The tour is over now, the summer is gone. What have we got to remember? I have lots of pictures in my head, this time all from the front circle. I never did that before: 9 shows, 9 wristbands. After the second or third time you start to think about getting into the separated area for the next show and the show after that etc. It creates a special kind of tension. On the other hand: After a couple fo shows you know how to get in there even when you arrive late. But most of the times it's just pure luck to get in there. Once you're in, you worry about getting as much to the front as is possible. Ronnie's side was better for that than Keith' s side. There is also much more going on on Ronnie's side, with Chuck Leavell there and the backing singers. I wonder if anyone had noticed that the Stones try to make the same things on both sides of the stage. If Mick is coming out for the first chorus to Keith's side, he's coming out to Ronnie's side for the second. OK, the "Lisa" bit in Miss you is always on Keith's side, but what the heck. the sound is also better on Ronnie's side. It all does not matter when you are right in the middle pole position either on Keith's or Ronnie's side. they are just right in front of you, what more can you ask for? Ask Dieter Hoffmann, he knows. ;-)

The B-stage thing was nice, although the sound over there is really bad. When you are just close to the stage, first or second row, you hear the drums, the monitor signal of the drums and the echo from the sound systems, both from the stage and from the speakers that are in the middle of the field. It should be alright on stage, although Charlie has to wear headphones from time to time, but for the real close audience it's a horrible sound. You never get closer to the Stones than being in front row by the B-stage, but I recognized Respectable in Leipzig only when they were singing the chorus.

Songs: This time there weren't so many new ones like in the last tours. Like a Rolling Stone is a nice song, but we had that all through 1995 as well and it was wearing off a bit. Dusseldorf had Ruby Tuesday and Little Red Rooster, which I never heard again after that. In 1995 and 1990 Keith had more tunes to choose from as well. Not many surprises this time, maybe next time. On the other hand: I have never before seen that two songs from the latest Stones CD were early highlights in the show. And I mean highlights. Saint of Me was a crowd pleaser par excellence and Out of Control was a tour de force of a song with all the good bits in it. I can remember Mick telling us in 1990 that they have to play some new songs, because those will be old songs by the next tour. But we never got them again. This time I am shure that SOM and OOC will stay in the setlist a long time.

Somebody should buy Chuck Leavell a decent new shirt and jacket. The purple/green combination he used to wear is just ugly. One of the worst dressed keyboard players I have ever seen. Mick on the other hand is sometimes slightly over the top, thinking of his "Let it Bleed" jacket in Mannheim and a couple of coats he wore during the rain. Keith is just himself, remembering the green shoes in Munich, together with his dutch army jacket or the white shiny shirt or the black coat he wore a couple of times.

Security was nicer this time than on former tours. They still ARE gods, but you also could talk to them, ask them to take pictures of you and many more things, like putting your bags and jackets over the fence in front row. On tours before they just stared at you and you did not dare to speak to them.

Merchandise was very expensive this time and I have never seen so many things with the Stones' logo to buy. They must have made millions on that. Offering to pay with VISA and charging you 5 DM for that was against all VISA rules, but what can you do, when you don't have the cash, but just the card? Anyway, it was only two T-Shirts for me this time, enough's enough. Other prices were ridiculous as well. Parking in Nuremberg and Dusseldorf was 10 DM, in Gelsenkirchen they asked for 3 DM for the same bit of space for the same kind of car. What's the point in trying to get the last bit of money out of the fans? Tickets were very expensive this time as well with the nice side-effect that all the tours before the most expensive ones have been the ones for the pitch and now, with the Stones growing older, the seats were the most expensive ones. That made it a bit cheaper for us to get to front row again.

The places they played this time were too big for my liking. I can remember when we were glad they played indoors instead of an arena. Now we are glad they play an arena instead of a field. Where is this all going to go? 90.000 people at a show is too much, especially when there are no proper ways to get out after the show. Leipzig was the worst, Mannheim was bad as well, if you did not know where to park. And even Hannover and Hamburg were places where you had trouble getting in an out with a car.

But although this sounds like a long list of complaints, it was always alright, when the Babylonean music started and Keith came out with his guitar, trying to look baaad, but with a smile in his eyes. I coped with a lot of things I would not care to cope with in other situations or for other bands, just to get that feeling again when he comes out and you know, this is 2.20 hours in Stonesland lying ahead of you. I think I will do it again and again.......
n and again.......