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From the Vault - Sticky Fingers: Live At The Fonda Theater 2015
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This latest addition to the From The Vault series captures a truly unique event in the long and eventful history of The Rolling Stones. On the May 20th, 2015 at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, California, the band performed the entire Sticky Fingers album live in concert for the first and so far only time in their career. The show celebrated the reissue of the Sticky Fingers album and was the opening night of The Rolling Stones Zip Code Tour of North America that would run over the next two months. The intimate setting of the Fonda Theatre was in contrast to the huge stadiums in which the band would perform for the rest of the tour and made this an incredibly special occasion for those fans lucky enough to get a ticket. The Blu-ray include interviews with the band members intercut with full length performances.
Blu-ray Track Listing
1) Start Me Up
3) Dead Flowers
4) Wild Horses
5) Sister Morphine
6) You Gotta Move
8) Can t You Hear Me Knocking
9) I Got The Blues
10) Moonlight Mile
11) Brown Sugar
12) Rock Me Baby
13) Jumpin' Jack Flash
CD Track Listing
1) Start Me Up
2) When The Whip Comes Down
3) All Down The Line
5) Dead Flowers
6) Wild Horses
7) Sister Morphine
8) You Gotta Move
10) Can t You Hear Me Knocking
11) I Got The Blues
12) Moonlight Mile
13) Brown Sugar
14) Rock Me Baby
15) Jumpin' Jack Flash
16) I Can't Turn You Loose
Blu-ray Bonus Features
Tracks cut from the concert film:
1) All Down The Line
2) When The Whip Comes Down
3) I Can't Turn You Loose
Top customer reviews
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Opened it, popped it into the Blue Ray player.
Concert is going , BOOM all of a sudden it cuts to an interview after a song.
Ugh. I figured why would the Rolling Stones make a concert Blue Ray and not give the viewer the choice to see it that way , or option to see the concert on its own.
I own many concert Blue Rays from many bands, and that's the normal way it's done. Don't get me wrong the interviews are great , but it ruins the concert experience with them on the Blue Ray this way.
If this problem didn't exist I would have gave 5 stars.
I'm pretty sure that the cameras were moving slow because of the perception that most of the songs from the LP were ballads. Mick Jagger has stated that this is the reason they didn't perform the entire album on tour, and I agree with Jagger that this show wouldn't have worked that well at a big stadium show. The audience would have been way too restless. But it worked in the small venue, and it works great on your TV at 1 AM. I'll also point out the the less distracting slow camera movement and cuts were also in place during the fast songs, both from the LP ("Brown Sugar" and "Bitch") and the extra songs, such as "When the Whip Comes Down" and "All Down the Line." There are also two brand-new cover songs for the band, "Rock Me Baby" and "I Can't Turn You Loose."
I've usually been critical of the continuous live performances that the band releases, and rarely releasing any new music. But this one is different, and is worthy of the full release. (The songs from the Sticky Fingers album were released as a download only from iTunes shortly after the show.)
This is The Rolling Stones at their most intimate, up close, warts and all, and there are few warts. You’d think that 44 years after Sticky Fingers was released, there would be less energy, less enthusiasm, and less snarl. But no, there’s nothing missing. Mick Jagger is in top form, spitting out lyrics just like he did back in 1978, with clarity and purpose. There are many out there who love to proclaim that “The Stones are too old, they should hang it up”. Normally I would tell them that they aren’t my target audience and should stop reading now. But in this case, they are part of my target audience. The film was shot just a scant twenty-eight months ago, which can be longer than some bands career. For those who think The Stones are too old, I say “Watch this”.
The band comes onto the stage with no fanfare and launches into Start Me Up. Yes, it’s the same old “warhorse” that the band always starts with, except here, as it was then, this is no tired old predictable song to start a Stones show. The band tears into it with reckless abandon and makes it seem new. In a flash, the band has taken us back to 1981, and subsequently takes the audience back to 1971. I know what you’re thinking, this is coming from the perspective of someone who was there. Or maybe you think this review is just fanboy lit. You’d be wrong on both counts. I wasn’t a huge fan when I attended this concert, but after seeing them from this perspective, I turned into one. Anyway, back to the review...
After watching for a few minutes, you’ll notice that there’s something missing; people holding up cellphones. Also happily absent are the video screens and pyrotechnics that usually accompany a Stones show. This was a gathering of 20 or so of my close friends, some hollywood A-listers, and the few other fans lucky enough to get a seat at this table. Having been front and off-center for this show, I remember it as vividly as if it were yesterday, and they’ve managed to recreate the evening quite well. There are very few overdubs, thanks to the remixing efforts of Bob Clearmountain. There are spots in the film where keyboardist Chuck Leavell has been turned up in the mix, but otherwise it’s pretty close to how it was that night. I’m sure on a much better sound system turned up to 11 the experience will be a lot more immersive. One of the highlights of the film from a musical standpoint for me is “When The Whip Comes Down” which funnily enough wasn’t from the Sticky Fingers album. The Stones absolutely shred this number, using their three-guitar attack to chop it to bits.
There is a smoldering “Rock Me Baby” tribute to B.B. King who had passed shortly before this show took place, and it’s performed low, slow, and slides up and down the neck the way Keith intended it. At many points in the film, there is some fabulous bottleneck slide work by Ron Wood. And speaking of wood (not Wood), there is the point where Keith Richards sits down with his 12-string to play “You Gotta Move”, and he cuts through the number like he’s sawing a log. The number is sharp, clear, and determined. I’ve always admired the acoustic skills of Keith, and if you do too, you’ll be mesmerized at this point.
Saxophonist Karl Denson makes his debut U.S. appearance and does a very adequate job filling the massive shoes of the beloved Bobby Keys, who sadly passed six months before this gig. Denson steps up expectedly for his solo during Can’t You Hear Me Knocking and on the DVD, it’s truer to life than the CD released in 2015 was. I found this DVD to sound slightly better, possibly due to less compression. This was also the beginning of the end for long-time vocalist Lisa Fisher who had been touring with The Stones since 1989.
Missing from this DVD are the fan testimonials which were greatly anticipated by those in attendance, but YCAGWYW. There are however some great clips of the band members interspersed amongst the film. At one point, Charlie Watts is asked what his recollections of the cover of the Sticky Fingers album cover are and he can’t remember what it looks like. Charlie actually speaks more than what’s considered normal for him on this DVD, so that alone is worth the cost. The band interviews were conducted on 5/15/2015, five days before the actual show. The genesis of the Sticky Fingers album is discussed as it should be, given that this show was partially meant to promote the recently released deluxe edition of the album, and to promote the tour which commenced on May 24th in San Diego. So technically this was the opening night of the tour, and there are no “opening night jitters” present here.
Overall, the band does much more than they’ve done on any recorded performance that I’ve seen. The enthusiasm of the audience is unmatched, the energy of the band is at its peak, and it belies the fact that this is a band that is fifty three years into their career. The band is currently touring Europe and is expected to return to the stage in 2018.
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