Many in the throng paid top dollar for their tickets, but for the adventurous, plenty of good seats were available from scalpers and concert goers with extra ducats. I bought a floor ticket for half price and spent the night near the catwalk linking the main stage in center field and the auxiliary stage near home plate, front and center, maybe thirty rows back.
From my vantage point, I could feel the heat of the show, both figuratively and literally. Flames shot out of the floor on the opening “Start Me Up” and more burst from the top of the 80-foot stainless steel main stage at the beginning of "Sympathy for the Devil.” Brief bursts of blast furnace heat punctuated other sensory treats.
Cool visuals included a spacey video introduction, giant over inflated flower-power lips, fireworks, a multi-level stage with ramps that stretched from foul line to foul line, flanked by four story towers that resembled curvy silver parking garage ramps.
The super-sized video screen featured multiple camera shots showing the performers from all angles. Many scenes were in sepia or black and white, giving the impression simultaneously of the old and the new. The Stones rocked, in the now, on stage, up front, yet, with a little imagination, there they were, also, performing in black and white on the big screen on the Ed Sullivan show.
"It's good to see you. It's good to be back. It's good to be anywhere," joked guitarist Keith Richards, cigarette in hand. I agree, it is good to be anywhere, but last night it was especially good to be in PNC Park.
Enjoying classic cuts like, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction" and "Get Off My Cloud" and “Paint it Black” and “Honky Tonk Woman” and "Sympathy for the Devil" and "It's Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It)" and "Jumpin Jack Flash."
And joining the crowd raucously singing along with, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
I sure got what I needed.