‘Start me up’

ROLLING STONES, REGINA, OCT. 6, 2006 Rock ’n’ roll ex­cess, done to per­fec­tion

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - Front Page - RE­VIEW By Cam Fuller of The StarPhoenix

REGINA — It was the Con­cert That Ate Regina, and never has there been such a will­ing vic­tim.

The lure of fame, the lure of his­tory, the lure of nos­tal­gia and the lure of rock ’n’ roll’s glo­ri­ous ex­cess proved ir­re­sistible to 45,000 fever­ishly ex­cited con­cert-go­ers Fri­day night at Mo­saic Sta­dium. The site of count­less passes over the years — re­fer­ring to Mick Jag­ger, of course — was enough to make High­way 11 one long line of cars by 3 p.m. Fri­day, speed­ing in uni­son and panic-brak­ing when the RCMP speed trap popped up south of Cham­ber­lain.

Time was on the side of those who left early. Park­ing spots close to the sta­dium cost $10. Se­cu­rity was on the lookout for any­thing il­le­gal. Try­ing to smug­gle a peanut but­ter sand­wich and a dis­pos­able cam­era would have made you pub­lic en­emy No. 1.

Ev­ery­one feared snow when the Oc­to­ber date was an­nounced — we like to as­sume the worst in Saskatchewan — but the night couldn’t have been more per­fect. The air was warm and as the sun set a spec­tac­u­lar full moon rose over­head. Then came a cheer as two Snow­birds jets made smoke-bil­low­ing passes over­head.

Three Days Grace had the tra­di­tion­ally thank­less job of open­ing. The On­tario quar­tet’s brand of rage rock — I Hate Ev­ery­thing AboutYou was their break­through hit — wasn’t a great choice to start. Too much angst, not enough melody. Other cities get Van Mor­ri­son or the Dave Matthews Band.

Af­ter a one-hour in­ter­mis­sion to gather moss, the crowd rose as one to greet the Stones. Sud­denly, all the hype, all the “great­est band in the world” boast­ing seemed some­how . . . rea­son­able. By the sec­ond note of Jump­ing Jack Flash, Mick and the band were at full-speed and cruis­ing along as if they’d al­ready been on stage an hour. The en­ergy, the con­fi­dence and the joy of sim­ply play­ing were truly im­pres­sive.

Ev­ery­thing you wanted to see — with­out even know­ing you did — was there: Mick’s tip-toe strut, Ron Wood’s hawk-like gui­tar pose, Keith Richards’ head­band (the orig­i­nal pi­rate Jack Spar­row) and the fas­tid­i­ous Char­lie Watts, glassed and roofed in with his drums like a mall kiosk em­ployee.

There was no go­ing through the mo­tions of songs, not with the full com­ple­ment of back­ing play­ers — three singers, four-man horn sec­tion, two key­boards, bass. The sound was amaz­ingly full and bal­anced for an out­door show.

—L-P Photo by Joshua Sawka

Mick Jag­ger en­ter­tains 45,000 fans Fri­day at Mo­saic Sta­dium in Regina; please see Pages A14 and A15 for pho­tos and sto­ries

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