This was no ordinary gig in no ordinary park. There was no filter as the London Stadium rocked to one of the most iconic British bands of the past 50 years . The Rolling Stones quite literally rolled back the years and regaled their enthralled audience for two hours, playing everything that everyone wanted to hear, and more. It was a magical evening and one that those lucky enough to be there will never forget.
Whilst the former Olympic Stadium has received some criticism as a football arena, it is rapidly becoming a world class music venue, the lighting and visuals both excellent and, above all, the acoustics beautifully clear and losing nothing on this warm spring night.
It was a magnificent homecoming for these local lads, some of whom grew up just down the road in Dartford. Indeed Jagger recounted a story of when they gigged at Leyton Baths, a stone’s throw from here in their early days. Yet just look at them now, they have come a long way. These local boys have done well, very well.
There was simply no stopping them. Ronnie “the Hogarth of Hounslow” Wood, Charlie “the Wild Man of Wembley” Watts and the legendary guitarist Keith Richards belting out their music just as they had done all those years ago and belying their seventy plus years.
Then there’s Mick Jagger. At one point he disappeared to change outfit and possibly a quick sit down, so Keith Richards knocked out a number on his own yet when Jagger returned it was as if he had been started up again and all of a sudden he resembled a Jumpin’ Jack Flash. There is absolutely no doubt that no one can move like Jagger. He minced, gesticulated and leapt around like a schoolboy, energy seemingly unbounded
They painted the stadium black yet adorned with sequins and brown sugar. The honky tonk women and men and children in the audience loved it. Bright coloured wacky and spangly outfits were the order of the day albeit it seemed as though ‘dead pan’ drummer Charlie Watts did not get the message, not really entering into the spirit with his plain blue shirt. Then again, when you can play the drums like he can it does not really matter.
Even the newly appointed West Han manager, the Chilean Manuel Pellegrini was spotted in the audience on in his first day in office. Maybe he was just there for the support act, the Manchester City supporting musical legend who is Liam. It is rare that a Gallagher has to play a supporting role but on this occasion the musical hierarchy needed no debate.
After Liam left the stage, the new Hammers boss stayed to watch some exceptional ‘local’ English talent from this neck of the woods. He will have observed that these boys can really play and get all the crowd on their feet, cheering wildly and with their hands in the air. It is unlikely that he will see the stadium like that ever again, unless of course he returns on Friday night when the Stones are playing there for a second night.
Sometimes you go to a gig and you can’t always get what you want but there is absolutely no doubt that everyone who had the privilege of going to the London Stadium last night got satisfaction.