‘Start me up’
ROLLING STONES, REGINA, OCT. 6, 2006 Rock ’n’ roll excess, done to perfection
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.
Mick Jagger entertains 45,000 fans Friday at Mosaic Stadium in Regina; please see Pages A14 and A15 for photos and stories