Skip to main content

A Musical Aside

By October 25, 2021Commentary

So I have been a very fortunate person, and I try to always keep that in mind.  I really enjoy a lot of music, so going to concerts is something I do whenever I can, which hasn’t been often in the last year and a half.  Last night the Rolling Stones rolled into town.  An emotional experience for fans and the band.  A phenomenal concert.  So a few observations, aside from the music.

This is the F**k Coronavirus Tour.  Not one word about the epidemic.  Not one word about George Floyd.  Just music.  The Stones may know what you want, but they really know what you need.  And what you need is to be removed from worldly cares and just be moved by music.  No coronamonomania here.

These guys must not know that singing spews very heavy viral loads, because they encouraged the crowd to vocalize along with the band multiple times.  Or maybe they just don’t care.  When the band came on, many people around us were in tears.  The idea that once again 50,000 plus people, 99% plus unmasked, could get together  in person and share a common love was overwhelming.  We lost so much of what it is to be human during this epidemic, most of it needlessly.

And the band was emotional too.  Keith Richards spoke, with tears welling up in his eyes, of what it meant to be back with the fans.  The Stones enjoy performing more than ever.  Those on stage have survived, and are keenly aware of those who didn’t, going back to Brian Jones.  And they lost a massive part of their core with Charlie Watts’ passing.  As those of us who are getting quite old will appreciate, at some point it is freeing to just still be alive and you have a greater awareness of what really makes you happy and satisfied with your life.  And for the Stones, that is performing music for fans.  They truly enjoy it and that comes through in the show.

And perform they did.  A tremendous show, Mick prancing as though it were 4o years ago, Keithy and Ronny with the guitar licks, all the sidemen and backing vocals hitting powerful rock grove after rock grove.  We heard oldies like 19th Nervous Breakdown and Paint it Black, and all the classic hits, with the Let it Bleed playlist strongly featured.  Over time, memory can fade about how well their songs captured a moment in time.  Few bands, if any, can create such stirring guitar licks and sustain such deep rythmic momentum.

The penultimate song was Gimme Shelter, from 1969, another deeply troubled time.  A storm is threatening our very lives today, but love is just a kiss away.  Live your lives folks, it is all you have.


Join the discussion 12 Comments

  • Paul says:

    No Vax pass to attend, right?

  • Abhijit Bakshi says:

    This was a beautiful post. Thanks.

  • Scott says:

    I have a side gig as a pianist, and over the weekend I played a dinner theater in California. We took time in the middle of the show to thank all the people that came out to support live theater. We didn’t have 50K people, but we did have 100 — and nobody was wearing masks except for the wait staff.

    People are sick of the media trying to scare the hell out of them, and are ready to resume normal life. The holiday season is upon us, and I am certain that most of the country plan to celebrate it regardless of what scaremongers like Fauci say. (The most dangerous place to be is in between Fauci and a microphone.)

  • DuluthGuy says:

    I’m not a big music fan myself, but good to hear that so much of the crowd was not wearing masks. While I can’t say for certain, I’d guess that the crowd at a concert is going to be much more likely to voluntarily wear useless masks than at a football or hockey game. The Vikings home games (indoors) that I’ve watched this year have all looked like 99%+ of the crowd have not been wearing masks in the shots they’ve shown on TV. All branches of the U of M have required masks for indoor events. I missed the Minnesota-UMD hockey game in Minneapolis on Friday, but caught part of the game in Duluth on Saturday on TV. Despite the requirement to wear masks at all times, it appeared that virtually nobody was wearing them with the shots I saw on TV and the pictures people posted on Facebook. While masks are not required at Gopher Football games since it’s outdoors, there are still very few people wearing them. The only events I’ve seen where it looked like the majority of people were wearing masks were at Gopher Volleyball games. I’m not a huge volleyball fan or anything, but I do find it more interesting than a lot of other spectator sports like baseball and basketball. But mask compliance at Gopher Volleyball games had to be close to 100% in the shots of the crowd that I saw.

    It’s at the point where 80%+ of the population knows that masks are completely useless and are not at all worried about COVID-19 (or at least aren’t going to alter their lifestyle for it), although only 25% or so are willing to admit it to their friends and/or publicly.

  • MPW says:

    Kevin – Very well said.

  • rob says:

    I just told a friend the other day that I have zero desire to see the Rolling Stones because in my mind they peaked more than 45 years ago and I’d rather just listen to “Let It Bleed” on Youtube. But your review was so good I sort of wish I’d gone. Sort of. I think I’ll just savor my memories of the 3 best concerts I ever saw: Moody Blues, Allman Brothers, and Joni Mitchell.

  • Rob says:

    Mick Jones? Or did you mean Brian Jones? Or Mick Taylor?

  • Ganderson says:

    Glad you had fun! I saw Dead and Company 3 times this summer- fun times, although I’m sad to report that the band has cancelled their Florida shows, because they don’t check for vax status. I was asked to show my jab card in Mansfield, MA, and in Cincinnati, but not at Citi Field.

  • Steve says:

    You summarized how many feel today. We’ve been lied to, manipulated, bullied, abused and treated like wards of the state. It’s time for Fauci, Wolensky and the entire crowd to pay the price for what they did and continue to do to the American people. They have corrupted science, destabilized the entire nation and still they won’t relent. We have flattened the curve, wore masks, social distance, washed our hands, stayed away from church…and at the end of all of this we are told it’s still not enough.

    I think it’s over for them and all the other bullies, Biden included, who think we are going to listen to them any longer. They are evil, ruinous people who need to be held accountable. And for all the corporate giants who are uncaring enough to end people’s careers just because they won’t take a vaccine that is questionable at best. I think its time for massive lawsuits, sit in’s and boycotts of those who have ruined the greatest country the world has ever known. As for me and millions of Americans WE’RE DONE!!!!

  • Ganderson says:

    Steve- come to New England. The panic here is alive and well. The Massachusetts Department of Ed just announced it’s extending the mask mandate for kids in school to mid-January; this includes kids playing indoor sports like volleyball, and presumably will be continued into the winter sports season as well. Most towns in MA still have indoor face diaper edicts- we have to wear masks to the UMASS hockey games. My unscientific count as I drove through town the other day was about 1/3 of the people I saw were wearing masks OUTSIDE!

    Two rays of hope: Springfield, the second largest city in the commonwealth has rescinded its indoor mask mandate, and, at the Amherst College football game Saturday, virtually no one was masked, even though the college makes it very clear that masks are required at the (outdoor) games. In addition there were many food tables set up, also in violation of the rules. The Campus Cops I talked to were completely uninterested in enforcing the Covidpanic rules, as well as unmasked.

Leave a comment