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Stones at the U: What a band, what a night

Mick Jagger was in fine form, shape, voice, and song, padding between-tune commentary with Minnesota-themed namedrops.

The Rolling Stones performing at TFC Stadium on Wednesday night.
MinnPost photo by Steven Cohen

What a band, what a night.

That was the consensus of 50,000 TCF Bank-goers Wednesday night, as day-long rains subsided right around concert time, allowing the Rolling Stones to rip through a two-hour 19-song set that had fans’ tongues agog and wagging and making like the Stones logo that was omnipresent throughout the Gophers stadium all night long and all down the line.

“God wanted to see the Stones,” as one inebriated rocker put it and as the “hoo hoos!” from the stadium rained down on the stage and out into Dinkytown, and singer Mick Jagger howled amidst flames during an electrifying “Sympathy for the Devil.”

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That was but one of the night’s many unforgettable highlights, along with the likes of “Moonlight Mile,” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” (with heavenly back-up vocals courtesy of locals VocalEssence), the one-two punch of “Happy” and “Before They Make Me Run,” as sung by Keith Richards; “Midnight Rambler,” “All Down the Line,” “Doom and Gloom,” “Gimme Shelter,” “Brown Sugar,” “Miss You,” and an incendiary opener of “Jumping Jack Flash.”

Roaring guitars and great songs are hard to beat on a fine summer night, and this band has seriously never sounded better. Jagger was in fine form, shape, voice, and song, padding between-tune commentary with Minnesota-themed namedrops (“Prairie Home Companion,” “Ski-U-Mah,” and a shout-out to the Minnehaha Falls and the first time the Stones played Minnesota, at the Excelsior Amusement Park in Minnetonka in 1964) that gave the proceedings a personal touch and made the rock giants into something close to intimate.

All in all it was a classic night from a classic rock & roll band. In words and photos:  

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh
MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

As one of the co-owners of Brit’s Pub, Stuart Higgins organized a Stones-themed party that included an acoustic duo playing Stones tunes at his downtown Minneapolis pub while the crowds waited out the rain. “I’m originally from Burnley in the North of England, just outside Manchester. The first time I ever saw the Stones, I was so excited, it was Mick Jagger’s 40th birthday. It was 1984, and I thought it would be the last tour and here it is 41 years later and I’m going to see them again. Charlie Watts came in here during the Steel Wheels tour and we’ve provided shepherd’s pies for the guys.”

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

Teresa and Anamica Silva. “I’m from Brazil and I could never ever afford to see them and now I’m here and I’m so happy and I don’t even care about the rain,” said Teresa. “She’s never seen the Rolling Stones and she grew up with them and I grew up with them and when I saw they were coming I thought I could afford it and I wanted to make sure she could be here to see it,” said Anamica. “I’ve been listening to this music since I was a baby. These are my lullabies.”

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

Christian Roreau, Sophia Erin, Lizzo (of local super group GRRRL Party). “The Rolling Stones are one of the greatest rock bands to ever do it,” said Lizzo. “They are inspired by Muddy Waters, who inspired the whole movement of rock & roll, along with Chuck Berry, and I think they’re a bucket list band. When I found out they were coming, I made a point to get some tickets.”

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

David Benton: “I’m from Hampton, Iowa, and I see the Stones whenever possible. I’ve got seven Stones tattoos: Mick, Keith, Ronnie, and Charlie on my ass. Plus the tongue, man, plus the tongue.”

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

Sandra Kuzma, Zach Johnson, Mike Kuzma, Nikki Kuzma. “They’re the greatest rock band ever,” said Mike. “I’ve been listening to them since I could hear.” “I’ve been listening to them since I was in high school,” said Nikki; “I had their ringtones on my phone and I’ve just always loved the old school.”

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

Monie Dubay. “I’ve loved the Stones since they first came here in 1964. They were going to play in Excelsior but my mom wouldn’t let me go because I was too young. I was in 7th grade. I was ticked, and this is the first time I’ve gotten to see them since. This will be a nice make-up.”

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

Jackson Gieser. “I’m 21. My parents really got me into the Stones. I just really like Keith Richards. He’s my hero. I just couldn’t not come; I know it’s expensive, but I had to come because I felt like this could be my one shot to see them, a once in a lifetime thing. I came alone; none of my friends could afford it. I’ve always liked rock & roll and I have a lot of vinyl records, and the Rolling Stones are probably my favorite band ever.”

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

Sharon and Laura Murphy. “I’ve been to many many concerts with her dad and unfortunately he’s in Ireland at the moment and can’t be here so I brought my daughter and this is her first Rolling Stones concert,” said Sharon. “I listened to them a lot in college and when I met my husband. He imitated Mick Jagger and I was smitten.”