I have been to hundreds of concerts over the years. I’ve seen Oasis rolling with it in Milton Keynes, Neil Young “Rocking In The Free World” at Reading Festival, and I’ve played air guitar along to The Who’s ‘My Generation’ in London. I love going to concerts, but the one band I had never managed to see live were The Rolling Stones, so when I succeeded in securing tickets to their concert in Hyde Park it was a dream come true. The Rolling Stones had already played in Hyde Park in 1969, and it had gone down in rock history as one of their most memorable concerts – particularly after they decided to go ahead with the concert after the death of Brian Jones. Their 2013 revisit to Hyde Park wasn’t going to be The Rolling Stones churning out their greatest hits, this was going to be another chance to witness rock legends creating rock history, and I was going along for the ride.
Although we had purchased the standard tickets, which at over £100 each weren’t exactly cheap, we were thrust into the main crowd. It was possible to get to the front if you were prepared to sit in the same spot from when the gates first opened. As soon as you entered Hyde Park you couldn’t help feeling overwhelmed by the energy and the sounds of excitement which bounced off the fans, all there to see one of the greatest bands alive. The Stones didn’t make us wait long for their first song of ‘Start Me Up’, and the song worked it’s magic of giving the crowd a taste of what was about to come.
Classic Stones songs such as “Gimme Shelter”, “Jumping Jack Flash” and “Ruby Tuesday” followed to much appreciation, but it was “Sympathy For The Devil” that whipped the crowd into a frenzy, and had everyone ‘woo hooing’ in unison. The band left us begging for more when they finished with “Brown Sugar”, but the encore was enough to please any fan with “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”. It was at that moment that you sensed the 65,000 hearts beating, whilst young and old sang together, and you could feel that the crowds musical thirst had been totally quenched. The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park was a magical night to remember and a chance to celebrate one of the biggest rock bands in the world. It was a dream come true to be there and hear all the songs I had only ever sang along to on the radio. Mick and the rest of the band left the crowd totally satisfied, and it may only be rock n roll – but I liked it!