The Rolling Stones have been in the news quite a bit lately thanks to band front man Mick Jagger’s recent health scare. Jagger didn’t take long to recover from that scare, though, allowing the band to head back out on the road for its No Filter Tour. While the band’s tour spans the globe, there obviously are those areas and fans who will not get the chance to catch the band in its latest outing. For those audiences (and even for those who will get to see the band), Eagle Rock Entertainment has pulled another of the band’s archived shows from the vaults and released it for the masses in the form of Bridges to Bremen. Released just last week, this latest addition to Eagle Rock Entertainment’s ongoing series of live Rolling Stones shows. The concert presented in the recording was originally captured Aug. 26, 1998 in Berlin, Germany. The concert was part of the band’s yearlong Bridges To Babylon Tour, which was in support of the band’s then new album Bridges To Babylon. This latest addition to The Rolling Stones’ live recordings collection from Eagle Rock Entertainment is just as enjoyable for all as each of the previous recordings that Eagle Rock Entertainment has released. That is due in part to the recording’s set list, which will be discussed shortly. The band’s performance of said set list plays just as much a part in the concert’s enjoyment as the set list itself and will be discussed a little later. The companion booklet featured with the recording rounds out the recording’s most important elements. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Bridges to Bremen. All things considered, they make Bridges to Bremen a recording that will connect with The Rolling Stones’ fans everywhere.
Eagle Rock Entertainment’s latest addition to its ongoing series of live Rolling Stones recordings is a presentation that will connect with fans of the veteran performers around the globe. Yes, that awful pun was intended. The recording’s appeal is due in part to its set list. The 22-song set list (26 counting the four bonus songs from the band’s tour-opening shows at Chicago’s Soldier Field) gives presents a relatively wide cross section of the band’s catalog up to that point. The set list reaches all the way back to the band’s 1966 album Aftermath and as far forward as Bridges To Babylon, with that album getting the most nods, at five songs. Audiences also get plenty of familiar hits, such as ‘Paint It Black,’ ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ and ‘Honky Tonk Women’ and some lesser performed songs, such as ‘Memory Motel,’ ‘Out Of Control’ and ‘Out Of Control’ just to name a few songs. Those lesser performed, deep cuts are addressed in the recording’s liner notes, which will be addressed later. The set list is presented in the same chronological order on the recording’s two CDs as on its SD Blu-ray, so audiences get the same full show on both platforms. What’s more, the set list’s sequence shows the band members’ attention to the impact of each song’s energy, as the energies of each song are balanced expertly from beginning to end. The band knew where to keep the energy high, where to pull it back and where to push it right back up again throughout. Simply put, the set list featured in this recording offers audiences plenty to appreciate in itself. The foundation that it forms is strong, and is strengthened even more by the band’s performance thereof.
The band’s performance of the concert’s set list includes not just that of the band’s main four members – Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts – but the performance of the group’s fellow performers, too. When singer Lisa Fischer hits the high notes in ‘Gimme Shelter,’ her control of her instrument displays clearly, her talents just as clearly as her performances in past Rolling Stones live recordings. The band’s late great saxophonist Bobby Keys is just as impressive both as a supporting musician and as he gets the spotlight in ‘Miss You.’ Mick, meanwhile, handles his role as front man with the same impressive swagger as always during the group’s performance of ‘Out Of Control.’ His connection with the audience as the song ends and the audience continues singing reminds audiences why he is among the upper echelons of the industry’s top performers. The audience keeps singing, and he so nonchalantly encourages the crowd’s enthusiasm, in turn increasing the audience’s energy. The very fact that he so casually looks at the stage’s video screen to find which songs the fans want to hear just before the band performs ‘Memory Motel’ adds even more to that positive image. As Keith Richards brings up Ronnie Woods’ daughter at the end of ‘Thief in The Night,’ even he shows his own charm, adding even more to the show’s interest and enjoyment. It’s another display of the band members’ humility in that willingness to put the spotlight on the rest of the group instead of themselves. It’s just one more way – and hardly the last – in which the band’s performance makes this recording so enjoyable. The rest of the recording offers just as many examples of why the group’s performance is so important to the whole of Bridges to Bremen. While it clearly adds even more to the recording’s presentation, it still is not the last of the recording’s most important elements. The companion booklet that is featured with the recording rounds out the recording’s most important elements.
The companion booklet that comes with Bridges to Bremen is important to note because, as with the booklets included with the band’s previous live recordings, it paints a vivid picture of the concert featured within the recording. This time, that picture is painted by writer-broadcaster Paul Sexton, who has contributed to Billboard, Music Week and broadcasts on BBC Radio 2. Sexton’s ruminations are an important addition to the recording because of the revelations that he makes. He reveals in his notes, that Jagger admitted to him at one point, he was concerned about the ability of the pneumatic bridge to connect from the main stage to the secondary stage even though it allowed the band to get out with the crowd without making the band get into the crowd. Of course it worked perfectly on the night in question in this concert. Sexton also notes in his writings, the connection of the band in whole throughout the course of the show, the ability of the band’s fans to play a role in the concert’s set list (Mick even references the fans’ choices on stage early on in the show), the fact that the concert shown here was originally broadcast across Europe at the time and the placement of the concert in the bigger picture of the tour’s schedule. He notes the concert was one of the band’s last in the yearlong tour. This is important to note because as deep as the band was into its run by that point, none of the band’s members showed any wear and tear. Every performer was at the top of his and her game. Between these notations and plenty of others featured in the recording’s companion booklet, Sexton’s notes add their own share of engagement and entertainment to the overall presentation of Bridges To Bremen. When all of that is considered with the band’s performance and the recording’s overall set list (bonus content included), the whole of this recording becomes yet another welcome addition to the home library of any Rolling Stones fan.
The Rolling Stones’ latest live recording Bridges To Bremen is another offering from the veteran rock band that the band’s fans around the globe will find another welcome addition to their collections of the band’s records. That is due, as noted here, in part to the recording’s set list, which presents a relatively wide cross section of the band’s catalog at the time, reaching back in time to the band’s early days and up to its then most recent record. The band’s performance of the set list (including the performance of the touring musicians) ensures even more, audiences’ engagement and entertainment. The liner notes featured in the recording’s companion booklet adds even more to that engagement and entertainment. Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of BTB. All things considered, they make the recording a presentation that is sure to connect with Rolling Stones fans everywhere. Bridges to Bremen is available now. More information on the recording is available online now along with all of The Rolling Stones’ latest news and more at:
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