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Monday, April 21, 2008

FOUR FLICKS

I can't wait to see 'Shine a Light'. My schedule of late has prevented me from doing so, although it's playing at the Imax at Lincoln Center which is not too far from the day job. The problem is the day job has also been a night job lately.

To gear up, however, I've been watching the 2002 tour 4 DVD box set 'Four Flicks'.

The Stones product output since the early eighties has been highly suspect. Certainly since 'Steel Wheels' it's been: studio record, live record, studio record, live record, ect....

Obviously a way to sell more product without having to write more product.

When they decided to tour behind an anthology, and then have the audacity, the ostentatiousness of releasing a 4 DVD set of the tour, well, I mean, what else could you think?

The problem is, as has been the case with the Stones more often than not, 'Four Flicks' is a great product.

The package gains credibility when you understand the concept. On the tour they played three types of venues: stadiums, arenas, and theaters, so they shot one of each, threw in a bonus documentary disc, and released them as a set.

Of course it's well shot, sounds great, and has plenty of bonus features, but what's great about it is the dearth of material covered over the course of the box set.

More than one band member comments about the impossibility of being 100% on all the tunes they decided to have on hand for the tour, and indeed there are fuck-ups. Nothing serious, no derailments or blatant bloopers, well, at least not obvious to someone less well versed in the material than Jackson. During the Madison Square Garden show, for example, Mick mutters through a verse of 'If You Can't Rock Me' (Ted Nugent's favorite song,.... really) half mumbling, half repeating the prior verse.

Many would say 'so what'. It goes beyond 'so what'. It's great. It's real. You know Mick knows he fucked up, but he let it go because other than that it was a great roaring version of a lost track that they have seldom performed. I get the feeling that Mick is finally getting comfy with himself.

.....about time.

There is definitely a playfulness on stage that I'm not sure was ever there before. Keith and Charlie, very briefly, fall out of sync early on in 'Monkey Man'. Again, you're so blown away that they are actually playing another live rarity that you'd never notice if not for Keith looking straight at the camera with a 'Hey, whaddya want' look on his face. A face that is much more expressive and joyful in these modern times.





Even Charlie shows some signs of enjoyment. During 'Midnight Rambler' he displays what can only be described as a grin. I kid you not. 'Midnight Rambler' is exactly the kind of track that has kept the Stones interested in playing with each other. You can't play that tune to a click. That one is about human interaction.

Beneath all the excess; human interaction is what the Stones are about.

Ronnie is just a joy to behold. He's playing as well as he ever has. I'm working up a separate post for this under appreciated Stone.

It is strange to see the bass player moving about on stage, but I have noticed that Daryl Jones talks about as much as Bill did, which is to say very little.

'Four Flicks' is a good buy, a value if you will, and in my opinion a necessity for any self respecting Rolling Stones fan.

Comments:
Me Mum-in-law picked this box set up for me for Xmas last year. At first I thought it was going to be "Too much fuckin perspective". Sort of a fans only indulgence, but like you I found it top shelf quality. I love the part of the perfromances where the core band take the stage out in the middle of the arena. Amazingly, they sound as big as they do with all the aux players.

The audio is exceptional as well. Agreed, no real fan should do without it.
 
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