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Well, in a nutshell, the Rolling Stones were a well oiled rock ‘n roll machine at this Toronto show. I don’t know about other shows on this tour, but this one certainly impressed. It looked like they had rehearsed for a long period of time and were serious about getting the music and the vibe right.

All the shots people take at the Rolling Stones about their age were roundly dismissed by the passion and precision displayed in this performance. This was a top 10 concert for me. I really don’t think it’s fair that rock bands are faced with the notion that they are “too old to rock ‘n roll”. This hasn’t applied to country or blues artists, why should it apply to rock artists?

I would say that the Rolling Stones had to approach this tour was a view providing value for money and playing their hearts out. They did that. They’re not Dream Theater, Rush, or some highfalutin jazz act – their a rock ‘n roll band, one steeped in the blues (and a little country).

I’m really glad I went!

They started with “Get off My Cloud” with smiles on their faces (again, click on any image for a larger view):

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Everyone looked fit and sober, and in to it:

P1120379webKeith on nice old Gibson:

P1120393webMick was hard to photograph, as he kept moving for the whole two-hour show. Pretty good for a guy just shy of 70th birthday:

P1120431webCharlie was also hard to photograph, as even though he has a small drum kit, he was hidden by his cymbals for most of the evening. Got this shot though:

P1120444webMick and longtime Rolling Stones backup singer Lisa Fischer belt out “Gimme Shelter”:

P1120480webRare opportunity to see Mick Jagger on keyboards – this was the Internet fan selection song for the evening, the very rare  “Worried About You”:

P1120513webThis shot shows some of the intensity that Mick Jagger kept up for over two hours:

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Long time Stones touring sax player (and he’s played on every Stones album with sax on it since 1960) Bobby Keys. So yes, all those classic Stones songs like “Brown Sugar”, “Honky-Tonk Woman”, “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” are all Bobby Keys wailing away!

According to Keith Richards’ autobiography, “Life”, Bobby Keys is Keith Richards’ “my closest pal”.  Part of the conflict between Mick and Keith in the 1980s was Mick’s banishment of Bobby Keys as Rolling Stones touring saxophonist. Great to see Keith got him back in the band, because the solos all sound like a record!

Apparently Bobby and Keith were born within hours of each other, and Bobby used to play with Buddy Holly back in Lubbock Texas, where Bobby grew up.

P1120602web Here’s a nice shot of Charlie, what a great drummer! So underrated.

P1120635webHere’s Mick at close range – from where I was sitting this is like seeing them in a small club!

P1120641webThe Rolling Stones made this tour very special by bringing along their guitarist from 1969 to 1975 Mick Taylor. It allowed them to do songs that they otherwise wouldn’t, and even though Mick Taylor only plays a few songs each night of the tour there standouts.

Here Mick and Bobby Keys tear up “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”. Bloody brilliant!!

P1120683web Mick joining Lisa and fellow long-term Rolling Stones backup singer Bernard Fowler to help keep the groove:

P1120695web Mick Taylor’s big solo near the end of the songt– This was a real highlight of the show:

P1120728web Mick going for a stroll:

P1120761webA very appreciative Keith Richards!

P1120770web Ron and Keith featured on the bluesy “You Got the Silver”

P1120773web Ron and Keith tearing it up on “Before They Make Me Run” – this song featured some great drumming by Charlie Watts (age 72) and it was another highlight of the evening!

P1120812webStones bassist Daryl Jones holding down the bottom:

P1120823web Mick and Mick on the opening of the classing “Midnight Rambler”:

P1120829webMick digging Mick:

P1120851webMick up close:

P1120891web These three shots really capture the passion these cats were playing with – no going through the motions  – just a legit hard rockin’ band.

P1120909web P1120911web P1120913web Mick on a nice old Strat on the start of “Miss You”:

P1120922webWhat a character Ronnie Wood is – he was having a ball up there!

P1120941web Couple of shots capturing the fun interaction these guys were engaged in:

P1120968web P1120969webMick up close again:

P1120988webThe opening of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” features local choirs.  Here’s Mississauga’s Cawthra Park Secondary Chamber Choir, with leader Bob Anderson – another nice touch the Stones added for this tour.  What a thrill for these kids!!P1130044web P1130045web Matt Clifford on French Horn:

P1130050web Mick on Acoustic:

P1130055web Ron, Keith, and Choir:

P1130056webMore British humor from Ronnie Wood:

P1130062webMick being Mick:

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More fun and games:

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Keef’s back!

P1130150web Mick and Mick on “Satisfaction”:

P1130165webMick thanks us:

P1130171web P1130172webCurtain Call?  Was interesting to watch Mick walk off stage this night in Toronto, as he walked behind the back-line of amps he raised one hand high above his head and gave the ‘theatrical’ twist of the wrist from front to back.  A final good bye to a city so closely intertwined with there history?  Who knows?

But a great show either way!

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