Daily Archives: March 13, 2014

Rolling Stones in Shanghai

(Ed. note: In the midst of the unpacking of the wine last week, I got a text from Shelley asking if it had been delivered. I told her yes and to look for the blog that afternoon. Later I got this email from her:

“Earlier today when I received the confirmation from you that you received the wine and you noted I could read about it in your blog, my colleague (Chinese) said “ Ah, I think he will mention the packaging.  It can be difficult.”

Thanks for the information!

You were our first delivery so far outside of Shanghai…perhaps we should get company branded hammers and send them out with the deliveries!  (Ed note 2: YES!!) 

Do you have a fireplace?  You could use the wood to keep warm… you did mention it was cold!” End Ed. notes)

Now, on to The Rolling Stones! Well the Stones have come and gone. We told you we would provide a review of a bunch or 70 year olds jumping around. But before we get to the concert, one of the great things in China is that you get drivers to take you places so that you can drink wine and have appies on the drive in to Shanghai to dinner before the concert – which is exactly what we did.  (Ed. note: Thanks to Tim and Sherrie!) When we got to the arena, we discovered that we had perfect seats. My seat was on the aisle and the aisle was in the exact centre of the stage – and we were in row 11. They couldn’t have been any better.

We figure we were about 50 yards from the top of the "tongue' where Mick, Keith and Ronnie were frequently performing from.

We figure we were about 50 yards from the top of the “tongue’ where Mick, Keith and Ronnie were frequently performing.

The crowd was quite interesting. Apparently the Stones are multi-generational and multi-cultural.  Having said that, it is pretty clear that there were not many others there at my age. Some observations:

  1. our generation of Chinese did not grow up with the same interest in rock music that we did (Ed. note: Related to Mao’s influence, perhaps?)
  2. there are not a lot of expats (Ed. note: the audience was likely 70% non-Asian) of senior years living in Shanghai.  Terry disagrees, saying there are lots of older male ex-pats in Shanghai, just not many female ex-pats, and perhaps not so many of either at the concert.
  3. younger concert goers in 2014 – Asian and Non-Asian – feel the need to frequently leave the arena to get something else, effectively missing – oh, I don’t know, but maybe 30% of the concert. Maybe that is because they can only get one glass of wine at a time, beer sales are cut off at about 5 minutes before the concert begins and marijuana is not available – at least there was certainly no familiar and comforting fragrance in the air.
  4. however, even I had to leave briefly (missed all of Ruby Tuesday) to get something to drink. I bought a large juice – 30 yuan but all I had was a 50 yuan note. The guy was very flustered because, I guess, they were closing the till and he couldn’t give the correct change, so he gave me 15 yuan – and a bag of potato chips. Go figure.
  5. You would think, that after 50+ years Jagger would know the names of the band. He introduced Charlie Watts as Charlie Wood – Richards had to correct him.

Now, have you ever been to a rock concert that started on time? Well neither have we. The Stones came on at 8:30 – exactly 30 minutes late and left at 10:35 . 19 classics later but with no intermission. I am pretty sure that I could not have moved as much or as “gyrationally” as Jagger did last night. It was really an amazing concert – even if they didn’t do Brown Sugar (Ed. note: See below) or Wild Horses. Were they rocking? Well, we never sat from the opening note and even I was dancing – well, dancing as much as I can dance. Terry, Sherrie and Tim were really going at it though – as were the other 15 000 or so at the sold out Mercedes Benz Arena.

Set List

  1. Street Fighting Man  (by request) (Ed. note: Apparently the last time they were in China they sang Honky Tonky Woman and Brown Sugar – which they have since been banned from singing here)
  2. Miss You  (followed by band introductions)
  3. Slipping Away  (with Mick Taylor) (Keith Richards on lead vocals)
  4. Happy  (Keith Richards on lead vocals)
  5. Midnight Rambler (with Mick Taylor) a fabulous 10 minute duet with Jagger on the harmonica
  6. Encore:
  7. You Can’t Always Get What You Want  (with the Dulwich International Singers) – must have been an an amazing thing for these twenty twenty-something singers to be on the stage with them.
  8. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – an emotional and energy draining 15 minutes

Terry’s view:  I read an interview with Keith Richards in my March Timeout Shanghai. When asked if there were reluctance from the rest of the band to tour, he said, “We only do this when there’s an obvious desire or need.  Mick’ll call me and say, ‘Isn’t it about time we did something?’ and I’ll say, “I’ve been waiting for this call, how does Charlie feel?’…I actually do wait for Mick Jagger to say, ‘I feel like rocking’ and then it’s, ‘Okay mate, I’m right behind ya’ and that’s the way we do it, y’know?”

Watching the show, it was clear how much the band counts on Jagger to show the way.  Thanks to the giant screens that allow patrons to see any show much better than the first time I saw the Stones back in the last century, we were able to watch the band members follow Jagger around the stage with their eyes, waiting for him to cue them.  Once, it seemed like they lost the rhythm as Jagger did his thing, but were able to pick it up again a some seconds later. A funny moment came when he and his female vocalist met at the front of the ‘tongue.’  She was obviously not understanding his subtle direction to cross behind him and change positions, so he did a chest bounce off her bountiful bosom, giving her the smallest of smiles, before pulling her past him.  The surprise on her face was real but she didn’t miss a beat and the two just kept on singing and dancing.

What a great show!  Our seats really were terrific, as Geoff said, and it was so much fun dancing and singing to the oldies.  ‘Satisfaction’ was a blast, with everyone stabbing their fingers in the air along with Mick. He might be older but he’s still got the moves like Jagger!

It took me 50 minutes in line to get these puppies!

It took me 50 minutes in line to get these puppies!

The Shoe Blog

Well, as I have mentioned , the shoe photos are few and far between these days. Instead, I have a little video of something I observed today at the office. This is one of those things you just know is going to happen in China but you don’t know when.

For the first 20 minutes she just used the table – but eventually she used the plastic bag. They chew the sugar cane and then get rid of the pulp…TIC