A Triumphant Return To The Rose Bowl: The Rolling Stones Review

It all started with a single vote. That’s right, on Wednesday evening I, along with thousands of other Southern Californian fans, took part in a public poll to choose a song to add to the setlist for The Rolling Stones Rose Bowl show. Throughout the entirety of The Rolling Stones 2019 No Filter Tour, fans at every tour stop have had the opportunity to vote for the song they wanted to hear in their city. Talk about a clever way to choose a setlist.
Well, in Pasadena, California we chose the 1967 classic, “She’s A Rainbow.” And that was just the beginning. From Mick’s dancing to the explosive pyrotechnics, The Rolling Stones sure did not disappoint in the Entertainment Capital.
Returning to the Rose Bowl for the first time in twenty-five years, The Stones came to make a statement. From the moment Keith strummed the first chord of “Street Fighting Man,” we could feel the exhilarating energy in the air. Die-hard doesn’t even begin to describe Stones fans. It was as if we were transported back to the 60s as fans screamed and sang their hearts out to their favorite British boy band. Except this time, the co-leaders of the British Invasion are now the most famous classic rock legends to ever walk this planet.
But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Opening the night was 21st century rock pioneers, Kaleo. The more modern beats of Kaleo are at war with their clear blues roots. Fortunately, what results is a sound that allows rock to live on while also honoring its sacred past. And from the first song, it was clear as to why the Stones offered them the opening slot.
From frontman Jökull Júlíusson’s raspy Hozier-like vocals to guitarist Rubin Pollock’s effortless riffs and solos, their live show was even more impressive than their masterful recordings. See their performance of their 2016 hit “No Good“ below.
Kaleo Performs "No Good" @ Rose Bowl 8/22/19
As more and more fans gathered in the stadium, it was obvious that The Rolling Stones were ready to start the main act. But not before Robert Downey Jr. stormed the stage. Yes, Iron Man himself made a guest appearance prior to The Stones‘ set to announce some exciting news regarding the band and Mars. I swear you’re reading this correctly.
In honor of the coinciding Mariner 4 launch and the release of The Rolling Stones first self-titled album in 1964, NASA has decided to name a rolling rock they recently found on Mars “Rolling Stones Rock.” What an out-of-this-world moment for the band and what a perfect venue to announce it at considering the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is only a couple of miles away from the stadium itself.
Fan Tweets About "Rolling Stones Rock"
Now let’s get to the show...
For a brief moment, the four skyscraper-sized backdrop monitors flashed The Stones' famous "Tongue and Lip Design" logo and out appeared Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and Charlie Watts, sporting bright satin, and in the case of Mick and Ronnie, sparkling shirts and jackets. It was a perfect entrance for the larger than life characters that they are.
The guys dove straight into performances of “Street Fighting Man,” “You Got Me Rocking” and “Tumbling Dice.” Instantly, everyone could see the incredible chemistry they shared, especially Mick and Ronnie. But even more pure was the clear joy they all had on their faces. It was as if they were embracing that very sense of nostalgia everyone else was. They really did become that boy band from the 60s once again.
The Rolling Stones Perform "Street Fighting Man" @ Rose Bowl 8/22/19
Following the audience pick, “She’s A Rainbow,” they played a heavy version of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” featuring a raw guitar solo by Ronnie that laid the rock and roll foundation for the rest of the concert. What a perfect leeway into a more stripped down portion of the show in which acoustic versions of “Sweet Virginia” and “Dead Flowers” were played without any accompaniment by the backup band. Then, taking advantage of the focused LA crowd, Mick cracked a few jokes about the city regarding staples like the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Thursday nights at Brennan’s.
The Rolling Stones Perform "She's A Rainbow" @ Rose Bowl 8/22/19
The Rolling Stones Perform "You Can't Always Get What You Want" @ Rose Bowl 8/22/19
However, in typical Stones’ fashion, they didn’t allow us to get too comfortable with those acoustics as they quickly jumped back into the electric scene with hits like “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Honky Tonk Women,” “Paint It Black” and “Start Me Up.” But this time, Keith decided he was ready to play lead while Ronnie took rhythm. With his guitar turned up a few too many notches, Keith wailed his way through the classics and we loved every second of it. This was a rock show and Keith made it his mission to prove just that.
The Rolling Stones Perform "Sympathy For The Devil" @ Rose Bow 8/22/19
After ending the first set on a high note with their two most played songs live, “Jumpin‘ Jack Flash” and “Brown Sugar,” Mick said a premature goodnight to the audience as the guys bowed next to him. Of course, that wasn’t the last we were going to see of The Stones for the night.
Following a brief exit, the band and their ensemble returned to stage for a two-song encore featuring extended versions of “Gimme Shelter” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” culminating in a beautiful firework display— the perfect ending to an awe-inspiring night.
The Rolling Stones Perform "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" @ Rose Bowl 8/22/19
Check out the entire nineteen-song setlist here!
The Rolling Stones Setlist @ Rose Bowl 8/22/19
Don’t miss your chance to catch The Rolling Stones on their 2019 No Filter Tour! See the few remaining dates below and grab your tickets at LiveNation!

The Rolling Stones No Filter Tour 2019
08/26 – Glendale, AZ @ State Farm Stadium 08/31 – Miami, FL @ Hard Rock Stadium
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