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Stones “Live” Live on HBO Saturday

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I haven’t seen the Rolling Stones on this tour, nor have I seen them live since, I think, ’89: just haven’t had the heart the take the chance that they would seem old and feeble. Since they are performing live, as in really live at the time of the performance, on HBO this Saturday night at 9 p.m. EST, I am going to live dangerously and watch the show – no extreme close-ups please. This is reputed to be their first “live” live concert performance on TV (they have certainly performed songs live before, including on SNL).

I wonder what would happen if I watched Gimme Shelter, arguably the greatest concert film of all time (and including the horrifying footage of the Hell’s Angels stabbing death at Altamont), right after the live show Saturday: will there be a disjunction in the time-space continuum?

I was highly skeptical of yet another Stones money-grab tour, but by all reports this one has been a winner and the band has played smaller venues and mixed in unusual material to keep things fresh, if anything can be fresh after 40 years:

    Despite denials from the band last May that this would be a “40th Anniversary” tour, the group nonetheless released “Forty Licks,” a two-CD collection of four new songs and 36 classic hits like “Brown Sugar,” “Jumping Jack Flash,” and “Start Me Up,” in October.

    At last night’s Garden show, Jagger said HBO cameramen and technicians were doing a dry run for Saturday and that the equipment was “not for a home video.”

    “We’ve played here many, many times, but it always feels fantastic,” Jagger told the packed house.

    Following Saturday’s show, the Stones will play another nine U.S. dates before beginning a two-month swing through Australia and Asia on February 18 in Sydney. A summer tour through Europe is scheduled to start on June 4 in Munich.

    According to data collated by concert trade publication Pollstar, the Rolling Stones were the No. 2 earners on the North American concert circuit in 2002, taking in $87.9 million over just 34 shows. The Stones’ 1994 Voodoo Lounge tour remains the highest grossing North American tour at $121 million. [Reuters]

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