The Rolling Stones – Tokyo Dome (Live 1990)

Tokyo Dome (Live 1990) (2012)


1. Start Me Up 2. Bitch 3. Sad Sad Sad 4. Harlem Shuffle 5. Tumbling Dice 6. Miss You 7. Ruby Tuesday 8. Almost Hear You Sigh 9. Rock And A Hard Place 10. Mixed Emotions 11. Honky Tonk Women 12. Midnight Rambler 13. You Can’t Always Get What You Want 14. Can’t Be Seen 15. Happy 16. Paint It Black 17. 2000 Light Years From Home 18. Sympathy For The Devil 19. Gimme Shelter 20. Band Intros 21. It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll 22. Brown Sugar 23. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction 24. Jumpin’ Jack Flash


Say, maybe this tour wasn’t so dumb after all! Yeah, the cheesy keyboard effects pretty much ruin “Miss You” and “Ruby Tuesday” and “Paint It Black” and a couple others, and those Steel Wheels songs, other than “Mixed Emotions,” are still pretty dreadfully dull, but in most respects, Tokyo Dome (previously available in bootleg form as Cold Steel Blue) kind of kicks ass. I would say I’m surprised that the comparatively sterile, neutered Flashpoint is a poor representation of what the tour it feigns to represent actually sounded like (even though that record contained several tracks recorded during the same February 1990 ten show run in Tokyo that birthed this collection), but that described basically every Stones live album other than possibly Ya Ya’s. So no, I guess I’m not really surprised at all. And sometimes it feels like nothing surprises me anymore. Life is just an interminable slog of predictability. You know what would be really surprising? A real life Godzilla attack. Yeah. Or Scarlett Johansson showing up at my door in a bathrobe with a bottle of champagne. Or maybe tomorrow I will go the entire day without reading an internet commenter calling someone a “race baiter” for daring to allude to the existence of racism. None of these are ever going to happen, however, so I guess I’m shit out of luck.

What strikes me most about this performance is that Keith has suddenly transformed into a lead guitarist. I don’t know what the hell he was on (or, more likely, wasn’t on) during this tour, but suddenly he’s playing all these fluid solos and fills all over the place that make ‘70s Keith sound like the drug-addled lunatic without full control of his nervous system he was. Of course, as with Still Life, and No Security, and Love You Live, and almost every Stones live album of the Wood era, this renders Ronnie virtually irrelevant for most of the proceedings, but who cares? Ronnie’s personality has always been a more significant contribution to the Stones than his guitar playing, anyway. And his fastidious mimicries of the original ’68 lead guitar lines on “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Sympathy” are either pale affronts to the originals or just givin’ the thronged masses what they came for in the first place. Your call.

Is the smorgasbord of backing musicians intrusive at times? Yes. “Gimme Shelter” definitely didn’t need that synth, for one. (Although they make possible an unprecedented performance of “2000 Light Years From Home” which is one of the last songs I’d ever expect the Stones to perform live, and is pretty awesome, along with the segue between it and “Sympathy,” which might be the neatest moment on this thing). But when they’re foisted to the background in favor of just the five Stones (which at this point still included Bill “I probably jerk off to child porn” Wyman!), well, it’s tough to deny that, in some ways, they might not have ever sounded better. Not all the ways—grit, drug use, and youth, among other related characteristics, are noticeably lacking—but, you know… some of them.


  1. victoid wrote:

    Pretty impressive set list if y’ask me. I would pay money just to hear 2000 Light Years.
    Do you know of any live recordings of “2000 Man”? This I would grovel to hear in any form other than the voice in my head which sings it to me regularly and has for almost 50 years.

    • Jeremy wrote:

      Unfortunately they’ve never done 2000 Man, or any other songs off of Satanic Majesties other than 2000 Light Years and a few abortive attempts at She’s A Rainbow on the Bridges To Babylon tour.

  2. victoid wrote:

    An unfortunate state of affairs. I wouldn’t expect them to try “Gomper” or “In Another Land”, or even to admit to authorship of either (Mick can blame Wyman for the latter tune), but “2000 Man” and “Sing This All Together” certainly should have been tried live.
    Along with “2000 Light Years”, they are among the classics in the Stones catalog.
    Also “She’s A Rainbow”. Was it really that bad live?
    I guess they rejected psychedelia as a self identifier or something. Pity.

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