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UP FRONT WITH THE STONES!

What's it like to sit in the very first row of a Stones concert? Well on October 30, 1997,  in Albuquerque, New Mexico I got to find out. The following  is a copy of two posts I made a few days later at the old and now closed Stonesworld Board . It starts out with a short review of the show and then what it was like to see the Boys from up close.  (Please note that since this was copied from a message board and written at 4AM [with no sleep for three days], I didn't change any of the mistakes that were published with the post, like a few run-on sentences, etc.. But that's how I used to post back then!)



  OH ALBUQUERQUE!

I'm not real sure where to start. I have slept about 3 hours in the last 3 days and drove over 750 miles round trip, got back to Colorado a few hours ago. I have no desire to sleep right now so I came here to Stones World. I am typing this with one hand as my left hand is holding a bag of ice up against my neck/shoulder to ease the pain I'm still feeling, but I'm not getting into that except to say that thank goodness I got hurt after the show. Anyway, and first off, I had one of the best times of my life both at the concert and before the concert, Albuquerque, you are one hell of a place and treated us out-of-town folks and the Stones first class, THANKS!...Preconcert notes: We got into Albuquerque shortly after sunup and checked into the Motel 6, next to University Stadium, where the show would be. We then checked out the stadium. There were 5 of us (3 guys/2 ladies), we've been best of friends for 20 years now. I would not have wanted to see the Boys with anyone else! We had 5 field seats, 4 of them were in row 1 (A-3) so we had a plan ready to get all 5 of us in those 4 seats. Anyway, let me fast forward here, after checking out town (everywhere we went seemed to be playing the Stones!) and then a pre concert party in our rooms with some new friends from Utah & Texas,  it was finally time to head on over to the stadium. Took a long time to get in, and the security on the floor was real tight but we still pulled off our plan and all 5 of us got to sit (I mean stand) together in row 1! Sheryl Crow opened and was better than expected, but we were here for the Stones! The crowd was unreal! After hearing about lots of yuppies showing up in New Jersey and seeing on TV what looked like a very straight gathering in Chicago, it was great to see lots of fellow longhairs and other freaked out people at this show, sure there was your average joe type there too but everyone was so cool & into the Stones! From the minute the Stones took the stage (15 minutes early!), everyone was standing & dancing and stayed that way for the whole concert, this crowd was into our boys! As far as a song by song account, sorry I can't do that, but from the start they could not have been hotter, Mick's voice was as strong as I ever heard him live and he fed off the frenzy of the crowd, the warm night also got him going too as he made a comment about it and how bad the cold was in Boston. The highlights for me as far as songs go, were Sympathy..., Brown Sugar, Waiting On A Friend (cybervote winner) and Dead Flowers, the song I wanted to hear, but it lost the vote & they played it anyway!!! YES! Sheryl Crow came on to sing it with Mick which was the only bummer, nothing against her but the one time she sang the lead her microphone wasn't working and it was the best line of the song: " I'll be in my basement room......" the rest of the song she sang background vocals, but why not Keef? I always felt one of Keith's best backup vocals was recorded on this track and would have loved to have heard his voice there instead of Sheryl's dead mic! I knew this would be a great show just because of where our seats were, but it didn't matter where you sat - when they went to the second stage, a bit away from us, I realized this! Mick & Co., you put on one GREAT show! THANKS! I will never, ever, forget October 30,1997!
 
 



THE FRONT ROW

First off, I've had front row floor seats in the past for the Allman Brothers, Bob Dylan & Tom Petty BUT..NEVER,  ever had  gotten even good seats for my favorite and the world's best rock n roll band. Some people did not believe me when I said I had front row for the Stones, most of my friends would say - oh you and your radio connections, no fair! My radio connections ( I was  a DJ, music director and station promoter for 15 years, but got out of the business  Xmas '96, for good) had nothing to do with it! I did not know anyone in Albuquerque, it was a lot of good luck, getting up at 5 am (the time the tickets went on sale), being a Sprint customer helped some and just having a little salesmanship in me is what  got those seats. In other words, most fans could have gotten a shot at these seats, too.The buildup I had, knowing where I was sitting, for weeks before the show, was unreal. I know that those of you here at this board who are regulars have the same type of feelings for the Stones and can understand what I'm talking about. I have loved the Stones since day one, I'm almost 43 and the Stones are the ONLY thing left in this world that still makes me feel like and act like I'm 18! So to me, these seats were like winning the lottery. When we got to the show & inside the stadium, our seats were a little more to the side of the stage than where we thought they were, but it turned out to be better as far as seeing Mick went anyway! As we waited for the band to come on we looked at the ramp on the stage that came out from the main stage, it was about 7 feet from us, shit, we said to each other, Mick's gonna run right past us! Well not only did he run right past us 4 or 5 times, he spent about a quarter of the show right in front of us! A poster at this Board who went to Live at the 10 Spot and also got to sit a few feet away said it all about being a few feet from someone you idolize all your life and I don't want to repeat what he wrote, but yes,  I now know what he was talking about. There is just something about being up close at any concert that makes it seem better, but to be 7 feet away from Mick and make eye contact with him more than once is just unreal, even though I did not get to shake his hand, the fact that we looked each other in the eye was just unreal for this Stonesfreak! Mick knows how to work the whole crowd too, I mean , I sure wasn't the only person in there who had eye contact with him. As far as my favorite Stone Keef, we were on the wrong side of the stage (A-3) but he did come down our way 3 times (he looks MUCH better & healthier close-up, in person) and the one time that he stopped in front of us was when he was doing one of his solos for Sympathy For The Devil...... not only my favorite Stones tune, but my favorite Keef guitar solo on any song,  and he does it 7 feet in front of me, while everyone in our row is shouting out WOO WOO ! WHO WHO!! Talk about being in nirvana! Ronnie only once ran by us and Charlie was far away but played those drums so hot! One last highlight was when they did Brown Sugar, half way through it with Mick down the other end of the stage, Lisa Fisher (backup singer) moved over to where she was right in front of us, turned around and started to shake her lovely buns in our faces - I should say, male faces, all the woman were looking over at Mick! After the show, we walked back to our motel rooms started a post concert party but all we could say to each other was stuff  like "I can't believe what we just saw" and we wanted more, we are Stones junkies, the fix was GREAT, but still we wanted more, it was the best high we ever had!
 
 



  

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