The Stones' best live album since “Get yer ya ya's out”

The Stones' best live album since “Get yer ya ya's out”

“Shine a light” it is the soundtrack of the film shot by the director Martin Scorsese who for his feature film filmed i Rolling Stones in the two concerts held at Beacon Theater in New York on 29 October and 1 November 2006 as part of the English band's A Bigger Bang Tour. This live album was released on April 1, 2008 and what you find below is our review of that album.

Those who have seen the film will remember the image in which Mick Jagger, filmed aboard a private jet in flight, ticks off the list of eligible songs for the benefit concert at the Beacon Theater in New York from which Martin Scorsese would have based “Shine to light”. Marty, who as expected then managed to create an extraordinary and very beautiful document, was obsessed with the set list, to the point of making it – against his will – a gag during the editing phase of the film. But I like to imagine that Mick, who is nevertheless an asshole and sadistic to the right degree, was understandably mulling over how to avoid the pitfalls of yet another live album by his group. The Stones' catalog resembles a sancta sanctorum of rock classics, in fact: how to choose, how not to repeat yourself?

Away with the head, away with the tail, the heart of the production remains, with an unexpected winner: “Some girls” which, apart from “Shattered” almost at the opening of the concert, offers a devastating hat-trick halfway through the first CD.

The title track, “Just my imagination” and “Faraway eyes” dust off a mood that, over the years, has risked being overshadowed by “Miss you” and its slightly obscene nods to disco. But no: the exhilarating, almost kitsch country of “Faraway eyes” is one of the key moments of “Shine a light” and proves to be the perfect introduction to what is its best episode ever: the blues of “Champagne & refer”, a Muddy Waters classic performed together with Buddy Guy, the favorite innkeeper (with his club Legends) when the band passes through Chicago but, obviously, above all an absolute master, who contributes as a protagonist to brush the sound of this album (and Keith, in the end, gives him his guitar…). The Stones playing the blues in a theater: breathtaking.

The set list, in the end, turns out to be excellent, combining “Beggars banquet” (“Sympathy for the devil”) with “Let it bleed” (“You got the silver”: Keith Richards is moving) with “Sticky fingers” (“ Brown sugar”) with “Exile on Main St.” (“Tumbling dice”) with “Some girls” with “Tattoo you” (“Start me up”). Yet another career journey but, for once, above all an essay of how the Stones are beyond genres, of how their style is a trademark that incorporates and reproduces everything with unparalleled originality. The Stones distill genres, bands imitate the Stones – it's really that simple.

“Shine a light” is their best live show since “Get yer ya ya's out”.

That album was great both because it was a testament to the 1969 tour, fresh from the epic grandeur of “Beggar's Banquet,” and because it was faithful to the band in reproducing its live sound. We like the Stones dirty, like the less refined and tastier sauce, imperfect and on the razor's edge, so apparently simple but then inimitable. Here, “Shine a light” has this merit: it recovers the best possible blues-rock sound with an excellent mix. And it is something that is also very noticeable when watching the film, with the cameras helping to capture the best guitar team in history that moment before their instruments, crossing each other, give life to the band's famous sound mix. Precise and sharp guitars to give life to a rough mix; a raw sound as it is authentic, great expertise and enormous heart, riffs like the brushstrokes of a master. The result is a kind of art bootleg.