The Rolling Stones, Boston 2013

 

Foregoing an opening band in lieu of selected guest artists along the tour, The Rolling Stones visited the home of the Boston Bruins for a two-night stand. The prospect of guitarist Mick Taylor, a refugee from the Stones halcyon days, returning to the fold brought this writer to almost giddy heights. But if Midnight Rambler didn't quite cohere to the level of Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out, Taylor tried the difficult trick of jamming along with Jagger's harp; a difficult maneuver for even a long-standing live outfit, nearly impossible to expect a guest to come out and perform. A better choice was Sway, where he summoned all the original version’s delicacy and drama.

Despite mining classic rock gold, the Stones remain willing, even determined to avoid a by-the-numbers set. So new songs Doom and Gloom and One More Shot wriggled their way into the set alongside the classic rock comfort food. Emotional Rescue was elevated by Darryl Jones’ bass; he was more of a presence all night long and showed an alacrity across a myriad of styles.

Bluesman Gary Clark, Jr. was brought on to perform Don Nix’s Goin’ Down, which can be lumpen in the wrong hands, but here Clark acquitted himself with aplomb, his guitar zooming across at regular intervals.

Honky Tonk Woman, Brown Sugar, Jumpin’ Jack Flash and all your favorites, piled up over nearly 2 &1/2 hour s. No inflatables or fancy stage, but a band playing with vigor throughout; leaving the impression that the tour’s 50 and Counting title isn’t just a tag line.