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  • Writer's picturephotogroupie



London Stadium 25th May 2018

Iconic, influential, legendary; The Rolling Stones need no introduction. Even so, they still got one as they played their second date at The London Stadium, which was followed by the kind of applause to which the band have grown accustomed.

Yes, Mick, Keef, Ronnie and Charlie are touring back on home turf after five years, which is something to get pretty excited about, so much so that they added a second date to the London leg of their tour. But, there are still some people who don't get no satisfaction from their music and fail to see their overall impact. One of them happens to be a guy I know who continually refers to them as 'a pub band who got lucky.' Let's be clear about this: they are the BIGGEST rock band on the planet and have been going for 55 years. They command huge audiences around the world and earn a phenomenal amount of dosh doing what they love. They've also written some of the best songs known to humankind, many of which appear in the tour's setlist such as Paint It Black and Tumbling Dice. How many pub bands do you know that have had that sort of career? True enough, there's something raw and edgy about them that they've never managed to shake off, and there are probably better blues musicians out there too. But there's an energy, a symbiosis that runs between them, even now, that cannot be emulated or tamed. If they had come through the modern music machine's sanitisation process, Jagger's snake hip shuffle would have been beaten out of him by Simon Cowell at the first possible opportunity.

The No Filter tour is packed with greatest hits from over the years, just don't expect to hear the same songs every time. Jumpin' Jack Flash opens and gets the stadium erupting as soon as that riff is let loose. Let's Spend The Night Together, and It's Only Rock And Roll (But I Like It) quickly follow. Dead Flowers is added to the set thanks to an audience poll; now there's a song that you might hear being covered by pub bands, but you can never beat the real thing.

The first song of the encore is arguably one of their finest songs- Gimme Shelter. Armed with another killer riff, the song is one of the most passionate ever recorded. Sasha Allen takes on the track's formidable vocals, adding a twist of soul. A firework finale and (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction completes an evening that ticked all the boxes and left the audience sated.

Even with a combined age of 296 they still exude the kind of bad-ass rock n' roll image that The Beatles could never achieve. Although it's only rock and roll, they are still untouchable and this only backs the reasons why they continue to sell out stadia. Pub band my arse!

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