The Rolling Stones - 'From The Vault: Sticky Fingers - Live At The Fonda Theatre 2015'

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The Rolling Stones - 'From The Vault: Sticky Fingers - Live At The Fonda Theatre 2015'

A rare chance to see one of the world's greatest stadium bands in a small theatre.

This is the fifth release from The Rolling Stones archive series 'From The Vault'; a series of live concerts that are getting their first official release. This release is also available in DVD, Blu-ray, DVD/CD, DVD/3LP, digital video and digital audio formats.

This particular show was recorded on the 20th May 2015 at the Fonda Theatre (Hollywood, California) where the band played the seminal 'Sticky Fingers' album live in its entirety for the first, and so far only, time in their career. The show celebrated the re-issue of the '...Fingers' album and was the opening night of the North American 'Zip Code Tour'. The intimate Fonda Theatre was in stark contrast to the huge stadiums that the band would perform in over the following two months. However, the album was not played in its original 1971 running order, as Mick Jagger was quick to point out that playing 'Brown Sugar' so early in the set would be too big of an ask. To whip up the audience (not that they needed much encouragement having secured the hottest tickets of the year), they opened with perennial favourite 'Start Me Up'.

Similar to Black Sabbath's 'End Of The End' DVD, the interviews with the band members are interspersed with the concert footage. They discuss the iconic Andy Warhol album cover and joke about the multiple drugs references throughout the ten songs on the original 1971 album. As per usual, it's Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood that take centre-stage, whilst Charlie Watts keeps perfect time like a human metronome. Their regular band of back-up musicians – Lisa Fischer (vocals), Bernard Fowler (vocals), Darryl Jones (bass), Chuck Leavell (keyboards), Tim Ries (saxophone), Karl Denson (tenor saxophone) and Matt Clifford (keyboards) – all contribute to make this a sensational performance, even by The Rolling Stones' high standards.

Some of the songs have long been a staple of their live set-lists, including 'Dead Flowers', 'Wild Horses', 'Bitch' and arguably the most famous of them all, 'Brown Sugar'; but for diehard Stones fans it's the inclusion of the rarely played tunes that will be of most interest. These include 'Sister Morphine', featuring Wood on slide guitar and Richards on acoustic guitar, 'You Gotta Move' with Richards on twelve-string acoustic and 'Moonlight Mile' that even sees Jagger strapping on a six-string.

As stated by the band, 'I Got The Blues' is probably the slowest song in their arsenal. The rendition of 'Can't You Hear Me Knocking' is simply sublime and includes an outstanding tenor sax solo from Denson (Lenny Kravitz's band) and a Wood guitar solo that pays the utmost respect to erstwhile Stones' guitarist Mick Taylor. Following the aforementioned '...Sugar', the band wrap up the main set with 'Rock Me Baby' (a tribute to the legendary B.B. King) and no Stones show is complete without the legendary 'Jumpin' Jack Flash'. The bonus tracks (cut from the concert film) 'All Down The Line', 'When The Whip Comes Down' and 'I Can't Turn You Loose' are featured on all the various formats.

Although the CD version is superb, I would highly recommend the DVD/Blu-ray package as the 5:1 Dolby Digital sound is immense and this concert is a rare chance to see one of the world's greatest stadium bands in a small theatre.

Mark Donnelly

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