Thursday, April 17, 2008

Shine a Light

I was expecting Martin Scorsese to do a Last Waltz-type summing up of the Rolling Stones in their new film Shine a Light. But what we got was a look at a vibrant working band some 40 years into their career. There were some considerations for age (Mick evidently burns up under too many lights)and status (the royal attitude of the Stones kept the set list elusive until the last minute). This concert film clocks in a a nudge over two hours. My instinct tells me (having seen that tour in 2006) that the show itself was much longer. So what do we learn that we don't already know? Keith says that
he and Ronnie together "make one pretty good guitarist." Mick expends himself on the crowd while the others can stay in the head space of the music. Charlie Watts is the calmest maniac on earth. I think we knew this stuff. But what I hadn't noticed was the
complete authority and authenticity the Stones bring to Rock 'n Roll. They have transcended the bravado and reach of their early records to mature mastery of the form.

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