The Rolling Stones 24 Tour Rocks MetLife Stadium Review 5-23-24

The Rolling Stones At Metlife Stadium 2024

The Rolling Stones At Metlife Stadium: Photo by Brian Kachejian © 2024

Last night, on May 23rd, 2024, I finally, for the first time in my life, was able to attend a Rolling Stones concert. I have been going to concerts since 1975, and I’ve seen some of the biggest bands of all time during their peak 70s years, including Queen, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Boston, Tull, ELP, Yes, etc. Yet, for many reasons, I  was never able to attend a Rolling Stones concert. However, since Mick Jagger has hit 80 years old, who knows how many more years we will have a chance to see the Rolling Stones. I just dug down a little deeper in my pockets and purchased two tickets in the upper deck. It Cost me $590 for the pair, but it was a significant bucket list achievement. I don’t usually put personal stories in these reviews, but I think my story is pretty common among rock fans.

Traffic has become a nightmare in the New York metropolitan area over the past couple of years. I live on Long Island and own Jet season tickets, so I know the best way to get to Metlife Stadium as I go there about five to eight times a year. Sadly, there is no best way to get to Metlife Stadium. I left at 3:30 in the afternoon and got to the stadium by 7:00 p.m.

We arrived at the stadium at 7:00 p.m. Parking was $40 a car. It’s pretty standard for concerts nowadays. Even though our seats were in the upper deck I was lucky to get the first row. What that meant to me was nobody standing up shaking their butt in front of my face all night long. I could sit down, relax, and enjoy the show, even though the band looked the size of ants.

As I regularly attend MetLife Stadium throughout the year, going to very disappointing Jet games, I know the food prices, what to order, and what not to get. We got a pair of sausage and pepper heroes, which cost $14 apiece. That’s pretty much the best food item you can get at MetLife Stadium. It’s not Citi Field, where they have the best food of all the stadiums I’ve ever been in.

Opening Act: John Batiste

At 8:00 pm, the lights went out on the button even though it was still pretty light out. Rarely have I been to a concert where the show starts on time. The opening act for the night was R&B singer Jon Batiste. The Rolling Stones have had many fantastic opening acts over the years with some really big bands. On the 2024 tour, they used different opening acts.

Jon Batiste at Metlfe Stadium 2024

Jon Batiste: Photo by Brian Kachejian © 2024

Jon Batiste is a brilliant artist. Fans of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert may know him because he served as the musical director between 2018 and 2022. Jon Batiste has had great success in the music business, even winning a Grammy Award for album of the year. Batiste wonderfully blends the genres of soul, R&B, and jazz into a style that sounds very much fueled by the spirit of legends such as James Brown, Prince, Stevie Wonder, John Coltrane, and many more.

As a performer, he reminded me of Prince meets James Brown meets Ray Charles. He put on a fabulous 45-minute set and received rousing applause at the end of his set.  I would love to see him in a much smaller venue as he is an A+ entertainer and musician. The Stones did a great job offering Jon Batiste the opening slot. This was an older crowd, the average age of which was probably 65 -75, and Batiste won them over.

Jon Batiste at Metlfe Stadium 2024

Jon Batiste: Photo by Brian Kachejian © 2024

The Rolling Stones

Jon Batiste played for about 45 minutes as his set ended around a quarter to nine. Between sets, the stadium played mostly 70s disco music, a lot of Donna Summer, and more. At around 9:25  the stadium lights went down, and the shadows of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were shown on the screens. Suddenly, the opening cords of “Start Me Up” started blasting through the very high-end speaker system. And there they were, the Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, the three remaining official members of the band front and center, sending a chill throughout the stadium to the thousands of us who were seeing the Rolling Stones for the first time. It was one of those surreal moments that is really hard to put into words.

The Rolling Stones probably have more experience playing stadiums than any other band in classic rock history. The band and their management know what has to be done to make a show work in a stadium. I couldn’t help but think to myself, as I was watching the opening song, that the band was determined to give people their money’s worth not just based on the simple fact of seeing the Rolling Stones, but in the set presentation, the visuals, the lighting, the sound, all being top-notch, delivering a spectacular entertainment experience. But of course, none of that would matter if the band wasn’t able to perform up to expectations. In that category, the band once again delivered big time.

After a roaring opening number, the band burst into the opening chords of their classic 1965 hit “Get Off My Cloud.” Only Mick Jagger and Keith Richards remain from the Rolling Stones band that released that song. For the third song of the night, fans were treated to the tour debut of “Shattered” from the great Rolling Stones album Some Girls.

The Rolling Stones tour is labeled Rolling Stones Hackney Diamonds 24 Tour. They didn’t waste too much time getting to the first song of the night from their excellent new album. The lead single, “Angry,” is a perfect stadium song. It has that sort of “Start Me Up” feel fueled by a great guitar lick and that legendary Rolling Stones rhythm-style track all wrapped up with Jagger’s soaring classic vocals. The song went over really well. The presentation of clips from the music video and the live shots on the screen was exceptional and highlighted one of many spectacular stage lighting and video presentations that occurred throughout the night.

