By Noah Hubbell
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Tom Murphy
By Noah Hubbell
By Alex Distefano
By Darryl Smyers
By Jon Solomon
By Britt Chester
Description of Bryan Adams's reaction after he fails to prompt more than a relative handful of concertgoers to na-na-na along with him during "Cuts Like a Knife": Obvious embarrassment.
Description of Bryan Adams's current musical approach that would probably please Bryan Adams: Back-to-basics rock and roll that's tougher than his adult-contemporary fare.
A more accurate description of Bryan Adams's current musical approach: The type of innocuous rawk cliches you'd expect to hear booming out of a lounge in a Canadian bowling alley.
Likely reason Bryan Adams has temporarily stopped making adult-contemporary fare in order to concentrate on innocuous rawk cliches: He's no longer getting as many offers to write love themes to bad Kevin Costner movies.
Proof that Bryan Adams hasn't abandoned adult-contemporary fare entirely: He croons "Heaven," an icky power ballad.
Response of the T-shirted, tattooed, obviously drunk man sitting behind me to Bryan Adams's decision to croon "Heaven": "Fuck you!" At the end of Adams's set, he adds, "You white-wearin' motherfucker! We want the Stones!"
Seats filled when Bryan Adams exits the stage: Approximately 80 percent.
Number of concertgoers who brought their children with them: Surprisingly few. Most of the attendees love their kids, no doubt, but not enough to spend several hundred dollars to bring them along.
Description of the people in the now-filled fifteen-seat row in front of me: Race--about as Caucasian as you could possibly get. Average age--approximately 42. Number of men with receding hairlines--four. Number of men with a touch of gray, for that distinguished look--two. Number of people wearing wire-rimmed glasses--four. Number of people wearing Hawaiian shirts--one. Number of people wearing brocaded vests--one. Number of people wearing cashmere sweaters--one. Number of people who dressed down for the evening--zero. Number of people who could probably buy and sell me a dozen times over--fifteen.
Description of the people in my now-filled fifteen-seat row: Mainly music critics who, like me, aren't exactly paragons of machismo. When we walk into bars, guys start drawing straws to see who gets to beat the hell out of us first.
Response of the T-shirted, tattooed, obviously drunk man sitting behind me to an announcement asking people not to stand on their chairs: "Fuck you!"
Response of the T-shirted, tattooed, obviously drunk man sitting behind me when the lights go down, indicating the Rolling Stones' imminent arrival: "WHOO-OOO!"
Name of the band's first song, which kicks off following a brief video introduction: "Jumpin' Jack Flash."
Description of Mick Jagger: Black jacket, white shirt, tight black pants, dark glasses that he ditches almost immediately. Resembles Steven Tyler--or is it the other way around?
Description of guitarist/vocalist Keith Richards: Pink jacket, purple shirt, dark glasses, gray fright-wig hair decorated with feathers and who knows what else, bugged-out eyes, skin like the only shammy at a used-car lot. Resembles a cross between comedians Marty Feldman and Charlie Callas--both of whom have been dead for quite a while.
Description of guitarist Ron Wood: Black leather jacket, red shirt, tattered trousers, hatchet nose, lacquered hair. Resembles Rod Stewart with a bad dye job, or Joan Jett's mom. When the T-shirted, tattooed, obviously drunk man sitting behind me sees him on the video screen, he yells, "Woody! Woody!"
Description of bassist Daryl Jones, keyboardist Chuck Leavell, saxophonist Bobby Keys and the rest of the supporting musicians: Insufficient data available, because they remain in the shadows most of the time. When the horn players and background vocalists aren't needed, they're stored under stairs on either side of the stage, like worn-out mops and leftover buckets of paint.
Description of the band's sound: Solid, but not as pleasantly sloppy and full-bodied as during the act's last Denver appearance, at Mile High Stadium in 1994. It's professional, sure, but it lacks a certain raucousness, and the tempos feel a tiny bit slower. Maybe the musicians were afraid they'd cut themselves on rough edges.
Proof that Mick Jagger has an inkling about what city he's in: After singing "Live With Me," he says, "I'd like to congratulate you on winning the Super Bowl."
Chances that Mick Jagger gives shit one about the Super Bowl: Slimmer than Kate Moss after a post-meal trip to the bathroom.
Number of nods toward material released during the Nineties: Not many, but more than the audience would have preferred. After running through "Respectable," from 1978, the Stones confuse the crowd with 1994's "You Got Me Rocking." Three other contemporary efforts are heard later, affording listeners an opportunity to sit down until they're over. Shockingly, all four numbers can be found on No Security, a concert CD readily available for purchase.
A breakdown by decades of the seventeen non-Nineties songs on the Rolling Stones' set list: Forties and Eighties--one apiece (a cover of Bobby Troup's "Route 66" and "Start Me Up," respectively). Sixties--five. Seventies--ten.
Number of truly surprising selections on the Rolling Stones' set list: Zero.
Reaction of the audience to the dearth of truly surprising selections on the Rolling Stones' set list: Sheer joy.
Reaction of the T-shirted, tattooed, obviously drunk man sitting behind me to just about anything that happens: "Woody! Woody!"