The Rolling Stones returned to Toronto, Ontario, to perform at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday, October 16, 2002. An American visiting North of the border benefits from the conversion rate when searching for a Canadian concert ticket. $35 USD is a budget price for a Rolling Stones concert ticket.

     Keith Richards appeared on the arena stage to launch the concert, stroking the chords for "Street Fighting Man". However, Keef took a spill onto the stage and reached out for the helping hand of bassist Darryl Jones, whose bass volume sounded louder than normal.

     "Hey Toronto, how you doing tonight? It's nice to be back here after an extended absence", was a warm welcome from Mick Jagger to the Ontario audience. The Stones knocked out a quick take of "If You Can't Rock Me". Bottleneck guitar work by Ron Wood and bass soloing by Jones gave the 1974 rocker added spunk.

     The Horn section strengthened "Rocks Off", which featured a thumping bass line and Chuck Leavel banging on the piano keys. Richards and Wood jam together in the center of the stage. For "Love In Vain", both guitarists were seated with Keith on acoustic and Ron adding dobro. The band delivered a bluesy run-through on the classic ballad.

     Richards turned in the best performance of the concert on "Thru And Thru". His stunning vocal and precise electric guitar chords elevated the moment. The Stones' infamous rhythm section got into the swing of things on "Happy". Wood's contribution was an intense dobro guitar solo during Richards' autobiographical tune from 1978.

     Wood and Jones were both up against each other's backs, jamming on "Start Me Up". Torontoans were up on their feet singing the chorus. Watts laid down a bombastic beat that kept the crowd moving. Richards fueled the intro on "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" with his flawless guitar strokes. Watt's notched up the adrenaline level, creating another highpoint in their performance.

     The B-stage spotlighted the Stones' return to R&B with a cover of "Mannish Boy". The band sounded great, aided by Jagger's harmonica solo and Richards' guitar leads. Richards nudged Wood during "Neighbours", which replicated a retro `50's groove. Jones' bass lines rumbled in the mix with Chuck Leavel's kinetic piano passages.

     When the Stones returned to the main stage for the first of two encores, the band began on a downbeat with "Sympathy For The Devil", which hampered their delivery. Every band has a moment of warbling out of sync and weaving back into tune, but this was one time the Stones were simply unable to recover.

     The Stones recaptured the moment for their encore finale, "Jumpin' Jack Flash". Richards fired up the intro on guitar as those familiar red paper petals began bathing the audience. Jagger's stage swagger was back as the band cranked on this 1968 classic. Watts was hott as the band jammed to a sweltering crescendo.

Air Canada Centre setlist: Street Fighting Man * It's Only Rock'n Roll * If You Can't Rock Me * Don't Stop * Rocks Off * Love In Vain * Let It Bleed * Monkey Man * Gimme Shelter * Tumbling Dice * introductions * Thru And Thru (Keith) * Happy (Keith) * Start Me Up * Honky Tonk Women * Can't You Hear Me Knocking * (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction * Mannish Boy (B-stage) * Neighbours (B-stage) * Brown Sugar (B-stage) * Encore: Sympathy For The Devil * Jumpin' Jack Flash

RockonTour   Issue #15
Concert Fan - the Single Source for the Concertphile © 2002 RoT
                  the Single Source for the Concertphile

Rolling Stones stoke Toronto
Canadians get Stoned in concert

by Timothy Tilghman