Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Eagle Rock Entertainment opened its “vaults” again this past September and pulled another archived concert from The Rolling Stones for audiences. The concert in question is the band’s landmark performance of its seminal 1971 album Sticky Fingers at the Fonda Theatre. Originally recorded May 20, 2015, this concert marked the first time that the band had performed the album live in its entirety. Needless to say, the concert, held in what feels like such an intimate setting, is a memorable experience. That is especially the case with its recent home release considering how much extra audiences get with the concert’s home release. That will be discussed shortly. The band’s performance of its set strengthens the recording’s presentation even more. The liner notes that come with the recording put the finishing touch to its presentation. Each noted element plays its own important part to the recording’s presentation. All things considered, they make this recording another gem from the band’s (and Eagle Rock’s) vaults.
The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers Live at the Fonda Theatre 2015 is yet another welcome gem from the band’s vaults and those of Eagle Rock Entertainment, who included this concert as part of its ongoing “From The Vault” Rolling Stones concert series. The series has already seen the release of at least five previous live recordings — L.A. Forum 1975, London Marquee Club 1971, Hampton Coliseum 1981, Leeds Roundhay Park 1982 and Tokyo Dome 1990. This sixth addition to the series offers just as much to appreciate as its predecessors beginning with its very presentation. The concert, as its title implies, features the band performing Sticky Fingers in its entirety live for the first time. That in itself is enough reason for the band’s most devout fans to add this recording to their collections. Of course it is only one part of what makes the presentation so enjoyable. Along with the album’s full live presentation, audiences also get performances of two other Stones’ fan favorites, ‘Start Me Up’ and ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ alongside takes of B.B. King’s ‘Rock Me Baby’ and Otis Redding’s ‘Can’t Turn You Loose’ (which was made famous by Universal Pictures’ hit 1980 movie The Blues Brothers). In all, audiences get here a 16-song, 79-minute set that is certainly one of its most memorable. It should be noted that while Sticky Fingers is presented in whole here, the album is not presented in the same chronological order as the album itself. Nor are the set’s orders on its Blu-ray/DVD and CD platform. Why this is the case is anyone’s guess. Regardless, audiences still get the same concert on each platform. That being the case, the set list alone does plenty to make this concert a joy. It is only one part of the recording’s presentation that is to be noted. The one-on-on interviews that are interwoven into the concert are just as worth noting as the set.
There are those who have criticized this recording because it weaves the band’s one-on-one interviews, arguing that they take away from the concert’s continuity. That could not be farther from the truth. If anything, they add to that fluidity. Audiences gain quite a bit of insight through the interviews, including the realization that front man Mick Jagger being “uptight” about so many of Sticky Fingers‘ songs being so slow and brooding while guitarist Ron Wood welcomes that vibe. Ironically, Wood also jokes about his nervousness about putting forth the best possible content for audiences, saying he gets nervous about “every riff…every solo.” There’s even a discussion on who modeled for famed artist Andy Warhol *yes, that Andy Warhol) as he developed the album’s cover art. The discussion on ‘I Got The Blues’ that is certain to get audiences talking plenty themselves as each of the band’s members discuss the song’s extremely slow tempo. Wood says of its tempo that it is “a lesson in control” while drummer Charlie Watts said the tempo is “a bugger to hold down.” Lead guitarist Keith Richards said of the song’s tempo that it is “a charm,” adding he especially appreciated the song’s horn part. There is also a slight tribute to the band’s former saxophone player Bobby Keys, who passed away in 2014 in the interviews. These are just some examples of the insight offered through the concert’s companion interviews. In all honesty, one struggles to see how the interviews would come across in their own standalone presentation. Considering this, the interviews work much better in conjunction with the concert than so many would have people believe. Keeping all of this in mind, the concert presented here and its companion interviews go a long way toward making the recording in whole so enjoyable. They are collectively only one part of what makes the recording’s presentation so enjoyable. The band’s performance throughout the concert adds even more to that presentation.
The band’s performance throughout the course of its concert adds just as much to its presentation as the show’s set list and the band’s interviews. From start to finish, Jagger’s trademark charisma and swagger is on full display. He works the crowd nonstop like a ringmaster. This is especially notable as the band works its way through ‘Brown Sugar.’ Watts meanwhile solidly keeps the band in time with his work behind the kit. Bassist Darryl Jones continues to deliver a solid low-end while working expertly alongside Watts to keep each song moving. Sax player Karl Denson puts on his own inspiring performance as he blasts out his solo on ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.’ He just lets his part flow so naturally there. On the exact opposite end, his flute part in ‘Moonlight Mile’ is just as impressive in its subtlety. Richards puts on his own show, keeping audiences entertained with his own guitar work, too. Between their performances and those of the other performers, the whole of the group puts on a show that home viewers will enjoy just as much as those who were in attendance at the concert’s recording. Keeping this in mind, the group’s performance is still not the last of the recording’s most important elements. The liner notes crafted in the recording put the final touch on its presentation.
The recording’s liner notes, crafted by Richard Havers, offer plenty of insight in their own right to the concert. Havers notes in his notes the importance of Sticky Fingers to The Rolling Stones’ history alongside a near song-by song summary of the show’s set list with history behind the songs. He spends ample time discussing ‘Sister Morphine, which because of its history, led it to become one of the band’s most rarely performed songs in a live setting. There is even a discussion on Bobby Key’s place in rock history and the band’s own history in Havers’ notes. Havers states in his notes that Denson expertly recreates Keys’ original sax line from ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’ on his own performance in the song. Between these and so many other discussions included throughout the recording’s companion booklet, the insight offered throughout does more than enough to make them critical in their own right to the recording’s whole. When that importance is considered along with the importance of the band’s performance, the concert’s set list and its companion band interviews, the whole of the noted elements makes Sticky Fingers Live at The Fonda Theatre 2015 a work that Rolling Stones fans and rock fans alike will appreciate.
The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers Live at The Fonda Theatre 2015, which is also the latest addition to Eagle Rock’s ongoing “From The Vault” live recording series, is yet another shining gem from that series that will shine just as brightly in any Rolling Stones’ collection. The same can be said of its place in rock aficionados’ collections. The combination of its set list and its bonus one-on-one interviews about each song with the band’s members joins with the band’s performance of said songs to offer audiences a truly memorable performance. The liner notes included in the recording’s companion booklet add their own touch to the whole of the recording’s presentation. Each element is important in its own right, as has been noted already. All things considered, they make Sticky Fingers Live at The Fonda Theatre 2015 a recording that is certain to “stick” in audiences’ music libraries for a long time. More information on this recording is available along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:
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