The Rolling Stones – Shine A Light

Shine A Light (2008)

B+

1. Jumpin’ Jack Flash 2. Shattered 3. She Was Hot 4. All Down The Line 5. Loving Cup (With Jack White III) 6. As Tears Go By 7. Some Girls 8. Just My Imagination 9. Far Away Eyes 10. Champagne & Reefer (With Buddy Guy) 11. Tumbling Dice 12. Band Introductions 13. You Got The Silver 14. Connection 15. Martin Scorsese Intro 16. Sympathy For The Devil 17. Live With Me (With Christina Aguilera) 18. Start Me Up 19. Brown Sugar 20. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction 21. Paint It Black 22. Little T&A 23. I’m Free 24. Shine A Light

 

Not quite No Security as far as late period Stones live albums go—mostly because it’s another looooooong double disc set, and several of those overplayed warhorses rear their bloated heads once again—but yeah, rockin’. Effectively the soundtrack to the Martin Scorsese-directed concert film of the same name, Shine A Light is culled from two October 2006 shows at the Beacon Theater in New York staged specifically for the film in the midst of the very long A Bigger Bang tour. At these shows, the Stones invited a few guest stars to play with them on stage, played a bunch of obscure songs you probably wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of hearing them play all together in one show at any other stop on tour, and paid a bunch of bimbo models to stand up front by the stage and look sexy in the movie, thus preventing certain actual fans from getting tickets even though they left a meeting with their bitch of a French teacher early and made a beeline to the computer lab so they could try to get tickets on Ticketmaster the morning they went on sale but came away empty handed when the show sold out in literally three seconds. All in all, they were successful ventures, I guess.

Despite the deterioration of Keith’s skills, the Bang tour was another great tour for the Stones (at least until the 2007 European leg, which came after Keith bonked his head, had brain surgery and was on meds that caused him to appear quite disoriented on stage). This can be largely attributed to the fact that they jacked their guitars way up in the mix relative to the previous few tours, occasionally endowing the proceedings with a garagey crunch that they hadn’t touched in a while. Furthermore, Woody, fresh out of rehab, was in peak form, playing better than ever – there were times during the tour when he had to take on the lion’s share of the guitar load to cover for arthritis-plagued/brain-damaged Keith, and he did a remarkable job. On Shine A Light, fortunately, both guitarists sound great—Keith was clearly putting in a lot more effort than has become typical for him—and prove that they can still tap in to that old guitar weaving magic when they want to. They still sound great tearing into each other on “Some Girls” and “She Was Hot” (which had gone without a live airing until 2006).

Ultimately, Shine A Light is basically typical live Vegas Stones with louder guitars, less over-professional sheen, and a couple more special, intimate moments then usual (Keith ceding guitar duties to Ronnie for a beautiful “You Got The Silver,” Mick and Keith briefly sharing a mic on the still-hilariously awesome “Far Away Eyes”). The album is presented as a full show, which it more or less is, so we get to experience the genuine ebb and flow of an evening on stage with the Stones and are not subjected to the annoying patched together synthetic-ness of a typical Stones live album. The guest spots are decidedly hit or miss; Jack White is nervous and bungles a few of the harmonies on “Loving Cup,” and while “Live With Me” (which the band tears through in red hot fashion) is infinitely more bearable in audio-only context where I don’t have to watch Mick dry hump Christina Aguilera, I couldn’t imagine a more textbook case of spotlight-hogging over-singing. Buddy Guy, on the other hand, puts everyone else on the stage to shame by tearing through Muddy Waters’ “Champagne & Reefer,” the rendition of which found here is the most downright fun, entertaining and rocking thing the Stones have put to tape in a long ass time. The rest of this thing doesn’t quite scale those heights, but it sure is fun to hear a bunch of geezers rock out so darn good.



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