Live review: The Rolling Stones – Glastonbury Festival – Worthy Farm, UK (29th June 2013)

As the big draw to Glastonbury 2013, 60’s supergroup The Rolling Stones headlined Saturdays proceedings on the Pyramid Stage. Unfortunately despite their strong and varied setlist of songs, their lackluster performance failed to live up to the hype that had been building for months prior to the gig.

Undeniably one of the greatest and most influential bands in the world, The Rolling Stones have long been sought after to play the world famous music festival. Opening with a exciting version of Jumpin’ Jack Flash, the band got the immense audience (one of the largest in the history of the festival) rocking from the start, quickly following it up with some of their earlier hits.

Musically the band were not on top form – their tinny and slighly out of tune sounding guitars had the potential to make them sound like a good old fashioned garage rock band, however it just came off as them sounding amateur. The songs rambled on for a little too long and half of the band looked high as a kite throughout most of the gig (namely Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood!)

And despite the classy-looking odd-Stone-out Charlie Watts keeping the band in time behind his drumkit, a stick thin Mick Jagger’s trademark dance moves just came off at cringeworthy and embarrassing.

That is not to say that some of the performances weren’t great. Their big-hitter, classing songs such as Honky Tonk WomanYou Can’t Always Get What You Want and (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction  did sound pretty faithful to the original recordings.

Waving flags and adorned in wellies and Mick Jagger masks, the audience lapped up the music of the once in a lifetime experience. Dancing the night away and singing so loud it sometimes drown the band out, they were a prime example of what a fantastic festival audience should be.

Joined by original band member Mick Taylor for several songs, they brought their headlining set to a close on a slightly better note than most of the gig. They left the audience chanting for more and thrilled that they had witnessed one of the most anticipated shows in the history of Glastonbury.

Had I paid £200 to get into the 3-day festival then I would have moved hell and earth to see The Rollng Stones, because when all is said and done, they are the legendary Rolling Stones. But if I had to pay the whopping £200 for a single ticket to one of their own concerts, I definitely think I’d give it a miss.

Their performance at Glastonbury was one of the final shows of their 50 And Counting tour, which began on October last year in France, before heading to the UK, through the USA and Canada and back to the UK.

The Arctic Monkeys put on a fantastic headlining show the night before (review here), and Elvis Costello – who played the Pyramid Stage only hours before the Rolling Stones – put on a much stronger show than the veteran rockers (review here).

The Rolling Stones setlist

Jumpin’ Jack Flash
It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)
Paint  It Black
Gimmie Shelter
Factory Girl
Wild Horses
Doom And Gloom
Can’t You Hear Me Knocking
Honky Tonk Woman
You Got The Silver
Happy
Miss You
Midnight Rambler
2000 Light Years From Home
Sympathy For The Devil
Start Me Up
Tumbling Dice
Brown Sugar
You Can’t Always Get What You Want
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

The Rolling Stones 50 And Counting tour dates

25/10/2012 – La Trabendo, Paris, France
29/10/2012 – Theatre Mogador, Paris, France
25/11/2012 – The O2 Arena, London, UK
29/11/2012 – The O2 Arena, London, UK
08/12/2012 – Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
12/12/2012 – Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
13/12/2012 – Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
15/12/2012 – Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
27/04/2013 – Echoplex, Los Angeles, CA
03/05/2013 – Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
05/05/2013 – Oracle Center, Oakland, CA
08/05/2013 – HP Pavilion, San Jose, CA
11/05/2013 – MGM Grand Arena, Las Vegas, NV
15/05/2013 – Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
18/05/2013 – Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
20/05/2013 – Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
25/05/2013 – Air Canada Center, Toronto, Canada
28/05/2013 – United Center, Chicago, IL
03/06/2013 – United Center, Chicago, IL
06/06/2013 – Air Canada Center, Toronto, Canada
09/06/2013 – Bell Center, Montreal, Canada
12/06/2013 – TD Garden, Boston, MA
14/06/2013 – TD Garden, Boston, MA
18/06/2013 – Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
21/06/2013 – Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
24/06/2013 – Verizon Center, Washington, DC
29/06/2013 – Worthy Farm, Somerset, UK
06/07/2013 – Hyde Park, London, UK
13/07/2013 – Hyde Park, London, UK

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