Jody and I were among the tens of thousands of Rolling Stones fans packed into Soldier Field last Tuesday to watch night No. 2 of the band’s “No Filter” tour.
The tour was postponed early on as the 75-year-old Jagger needed a new heart valve. (If I ever need heart work, I want that doctor). Jagger never missed a beat as he danced up and down the stage like a teenager.
The tour kicked off June 23 in Chicago and we were lucky enough to see the second of two shows in the Windy City — the 39th time the band has played in the city and the ninth time in Soldier Field.
The four regulars in the band — Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ron Wood — were backed by seven associate members. The best part of the concert was every song was a favorite — they weren’t out trying to push new songs and sell more albums. It was just one great hit after another.
The band first started playing together in 1962, so they have gone from records to eight tracks to cassettes to CDs and now to Apple Music, Spotify and iTunes.
All eyes were on Jagger, Richard, Watts and Wood the entire night. And as Jeff Johnson, a local freelancer working for the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, the tour was a match made in heaven.
“And in an ironic bit of trivia,” Johnson wrote, “the sole sponsor of the band’s ‘No Filter’ tour is the non-profit Alliance for Lifetime Income, a retirement planning organization. The four principal band members have roamed the Earth for a combined 300 years, but their IRAs are presumably in good order and looking stronger with multi-million dollar gates lined up for the current road trek.”
The “No Filter” tour will hit 15 cities with 17 dates wrapping up Aug. 31 in Miami.
We were in our seats early and watched as people filed in one after another to fill the mammoth football field on the shores of Lake Michigan. Our seats were hardly warm before we could smell the sweet scents of the ’60s and ’70s fill the air. Two women a couple of rows in front of us were getting fired up for the night. About 10 minutes later, a security guard talked to the women, letting them know it probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do, especially when it was still light out.
When the sun did go down and the stands were packed, there were no rules or security guards.
They are not called the Rolling Stones for nothing.
During the concert Jagger mentioned some of the celebrities in the crowd. New mayor Lori Lightfoot, the city’s first black woman mayor, got a nice ovation from the crowd, but Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker got a lot of catcalls. That was until Jagger reminded the crowd that earlier in the day Pritzker signed HB 1438, making Illinois the 11th state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana and the second in the Midwest. In 2018, Michigan voters approved a referendum to legalize marijuana.
Those catcalls suddenly turned into cheers.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime concert and one we always remember.
You can’t always get what you want, but on this night we did.
Joe Centers is Reflector managing editor. He can be reached at [email protected]