The Stones could only get better (The Stones Rock Singapore)

March 28, 2003

By ONG SOH CHIN, DEPUTY EDITOR, From the Straits Times

IF MONDAY night was the first date, Wednesday night was full-on consummation. For it was on Wednesday that the Rolling Stones pulled out the stops and really hit their stride. They seemed more relaxed, too – in person and in their playing. The 7,000-strong crowd was a little different from Monday’s. Not only was it more evenly mixed in terms of race, age and gender – Monday’s was almost predominantly white, middle-aged and male – it also seemed more responsive.

Perhaps it had something to do with the set, which boasted a few improved variations. Instead of lesser-known numbers like Sweet Virginia and Can’t You Hear Me Knocking, which were played on Monday, the Stones offered up the more familiar Angie and Midnight Rambler. The latter, with its bluesy insouciance and its teasing loping rhythms, built up to an awe-inspiring crescendo of a jam which topped Monday night’s Can’t You Hear Me Knocking. Angie, an obvious crowd pleaser and arguably the one song that was sorely missed on Monday night, drew roars of approval, even if Mick Jagger skirted around the high notes.

The band also served up Let It Bleed, All Down The Line, Live With Me, Thru And Thru and Happy. These came in place of Monday’s Rocks Off, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Bitch, Slipping Away and Before They Make Me Run. Also missing on Wednesday were the inflatable dolls, as well as the fireworks which ended the show.

But the Rolling Stones left the stage victorious, proving that even without the props, they are still the greatest show on earth.

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