A 100-foot-high moving stage, pyrotechnics, fireworks and a giant inflatable tongue could not overshadow The Rolling Stones at their mega-concert Sunday night in Austin.The Stones seemed on a mission to rock out the entire city as they opened with a deafening “You’ve Got Me Rockin,'” which could be heard miles away from Zilker Park.
And if you were looking for the Stones to play your favorite song in their “A Bigger Bang” tour promoting their 2005 CD of the same name, they probably did.
Frontman Mick Jagger jumped, jived and ran all over the stage in tight black pants as he belted out some of rock’s most beloved tunes such as “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Start Me Up,” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and too many others to mention.
Guitarist Keith Richards, looking ratty in eye liner, head bands and a scarf, jammed with guitarist Ron Wood in 30-year-old classics such as “Sway” and “Brown Sugar,” from their 1971 album “Sticky Fingers.”
Surprisingly, Sunday marked the band’s first time ever to play in Austin. It was also the location of choice for the filming of its live DVD.
“We’re Austin virgins!” Jagger screamed after the first song.
About halfway into the night, the audience got more than it bargained for as part of the stage suddenly split off – with the band members still playing on it – and protruded into the middle of the crowd for a few songs.
Veteran drummer Charlie Watts banged away fairly unnoticed in the background of the entire set but never failed to keep up with the show’s fast pace.
I was continually impressed with Jagger’s physical fitness. At age 63, the cameras had a hard time keeping up with him as he sprinted from one end of the stage to the other to perform fancy footwork in front of the crowd.
One of the more memorable moments of the night was when Jagger ran up a ramp to the top of the stage under the giant likeness of himself from the jumbo screen behind him singing “Sympathy for the Devil,” the 1968 samba song that made the phrase “whoo whoo” famous.
This was hands down the best concert of the year. The Rolling Stones have defined rock ‘n’ roll, and from Sunday night’s show, it was obvious 44 years later, they are still the kings.
It was a show that I, along with the 42,000 people who filled Zilker Park, wished could go on forever.
You just can’t beat The Rolling Stones.