The Rolling Stones rolled into Pittsburgh last night, and, needless to say, I was priced out of being able to attend the concert. Not that I didn't want to go or anything; it would've been awesome to see Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and those other guys rip the non-existent roof off of PNC Park. But with tickets in the multi-hundreds of dollars range, and with me working part time in retail, you can see where the complication would arise. But that didn't stop me from catching the last quarter or so of the show. Well, at least the audio portion of it.
After Raquel and I saw the Devil Music Ensemble perform their score to "Nosferatu" live at the Regent Square, we drove towards PNC Park to see if we could hear anything from the show. And did we ever. We heard it so well that we parked and hung out on Ft. Duquesne Boulevard to listen to the end of the show.
It was amazing. When we got to that dirty yellow railing at the end of the street, we caught the end of a song that I seem to have forgotten the name of. But then the Stones launched into what Jagger called an old song, "Get Off of My Cloud," and that was super-cool. From that point to the end of the show, it was hit after hit after hit: "Honkey Tonk Women," "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "It's Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It)," "Paint It, Black," "Sympathy for the Devil," "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," and "Brown Sugar" as the encore. Talk about a mini-concert!
And it wasn't always just an audial experience. For "Sympathy" and "Satisfaction," the Stones employed giant flame throwers adorning the top of their audacious stage, and for "Satisfaction," their set closer, they had fireworks shooting off everywhere. It was insane. Raquel remarked she had never been to a concert with fireworks before, and I'm not sure if I have or not (I don't think so), but what I do know is I've never experienced a concert like that before.
But that's the best thing about concerts that are held in the two stadiums: you don't really need a ticket to experience them. From where we were standing, there were a couple dozen people up and down Ft. Duquesne Boulevard taking in the show, more below on the river's edge, even more on the other side of the river, and numerous boats in between. And during the time we were standing there, cars would slow down and listen, occasionally pulling over to see what they could see. It was a surreal experience, truth be told, being on the outside looking in. It created this weird feeling of being a member of the downstairs listening in while those upstairs were having a raucous party.
But I'm not being picky here. I feel fortunate enough to have had that experience of listening to an honest-to-God live Stones concert and not one that's been recorded. And when all is said and done, it only cost $5 in parking which ain't bad at all -- especially when you consider what some of the poor souls upstairs paid.