THE Rolling Stones returned to Coventry for the first time in 47 years to give a triumphant if unlikely lesson in long living.
As the Septuagenarians strolled and strutted around the Ricoh Arena stage with measured reserve, you had to admire their longevity, defying rock n roll cliches.
Mick Jagger dimly recalled the last Coventry gigs, noting that one was at the “Locarno, which is now a library.” He jokingly turned to his band and asked how many remembered that.
He also recalled those 1960s “Jimmy Hill days” in adding it was “good to see the Sky Blues on the up again.”
There were other crowd pleasing moments for the local people among the 30,000 throng, notably when he described Coventry as the “jewel of the West Midlands”. Jagger also paid tribute to Coventry’s finest The Specials who delivered a polished support set.
And he revealed guitarist Ronnie Wood and drummer Charlie Watts were celebrating birthdays in Coventry this weekend. The stoney faced Watts looked genuinely embarrassed by Mick’s rendition of “Happy Birthday”.
Amid the clowning, the timeless classic songs were juxtaposed with four towers of modern light and colour like London skyscrapers, often beaming each of the four band members into the balmy summer night sky.
The special summer evening was matched by a very special performance of around two hours.
The predicted list of hits played was completed with an encore of Gimme Shelter and I Can’t Get No Satisfaction. But not before great renditions of Miss You, Start Me Up, Sympathy For The Devil, Midnight Rambler, Honky Tonk Women, Paint It Black, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Brown Sugar, It’s Only Rock and Roll, and many more.
A relaxed Keith Richards’ white teeth lit up the sky with his unruly shock of grey hair kept only slightly in order by a multi-coloured headband which recalled the 1980s era.
The band for this No Filter 2018 tour is supported by great musicianship from backing vocalists, keyboards, bass (don’t miss the solo in ‘Miss You’), saxophone and much more.