Back in 1997, the Rolling Stones played in Orlando, Florida in support of their Bridges To Babylon Tour. 18 years later, on a beautiful tropical night in paradise, the Stones Zip Code Tour makes their only Florida appearance for a return to the Citrus Bowl for another sold out show. Mick remarked that he first came to Orlando in 1964 and remembers playing in Orlando in 1981 when it was called the Tangerine Bowl. As you can imagine, after fifty years of groundbreaking rock and roll, the only question tonight is which Rolling Stones classics would make the set list tonight.
The setlist kicked off with a one two punch of JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH and IT’S ONLY ROCK AND ROLL. If you had any doubt about Mick Jagger’s voice, energy, or commitment at the age of 72, he was a non-stop jitterbug walking, strutting, shimmying, and skipping down the extended runway. The epitome of cool, Mick’s swagger hasn’t lost an ounce in fifty years. The entire band was rock solid tonight and the crowd’s energy tried to keep up. ALL DOWN THE LINE, TUMBLING DICE (with an neon cartoon light show on the big screens), the semi-recent hit DOOM & GLOOM kept the party going with five rockers out of the gate.
The Zip Code Tour is marking the re-release of the band’s landmark 70’s album, Sticky Fingers. Mick told the crowd tonight, “We used to make these things that go round and round called records, and about 59 years ago we recorded an album called Sticky Fingers and we’re going to do some songs from that.” BITCH and a sweet and soulful version of MOONLIGHT MILE which surprised the Orlando crowd followed. Fans got to vote online at #StonesOrlando for the special request song of the night. It came down to “Let’s Spend The Night Together” and the 80’s favorite SHE’S SO COLD (which won tonight). HONKY TONK WOMEN followed by the band introductions gave everyone a chance to catch their breath. Keith Richards took his turn at the mic for a double shot of BEFORE THEY MAKE ME RUN and HAPPY which showcased a nasty slide guitar solo by Ronnie Wood. At this point, fans have been treated to eleven incredible songs that any band in the world would love to have in their catalog, but this was only halftime for the amazing second half of the concert still to come.
We all know the Rolling Stones began as a blues-based group, even got their name from a Muddy Waters song. Tonight they showed us they’ve still got the blues in their soul with a extended version of MIDNIGHT RAMBLER. Mick’s harmonica introduction and Keith’s legendary guitar riffs captivated everyone once again. Going back to their disco period, one of the night’s highlights was an extra funky version MISS YOU featuring an extended solo by veteran bass player Darryl Jones. Not afraid to share the spotlight, legendary backup singer, Lisa Fischer, traded verses and dance moves with Jagger at the center of the arena during GIMME SHELTER. Her massive afro and matching hot pink cape conjured up images of the late Merry Clayton. Mick thanked the crowd for singing along and said “Orlando you sang beauuuuutifully”. Not that the Stones needed any help in keeping everyone on their feet, but START ME UP literally exploded on stage as a fireworks show accompanied the 80’s rock anthem.
MISS YOU (Orlando)
How can a crew of seventy year old men keep rocking so hard and have so much energy at their age? Perhaps there’s some truth to the rumors they sold their souls back in the day or maybe they spent some time in St Augustine bathing in the Fountain of Youth. Surrounded by a growing swirl of white smoke, Mick appeared in a red cape for a passionate run-through of SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL and concluded the set with BROWN SUGAR featuring Mick Jagger flashing his abs to the crowd and another signature shoulder shimmy dance that earned him another standing ovation.
The encore setlist hasn’t changed from night to night on this tour but what a special treat was in store for the Orlando audience. Two groups of University of Central Florida chamber singers introduced and accompanied the band for YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT. Not sure who was luckiest this evening, these students (who probably didn’t know the song before hearing about the gig) or the 65,000 in attendance for this special show. Keith Richards cranked up the greatest opening riff in rock and roll history for a powerful performance of SATISFACTION that literally closed the show with a bang as the fireworks exploded for a second time as the band waved good night to the Florida crowd.