The band played three songs from the new album, including the tracks “Mess It Up” and “Sweet Sounds Of Heaven,” which was part of the two-song encore. “Sweet Sounds Of Heaven” also featured backup singer Chanel Haynes, who blew away the crowd with her stunning vocal performances. Chanel Haynes has a very strong Tina Turner vibe, which makes sense since she played Tina Turner on Broadway. She has only been with the Rolling Stones since 2022 but she has become a powerful addition to the band. 

Chanel Haynes

Chanel Haynes and Mick Jagger: Photo by Brian Kachejian © 2024

The Backing Band

While the Rolling Stones band is down to three members, Mick, Keith, and Ronnie, many musicians have been playing with the Rolling Stones for so long that we think they should be considered official Rolling Stones members. First and foremost would be keyboardist Chuck Leavell. The astonishing keyboardist has been playing with the Rolling Stones for 42 years since 1982. He served not only as their keyboardist but as their musical director. He was also a member of The Allman Brothers Band in the 1970s and was the founding member of his band, Sea Level. The Stones featured him doing some soloing last night, banging out some heavy-duty funky piano solos that blew the audience away. It was fun watching Ronnie Wood looking over at him with a big smile as Leavell was rocking those keys.

Chuck Leavell

Chuck Leavell: Photo by Brian Kachejian © 2024

Other long-time members of the Rolling Stones touring and studio band included Daryl Jones, who took over full time bass duties when Bill Wyman quit the band back in 1993. Bernard Fowler has been singing backing vocals with the Rolling Stones since 1989. He has also sung on both Mick and Keith’s solos albums. It was great to watch him and Chanel Haynes standing next to each other all night, providing backing vocals that made Mick Jaggers’ job a lot easier. On drums, Steve Jordon brings his own style of playing, which is both rock and roll with sweet licks of R&B groove. Of course, we would have all loved to see Charlie back there, but Jordon has filled in most respectively. As all hardcore fans know, Jordan has been playing with Keith Richards for years in his solo band, so there is a familiarity there that helps. 

Bernard Fowler & Chanel Haynes

Bernard Fowler & Chanel Haynes: Photo by Brian Kachejian © 2024

Energy, Chops, And more

So, how does Mick Jagger sound at 80 years old? It’s pretty astonishing that at his age, he can still sing all those songs and hit all those notes with a resonance that sounds just like the Mick Jagger we’ve been listening to for over 60 years. The man has kept himself in shape. He’s not running around like he used to or doing all those crazy dance moves, but he’s still moving pretty quickly, and he’s covering a lot of ground as that stage is enormous. You can tell that he’s pacing himself. Wouldn’t you pace yourself at 80 years old?

Mick Jagger 2024

Mick Jagger: Photo by Brian Kachejian © 2024

Both Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards still sound great on guitar. Ronnie might have been a little more energetic, covering more ground than Keith, but Keith Richards still looks so cool. He is just hanging out, playing his parts, and laying down the rhythm guitar licks so perfectly. Sometimes, the sound engineers may have turned the volume up a little too loud on some of Ronnie Wood’s parts. I’m not sure if that was on purpose or not, but it was definitely too loud at times. Nonetheless, for most of the night, the band sounded great, and the sound engineers did an excellent job mixing the band. On the closing song of the main set, I got a “Danger Will Robinson” notice from my iWatch informing me decibel levels had reached the point of no return for my ears.

Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards at Metlife Stadium

Ronnie Wood and Keith Richard: Photo by Brian Kachejian © 2024

It rained pretty heavily earlier in the day, but it didn’t matter. Nothing was going to stop me from seeing the Stones this time. It turned out to be a beautiful night weather-wise. They played so many of their hits from all different eras of their long career. Some of the highlights besides the songs already mentioned were a barn-burning extended version of “Miss You” from Some Girls, a heavy-duty dark version of “Paint It Black” and, of course, crowd-pleasing renditions of their biggest hits “Jumping Jack Flash,” “Tumbling Dice,” “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It),” “Honky Tonk Women,” “Gimme Shelter” and “Sympathy for the Devil.” Keith Richards did two songs in a row on lead vocals, giving Mick Jagger a bathroom break as well as many others in the stadium. I’m a big fan of Keith’s work so I really enjoyed his performances of “You Got the Silver” and “Little T&A.”

As the Stones played the last song of the night, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction,” the crowd very much accepted that there would be no more encores and slowly began to exit the stadium. Things have changed a lot since the 70s concerts I always attended as a kid when younger crowds would not accept the end of the show and begged for more. No, we were all pretty much way past our bedtimes already at the end of this Stones show. As we walked through the halls, I had never seen bathroom lines as long as they were after the show in all my years of attending events. This was an old crowd, with old bladders, but still rocking along, just like Mick.

More to come……..

The Rolling Stones At Metlife Stadium 2024

The Rolling Stones At Metlife Stadium: Photo by Brian Kachejian © 2024

The Rolling Stones At Metlife Stadium 2024

The Rolling Stones At Metlife Stadium: Photo by Brian Kachejian © 2024

Read More: What It Was Like To Experience A 1970’s Led Zeppelin Concert

The Rolling Stones 24 Tour Rocks MetLife Stadium Review article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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3 Comments

  1. Avatar Jeanne Rohena May 24, 2024
  2. Avatar Bryan Whelan May 25, 2024
    • Avatar Brian Kachejian May 25, 2024

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