After 33 years the Stones have finally released this show, recorded July 18 at the Will Rogers Auditorium in Fort Worth Texas, in front of about 3,000 fans. The video and cd are the only official recordings from this landmark mini-tour, a stripped down, just rock n' roll summer assault on the U.S.A., showcasing the new material from the band's latest release, Some Girls. Featured are 7 of the 10 Some Girls tracks, including first live-versions of Miss You, Respectable, Whip Comes Down, Shattered, Beast of Burden, Imagination and Far Away Eyes, all of which would go on to be staples of future tours. The Stones were at the height of their popularity in 1978; the tour included several giant stadium shows, notably at JFK stadium, Philadelphia, Soldier's Field, Chicago, Rich Stadium, Buffalo and Anaheim Stadium. The Fort Worth show was one of a handful of smaller-venue performances, and features the Stones at their most vital. I'd say this is the best Stones live-video available, and that's saying a lot. The band is pumped and at their energetic best. Keith Richard's guitar playing is simply ferocious at times, most notably on the show closer, Jumpin Jack Flash. Richards, Mick Jagger and Ron Wood are in constant motion, while Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts stoically hold down the rhythm section. Ian McLagen on keyboards and Ian Stewart on piano are present but practically invisible and generally drowned out by the Richards/Wood frantic twin-guitar assault. Richards and Wood trade licks as if they were telepathically connected, they are that good. Jagger has never been better, both vocally and swagger-wise. He's in full strut, bum-wiggling,leering sass-mode, with what looks like two rolls of toilet paper stuffed down the crotch of his pants. All the classic Jagger moves are on display. He gets particularly frisky with Wood, who acts as am energetic foil for both Jagger and Richards. But never mind the swagger, Mick delivers some of the most powerful vocals you will ever hear. He takes full ownership of every song, even tossing in some fresh lyrics for two of the Sones raunchiest numbers; the infamous ode to groupies, Star Star (Jimmy Page is quite the rage...I couldn't see the reason why) and the new, When the Whip Comes Down. Mick and Keith seem to be competing for most inspired performance while Woody eggs on both. This was an important time for the band. They had been at the top of the heap for quite a while, but suddenly found themselves not only challenged by punk rock, but also a changing music landscape with both disco and new-wave building steam. The Stones though responded with the tour de force that was Some Girls, infusing a punk sensiblity into several of the new rockers, with the new energized attitude very much on display at Fort Worth. The disco-rocker Miss You, brilliantly blended the disco beat with the Stones guitar sound. It's no wonder the Stones put a heavy emphasis on their new material for this tour. They had a statement to make. Not only were they still on top, but they were re-energized and determined to raise the bar even higher. With this tour, I think that bar was now set beyond the reach, of even the best of the bands that would follow in their wake. Live rock n roll does not get any better than this. If there was any doubt, Some Girls I think cemented the band's status as the greatest rock n' roll band ever. Yes it's a cliche but this show makes it ring true. Some Girls live Texas 78, is a snapshot of a band in its mature prime - focused, confident and driven. Some Girls ensured the Stones would be sticking around for a long time, even if they did take a hiatus from live touring in the 80's. The video features lots of energetic crowd reaction, in fact security is noticeably absent at the front of the stage. Fans can even reach out and touch the band. You will feel like you are front row and will be as spent as the band by show's end, even though we're talking only 85 minutes. This is the Stones up close and personal. Video and sound quality is excellent on both the blu-ray and cd. As an added bonus, the extras include 3 live Some Girls tracks recorded for Saturday Night live, along with interview material from the time and a new discussion with Jagger. I'd recommend watching the 2011 Jagger interview before watching the show. Mick does a nice job of giving the show the context it deserves, and he looks like he's still got another tour left in him.
Its difficult to pull hi-lites from this show as the band nails every song. But I'll try anyway. The entended guitar intro to Honky Tonk Women is epic. Shattered is pure mayhem. Johnny Rotten would be in awe. Star Star is Jagger sauce-and-sass, propelled by Chuck Berry inspired guitars with Wood energetically teaming with Jagger on the chorus. Speaking of Berry, the Stones pay tribute with two covers, show-opener, Let it Rock and Sweet Little 16. Richards is in full throat for Happy, trading vocals with Jagger and while we saw this dual Stones vocal-dynamic on display in last year's blu-ray release of Ladies and Gentlmen, Some Girls Fort Worth, 6 years later, is a superior video presentation. Miss You might be the hi-lite of the show. Jagger seems almost to be living out the song, he's that involved. If you only own one Stones video, this is the one to buy. It's a rock n' roll ride from start to finish.