There’s got to be something wrong with getting dressed up and sipping roasted truffle bisque before a Rolling Stones show. Maybe not as wrong as Jessica Biel wearing a clip-on nose ring to Chaos to Couture, but when said roasted truffle bisque is accompanied by lobster tail and is served in a restaurant arena at a special reservations-required seating before the show, it’s cause to wonder. While Mick and Keith were backstage, possibly channeling eternal youth inside matching hyperbaric chambers, a legion of similarly-aged fans sat inside The Grill at the HP Pavilion at a $72.95-per-person-pre-fixe-Rolling-Stones menu, selecting from house made chanterelle pasta, red wine marinated poussin, applewood bacon wrapped filet, or potato scaled turbot. And drinking wine. Lots of wine.


The first time I saw the Stones was probably a more authentic rock experience. It was the Steel Wheels tour at the old Busch Stadium in St. Louis, and I wore cut-off shorts and a t-shirt to stay cool in the sweltering September heat, cement floor sticky from spilled beer. I was with a guy who horrified me by peeing into his empty beer cup right there in our seats instead of making his way to the bathroom like any normal person would. (He was in law school at the time. It was our only date.)

This time was a million times better, especially because I was with people whose company I enjoy – my beloved LL and two great friends we see all too seldom.

stoned with friends

We had a blast – from dinner:


to the show:

Rolling Stone stage

Giant lips, of course, framing the stage

The Stone come on

The wild rumpus begins

Dancing in the seats

Dancing in the seats


It really was an extravaganza. The energy these guys have is just astonishing: the impossibly skinny Mick Jagger dressed in black, performing his perfect prance around the circular catwalk in perfect voice while alternating bandleader roles with Johnny Depp’s pirate daddy, who gave Mick a break to sing lead vocals on “Happy” and “Midnight Rambler” joined by Mick Taylor; Charlie Watts, who at 71, never took a break from drumming his way through the entire two and a half hour show and looked perfectly cool the entire time; Ronnie Wood sporting seriously muscular upper arms, amazing playing “No Expectations” on his slide guitar, backlit in a green glow, and the crazy good Lisa Fisher belting out “Gimmie Shelter” and giving me goosebumps. Special guests were John Fogarty and the amazing Bonnie Raitt, who was wonderful playing her own slide on “Let It Bleed.” Mick Taylor came out again on the last encore for “Satisfaction.” There were horns and harmonicas and the San Jose State Choraliers, and the air grew thicker and more herbaceous as the night wore on.

Here’s a peek at the first encore, one of my favorites, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

For you who keep track, here is their set list:

Rolling Stones Set List, San Jose, CA, May 8, 2013

‘Get Off My Cloud’
‘It’s Only Rock & Roll’
‘Paint It Black’
‘It’s All Over Now’ (featuring John Fogerty)
‘Gimme Shelter’
‘No Expectations’
‘Let It Bleed’ (featuring Bonnie Raitt)
‘Emotional Rescue’
‘One More Shot’
‘Honky Tonk Women’
‘Before They Make Me Run’
‘Midnight Rambler’
‘Miss You’
‘Start Me Up’
‘Tumbling Dice’
‘Brown Sugar’
‘Sympathy for the Devil’
‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’
‘Jumping Jack Flash’