The Rolling Stones at the United Center 6/3/2013

An acoustic “You Got The Silver” from Let It Bleed and the gritty and poignant “Before They Make Me Run.” Keith Richards in all his glory.

November 27, 2018

Photo by Paul Natkin


Here are my recollections of a 2013 Stones show at The United Center on June 3, 2013

While the wrath of the weather gods swirled outside the United Center, The Rolling Stones were taking their usual sweet time getting to the stage.  Near 9pm the lights dimmed and a video began with an aging British stoner talking about the influence of the Rolling Stones. The video featured both fans and celebs trying to crystallize The Rolling Stones experience. And then it started.

Mick, Keith, Ronnie, Charlie and Chicago’s own Darryl Jones walked out on a sparse stage. “Get Off My Cloud.”

Like a prize-fighter assessing an opponent, The Stones seemed to be feeling out the room.  You charge 250 dollars for 300 level tickets you better be ready to pack a punch. 

It’s Only Rock and Roll. Paint It Black. And then the song that is so much more than a song. A landmark. A touchstone. A milepost. A song some have called the greatest song ever recorded.

"Gimme Shelter."

Money no longer an issue.

We were treated to longtime back-up singer Lisa Fischer nailing the Merry Clayton role. “It’s just a shot away, shot away, shot away.”

Our first Exile track brought out Stones sax stalwart Bobby Keys and the more recent Stones reedman Tim Ries. “Rocks Off.”

The surprise guest of the evening surprised us by not being Buddy Guy, but Taj Mahal, an old friend and collaborator, who played a Taj classic, “Six Days on the Road.”

The Stones went new songs back to back and then “Honky Tonk Women,” prepared us for lift off.

Mick took a break which allowed Keith and Ronnie to come up front to do two numbers for the diehards. An acoustic “You Got The Silver” from Let It Bleed and the gritty and poignant “Before They Make Me Run.” Keith Richards in all his glory.

Without any fanfare another guitarist joined the band as Jagger sucked in a blues harp.  This was the return of the prodigal Stone, Mick Taylor, who once boasted he was the only man to leave The Rolling Stones and live. The band tore into a murderous rendition of Midnight Rambler to showcase the best lead guitarist The Rolling Stones ever had. 

Two top 40 crowd pleasers, “Miss You” and “Start Me Up” kept the show rolling before they decided to go all ‘best rock and roll band in the world’ on us.

Tumbling Dice, Brown Sugar, and Sympathy For The Devil.

If you have a problem with that triplet, we’re done talking.

“Sympathy” was augmented by a recorded rhythm track and an entire audience singing “Hoo Hoo.”


   Both sides of the stage fill up with The Roosevelt University Conservatory Chorus. The hand is tipped and they fill up the U.C. with the opening of “You Can’t Aways Get What You Want.” French horn fill is perfect.  Crowd sing along is initially tentative and then full-throated. 

   “Jumping Jack Flash” took me back to Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out.

   “Satisfaction” allowed Keith to stroll the rim of the tongue for a solo. Mick Taylor’s returned and sat down in front of the drums playing guitar like he was at a campfire.  And Jagger? The guy’s been singing and dancing for 2 and half hours. You and I would have been hospitalized after the first 15 minutes.

I really thought their last tour would be my last chance to see The Glimmer Twins. I’m so glad it wasn’t.


93XRT welcomes The Rolling Stones No Filter Tour at Soldier Field on June 21st, 2019. 93XRT will feature the music of The Stones all day Friday. Tix go on sale to the general public this Friday at 10am, but you can win free tickets to a Sky Suite with Mary Dixon and me on the XRT Morning Show this week.