Michael Pascoe writes:

Pick up my guitar and play

Just like yesterday

Then I’ll get on my knees and pray

We don’t get fooled again

Yes I know, that’s The Who, not the Stones,
but it should apply to the media who happily went along with hype and PR
exuberance orchestrated by the world’s most famous economist before and at Telstra Stadium last night.

Maybe the gushers – SMH, The
Oz
and Terror – were in the $399 diamond seats where,
maybe, the acoustics were OK. For those in the mere gold seats of the Homebush
echo chamber, the sound was RS. Someone quipped it was amazing Keith Richards
could still remember the lyrics to two songs, but in row 22 off to the side,
you couldn’t tell. What the folks in the nose-bleed bronze chairs were hearing,
I can’t imagine.

I suppose a 60,000-seat open-air Stones
concert has as much to do with the music as 60,000 people seeing the Pope on
his Vatican balcony has to do with Christianity: not much. It’s just bragging rights – yeah, saw the
Stones – mixed with the mass hysteria
that can be whipped up by revered performers dealing with fans who really need
to think it’s good to justify what they’ve paid.

The Stones themselves still put on a good
show, just like the last one and the one before that. In a better venue, their
talent and stature would do the job, but last night it was the crowd itself
that seemed to be most impressing the crowd. Towards the end of the concert
when the 58,000 were standing in the
rather ghostly smoke from fireworks, waving their arms and many bald heads on
command from the prancing London School of Economics graduate, a fella standing
near me said to his date “isn’t that amazing, absolutely fantastic”. He meant
the crowd – not the band.

Melbourne has been promised a different concert in the “more intimate” Rod
Laver arena, without the big stage with the section that rolls out into the
middle of the football field. Maybe that will be worth going to.

Love your work, Mick, but for the traffic jams
(not helped by the Royal Easter Show being on next door), the rubbish stadium
food, the slowly-served expensive drinks and lousy sound – nah, I won’t be
fooled again.

Peter Fray

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