One week ago I was part of the sell-out crowd of 42,500 fans watching rock history unfold as the Rolling Stones Zip Code Tour visited the Gopher football stadium at the University of Minnesota. With a large chunk of the tickets topping out around $400, this was one expensive show. I decided to bite the bullet on a mid-range ticket in the lower level corner (around $150), but Colleen opted out. DGS picked up two pretty cool tickets at the side of the stage the day before and I was a bit jealous as Mick took several walks down that side of the huge setup, stopping about 20 feet away from his seats. The trade-off was his semi-obstructed view of the center stage and the three giant video screens that really made this a stellar concert experience.
That overall production quality goes to show that you get what you pay for. I don’t know all the logistics behind this tour, but I imagine it takes hundreds of people to put on this show with multiple semis full of equipment, costumes, lighting and pyro. The tour is only stopping in 15 cities and there appears to be a minimum of three days between shows. Mick (71), Keith (71), Charlie (74) and youngster Ronnie (68) had lots of other musician support, including the wonderful VocalEssence choir during the first song of the encore (You Can’t Always Get What You Want). That was a highlight of the night for me, along with Miss You, Sympathy for the Devil and the closer, Satisfaction.
“The world’s greatest rock and roll band” really lived up to the moniker all night. Jagger looked great, sounded awesome and still has all the trademark moves. Ronnie Wood is simply a rock and roll badass who often played guitar holding a cigarette between his middle and ring fingers while holding a pick with his thumb and index finger. Charlie Woods looked happy to be there all night, pounding the skins like someone half his age. And what can you say about Keith Richards? It’s a miracle the guy has survived this long – he really did remind me of the White Walker king from Game of Thrones. Too bad the long walkway that jutted out into the main floor didn’t get closer to my end of the stadium.
This tour has different opening acts in each city and I’ll admit I was a little disappointed that Minnesota got Grace Potter when other cities had the Avett Brothers, Gary Clark, Jr., Kid Rock and AWOLNATION. Still wanted to see her set, though, but traffic had other plans. On the sage advice of DGS, I pre-purchased parking in the same ramp he did (my old haunt, the Washington Avenue ramp behind the Radisson). I hadn’t been there since the light-rail went in, however, and found getting to that part of campus from I-94 to be extremely trying. I’m sure the rain didn’t help either, but I finally made it to the sixth floor of the reservation-only ramp and hiked over just in time to catch Grace’s last song. At least the rain stopped by that point (and never returned the rest of the night).
The concourses were wall-to-wall people both before and after the show. There were multiple merch booths inside and outside the stadium, but none had the special Minnesota-themed T-shirt that I wanted. The outside stands did have the $100 football jerseys and hoodies, but I just couldn’t bring myself to spend that much (even though I really liked them). I ended up ordering the T-shirt online after the show while I waited an hour to get out of the parking ramp. I keep hoping they will discount those other items, but so far they are still full price.
Here are links to the main reviews: Jon Bream at the Star Tribune, Riemenschneider’s set list story, Ross Raihala at the Pioneer Press and City Pages. My social media feeds were full of friends and family that were also there. Seems like everyone acknowledged the significance of this show – so, so glad I went. I really regretted not seeing McCartney last year at Target Field and decided this was too important to also pass up…
- Jumping Jack Flash
- It’s Only Rock N Roll
- All Down the Line
- Tumbling Dice
- Doom and Gloom
- Bitch (by Twitter request – choices were Bitch, Live With Me, Get Off My Cloud & Like a Rolling Stone)
- Moonlight Mile
- Out of Control
- Honky Tonk Woman
- Before They Make Me Run (Keith Richards)
- Happy (Keith Richards)
- Midnight Rambler
- Miss You
- Gimme Shelter (with Grace Potter)
- Start Me Up (with pyro)
- Sympathy for the Devil
- Brown Sugar
- You Can’t Always Get What You Want (with VocalEssence Choir)
- Satisfaction (pyro finale)