The Rolling Stones are turning 50. That’s entirely too long for a rock band to be together. It provides far too many chances to disgrace oneself, as we have seen. Of course they are one of the greatest bands in the world, but maybe, they just needed to hang it up after Emotional Rescue and call it a quarter century.
As with all anniversaries these days, the occasion is marked with a commemorative release and some shows. Didn’t they just do this for Exile last year? There’s a new single out, its OK, I’m not going to talk about it. What we will discuss, is the shows. There were rumors the commemorative events would take place at the newly minted Barclays Center in Brooklyn. This would make sense, its a brand new arena, they’ve been booking lots of high profile events, who better than The Stones to say “This is the new Madison Square Garden, and like everything else, its in Brooklyn, now start gentrifying Staten Island already” And yes dear reader, I had a plan.
This would be my one last shot to experience The Stones. I have never seen them live. I worked on a session with Charlie Watts (as an assistant…) and it was a fantastic experience. Full of great stories, great jazz musicians, he smelled incredibly expensive, everything you would want in the experience of meeting someone of that stature. But it was no Rolling Stones show. We must face the facts, the members themselves are also a bit past their prime. It’s just facts. A Stones show in 2012 will be very different than 1972 for a plethora of reasons. So If I could not bring the Stones to 72, I would bring myself as close as possible.
What I’m saying is, I would get as intoxicated as possible. If you know me, you may be aware of the fact that I like to experience music fairly sober. I really don’t want to be “that guy” screaming shit the entire show, passing out before the encore, then calling everyone the next day and saying “DUDE THAT SHOW WAS FUCKING AWESOME.” It’s just not who I am. But I would make the exception for this show, because at their ticket prices, I cannot afford to have a bad time.
I would purchase the least expensive ticket possible, walk to the Barclays center, get as drunk as possible at the nearest bar, and Wooo Hoooo my way through the entire show. I would hopefully have convinced a friend to join and help document the experience…but if not, that’s ok too. Afterwards, I would hope to find a cab back, and not die in the process.
But no, it was not to be. The shows were in fact announced, but in Newark. Yes, Newark. I guess Cory Booker had a hand in that, he’s probably helping the road crew lift cases and scanning tickets at the entrance. I’m just not going to go to Newark for this. That’s one hell of a commute for a plan such as this. Also, I have never thrown up on the PATH train, and that’s not a streak I want to break. One final thing…..The tickets range from $95-750. Are you fucking kidding me?
With fees, that makes the cheapest nosebleed seat well over $100, and that’s just not OK. Is this tour sponsored by fucking Bain Capital? At this point, only the 1% can afford to see the Rolling Stones. Yes, their production is going to be hideously large and expensive. Yes, they have 15 extra musicians on stage to play the parts Keith is too fried to remember. Yes, they’re greedy and British. But this is ridiculous. It’s also not worth it. I’ll just stay home and watch Shine A Light if I want to see a band sounding mediocre in a nostalgic setting. The sound will also be better.
I think it’s time to give up the dream. The Stones are kind of like Bach or Mozart at this point. They’re an ancient form of music, still relevant and influential to millions, but they themselves no longer exist. We must not pay attention to their new work, not acknowledge any performances. I think we’re all better off for it.