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The Rolling Stones Quebec City Summer Festival 2015

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The Rolling Stones Quebec City Summer Festival 2015 Day 7 – A new attendance record on The Plains Of Abraham 95,000+

The Rolling Stones - Photos: Dagmar Yu

The Rolling Stones Quebec City July 15, 2015 – Photos: Dagmar Yu

Attendance: 95,000+
Set Length: 2hrs 10mins

The Rolling Stones
Mick Jagger – Vocals
Keith Richards – Guitar
Ronnie Wood – Guitar
Charlie Watts – Drums

Back up musicians
Lisa Fischer – Vocals

Bernard Fowler – Vocals
Matt Clifford – Multi-Instrumentalist
Tim Ries – Saxophone
Karl Denson – Saxophone
Darryl Jones – Bass
Chuck Leavell – Keyboards

The Plains of Abraham has been host to some of the biggest musical acts in the world over the past decade with bigger and bigger names coming in over the last five years.     So when people wondered who Festival Programmer Louis Bellavance could get to compare to Bon Jovi in 2012, he got Stevie Wonder in 2013, he responded by booking Billy Joel in 2014 and finally The Rolling Stones last night.

25 minutes before The Stones were scheduled to go on, the festival launched a statement on social media.

Anticipation was extremely high as thousands camped out overnight.   The Plains Of Abraham was about to hit capacity for the first time.

“We were waiting 14 hours” said a handful of 17 year old fans near the front.

“I came from France” said 53 year old Christine who had worked her way through the crowd right up to the front.

“We are excited, this is our first time seeing them” said a 15 and 16 year old who waited over 9 hrs.

“I got here at 3 in the morning, I’ve seen them 4 times” said 43 year old Michael who drove in from the state of Maine.

A 60 year old woman in a wheelchair and her husband also waited 9hrs to get a spot near the front.

After talking to dozens of fans, one thing was clear; Stones fans span generations and are as loyal as it gets.

The giant venue was half full by the time French Montreal openers Galaxie took to the stage.  The band managed to work the 20,000+ crowd to a decent pace before handing over the stage to Fat Possum American recording artist The District.   Front man Rob Grote did his best with their brand of Indie Rock, however the performance lacked luster in comparison to Galaxie’s hard hitting riff based Rock.  There was a desperate attempt to rescue the poor audience response after the crowd had swelled to over 50,000. Grote did his best Kurt Cobain impression, launching his guitar onto the stage and picking up his amp to rattle the reverb tank.    The whole thing looked genuine at first but quickly faded to cheeky as the singer seemingly in his own little world finally mumbled “Stones next” before exiting the stage after wasting the opportunity of a lifetime.

Dressed in blacks head to toe Mick Jagger was a blank canvass of fabulous, with over a dozen costume changes in the wings.  The legendary frontman slithered and shook with the feline ferocity of a panther for over 2 hours to a sold out crowd that peaked at approximately 95,000 people on the legendary battle ground.

“Bienvenue au Zip Code tour” said Jagger after opening numbers ‘Start Me Up’ and “Its Only Rock n Roll”.  When he addressed the crowd for the first time it was in French.  “Ca va bien tous?”  before breaking into ‘All Down The Line’.  His French was appreciated by the crowd as he continued to address them in both languages throughout the night.

A giant catwalk extended outward from the stage about 100ft long and when ‘Tumbling Dice’ was played the frontman felt the need to use it to his full advantage.  Jagger, ran the catwalk and the massive 224ft wide UNISSON so frequently throughout the evening that even a 20 year old would get tired just from watching him.

He took a moment to thank the openers “Merci au Galaxie Merci au (The Districts)  pour lancer la soiree” which was a nice touch.

“Esque il y a des gens to Montreal ici?  De Saguenay? De Trois Rivier?  Anyone from Ontario?  That’s enough towns…”  Said Jagger to raging applause and laughter.   Later on in the evening he went on the say that The Stones had played Quebec 13 times since 1965.   With the fans at the top of his priority list, Jagger stopped to engage the crowd in between most songs and had everyone clap along and sing along several times on hits ‘Honky Tonk Woman’ and ‘Satisfaction.’

“We’re going to do a request now.” said Jagger  “Tonight’s song vote is…Street fighting man” .   The band has been taking one request per show on the ZIP CODE tour at  Over 80,000 fans voted for the Quebec show.
the rolling stones street fighter man fan vote

‘Honky Tonk Woman’ had the crowd waiving in synchronicity before Jagger introduced each member of the band and called out Richards for his cameo of the night.    “On the guitar and out of focus, Keith Richards.”

“Ca va?”  said Richards and in an obvious attempt to show that Jagger needs no introduction he continued… “Say no more”.   Richards went on to sing ‘Before They Make Me Run’ and ‘Happy’. He almost came to tears when the crowd started to chant “Keith Keith Keith” after the guitar legend stated “I’ve been around, thank you very much”.   “Cut it out…ok so I’ll just play Happy”.

Jagger really picked up some steam on ‘Midnight Rambler’ which was the highlight of the night.  The live extended version included the harmonica intro, dancing endlessly with one aggressive burst lasting almost 5 minutes straight, a call and response with the crowd and the best guitar solo of the night from Ronnie Wood.

Saxophone master Tim Ries played a fantastic solo over the no.1 hit ‘Miss You’ and Grammy Award winner Lisa Fisher brought the house to it feet with ‘Gimmie Shelter’. Ex-Lenny Kravitz tenor played a machine gun flurry of notes over ‘Brown Sugar’, and ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ felt like a transcendence into a much darker place live than on record.

After 2 minutes The Rolling Stones returned for their encore. Accompanied by Le Choeur des Jeunes de Laval a Quebec based choir, they pulled off an impressive version of ‘Can’t Always Get What You Want’.  Jagger thanked the choir and added Are you ready for a little bit more?”

A tech crew appeared out of nowhere and cleaned up the entire choir section so quickly that Richards had only played through the opening riff of ‘Satisfaction’ three times before the stage was clear again.

Two great bows followed under fireworks, one with the whole band (including back up band) and one with core Stones, before Jagger did a French adieu bow and one handed wave.

With perfect class, finesse, rawness and flawless technique, The Rolling Stones and crew of the ZIP CODE tour brought a legendary performance to the Plains Of Abraham that will be remembered by all in attendance for a long time.

“C’est beau de jouez ici sur les Plains D’Abraham, c’etiat une Bataille de venir ici.”  Stated Jagger earlier in the evening.

Well sir, thank you for coming!   Quebec will not forget anytime soon, that the battle was well worth it.

For anyone wondering if The Stones will tour again.  They released the following:


With perfect class, finesse, rawness and flawless technique, The Rolling Stones and crew of the #ZIPCODE tour brought a…

Posted by The Scene Magazine on Friday, 17 July 2015

Darrell Shelley


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