Check out these video snippets from the Rolling Stones opening night concert at the Staples Center in LA.
If you dare.
But be forewarned, it isn’t pretty.
Who in the heck did the Stones convince – or who convinced the Stones – they were still good enough to appear and perform in public? You know, without embarrassing themselves and ripping off the general public with ticket prices as high as $600 per.
And I’ve seen my share of over the hill artists. Including a stumbling, bumbling Frank Sinatra at Kemper Arena in the mid ’80s. But even Sinatra wasn’t this bad.
Clearly 50 years has taken a frightening toll on the Stones. And I hate myself in advance for saying this, but a tribute band would probably have done a better job both musically and aesthetically.
Celebrities in attendance included a Who’s Who of over-the-hillsters such as Jack Nicholson, Eddie Murphy, Nicole Kidman and husband Keith Urban (OK they’re still kinda happening), James Caan, Babyface and Melanie Griffith.
Hey, wanna read something scary from the LA Times’ review?
“Nicholson pumped his arms like a teenager along with the other 19,000 fans.”
Wrap you mind’s eye around that imagery for a second. Speaking of which, University of Missouri grad Randall Roberts reviewed the show for the Times and summed it up thusly:
“On Friday, the vibrations at Staples Center suggested thousands of strings as taut as tightropes. That not a single one snapped is a testament to the Rolling Stones’ enduring, apparently indestructible skills.”
Instead of calling the Stones out for their obvious inadequacies, he mailed in a mildly positive review, damning the band with faint praise, rather than serving up the well deserved brickbats.
Rock music scribe Bob Lefsetz called the Stones concert “an insult to history.”
“There’s no energy. The crowd looks like a parody of the seventies,” Lefsetz writes. “The band is so thin they make Gwen Stefani look fat, and she looks like she stepped onto the set of ‘Cocoon’…Why didn’t the band get someone their own age? It’s not like the audience cares about Stefani…Where was Bonnie Raitt?”
Last night’s Stones show wasn’t the first “insult to history” and I’ve got a feeling it won’t be near the last. Unfortunately.
Back to you, Sir Paul…