Sure I had seen the Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary show in Brooklyn back when it was just a five-show tour and I even got tickets for their Toronto show when they announced a proper North American tour, but this is The Rolling Stones, and Montreal is so close to Ottawa I just couldn’t pass it up.
So on June 9th, 2013 I drove into Montreal, found a miraculously close, free street parking spot and went straight to the venue. Once again I had the mysterious $85 ticket in a room full of very, very overpriced seats. A very limited batch of $85 tickets had been available for each show this tour (not in Brooklyn though) and you didn’t know where the seats were until you picked them up at the show. I had lucked into pit tickets for the Toronto show and was crossing my fingers for the same in Montreal.
Digit-twisting bedamned there were no pit tickets for me this evening, which would have really been the pits had I not scored 100 level tickets in the grand magical random seat placement. These seats would normally have been in the $400 range (which is completely, utterly nuts) so I was a happy little music fan.
The show was spectacular again, almost the same setlist as the Toronto show and very similar to the song selection from Brooklyn. They brought out a local children’s choir for Can’t Always Get What You Want, just like they did in Toronto and Brooklyn, and again it was awesome. Just like the other shows Mick wowed the crowd with his vocal and physical prowess, Keith lurked while Ronnie wailed, and Charlie held it all together nice and solid.
There was a “fan vote” thing where people tweeted their choice between two songs for the band to play and the winner on this night was Dead Flowers, a song I love and I don’t think I’d heard The Stones perform live before. I soaked it in, quietly singing along with Keith’s harmony line. At one point in the evening Win Butler from Arcade Fire sat in on acoustic guitar. It added nothing to the song and was otherwise not at all memorable. I don’t even recall what song it was that he played on.
The Rolling Stones truly are the World’s Greatest (and Oldest?) Rock & Roll Band and it astounds me how they just keep getting better and better musically. I’ve seen every tour since Steel Wheels and each time the production tricks are diminished while the actual performance is augmented. At their age this just seems impossible, and though their last hit song is about thirty years behind them people keep coming to see the band in every city in the world that they choose to play, selling out every concert and making front page news every single time.
It’s almost like these guys are incapable of becoming a novelty act.
Which is great, because I’ll keep going to see them until they do.