band finished with a grand slam as they ripped through “Start Me Up,” “Tumbling Dice,” “Brown Sugar,” and “Sympathy for the Devil.”

California State University Long Beach Choir kicked off the encore with “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and with the band joining in, we definitely got what we came for. The final two songs of the evening were “Jumpin Jack Flash” and to bring things full circle, “Satisfaction.”

The Rolling Stones delivered. They have an amazing rhythm section led by drummer Charlie Watts and longtime sideman Darryl Jones on bass. Chuck Leavell, who has played keyboards with everyone, and Bobby Keys on saxophone, rounded out the band.

No one has moves like Jagger. Fast approaching 70, Mick is still an amazing specimen. One could only wish they can look and move like that when they reach his age. And for all that he has done, Keith Richards looks pretty damn good. While there wasn’t much interplay between Mick and Keith, Keith had a grin on his face throughout the concert and had the interplay going with Ronnie Wood.

If you have the chance (and more importantly the disposable income) to catch the Rolling Stones on this tour, I highly recommend seeing them. Not just because “It’s Only Rock n Roll,” but because this really could be “The Last Time.”

* * * * *

Darryl Walter has previously written about Bruce Springsteen and Cleveland’s sports woes for Bums Logic.

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