"The Rolling Stones are now more sober and they play better."

Sixty-years is nothing.

"The Rolling Stones are now more sober and they play better."

Sixty-years is nothing. The Rolling Stones' members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Ronnie Wood are already 231 years old. They begin a 14-date tour in Madrid at Wanda Metropolitano stadium. This will take them to 13 European cities to mark its sixty-year anniversary. After Charlie Watts' death last August 24, at the age 80, this is Charlie Watts' first ever visit to the Old Continent.

It won't be their first concert without his charismatic touch. The musician, who died in London's hospital last week, had decided to not participate in the No Filter Tour's second stage. This tour brought together the artists of albums like 'Beggars Banquet (1968), Let It Bleed (1969), and 'Exile On Main St (1972). It took them through thirteen American cities between September and October last year to recuperate from an old cancer treatment. Few people could have imagined that Steve Jordan, who was a frequent collaborator with Keith Richards on his solo albums, would replace him.

They won't sound the same as they used to. The most important thing in a mix is the vocals and drums. Charlie Watts isn’t there so they won’t sound the same," says Julian Ruiz (producer, music journalist, head of Plasticos y Decibelios), who has been able to see the Stones live more than 20 times and knows them from close by. Last year was the last. They sound a lot like The Rolling Stones but with a new drummer. Mick Jagger sometimes looks back and thinks, "Well, if Charlie's not here." It's not that Mick is ahead or below Charlie. Charlie, who has so many years of experience behind him, was able to follow Mick. He explains that Jordan is a superb drummer and a machine, but he's not as fast as Jagger's innings. He admits that although they now play better when they're more sober, they used to have more strength and vitality before.

Gallery. The Rolling Stones at the old San Mames in Bilbao. / AGENCIES

Their satanic majesties in Spain will perform their 23rd concert on Wednesday. Franco's seven-month-old death had markedly impacted his relationship with Spain. It began at La Monumental in Barcelona on June 11, 1976. This date will be remembered for its historic significance. It was the first time an international group performed in our nation after Franco's death.

It was done before around eleven thousand people. Ruiz was among them. I met the band for the first time at that concert. She recalls laughing that Gay Mercader prepared a barbecue and we ate lamb chops backstage. According to the journalist, he was in the fourth- or fifth row and the sensations were unimaginable. "I had been keeping records of them all my life and finally I was seeing them, so it's a good thing."

Ruiz shares many anecdotes about Jagger. She recalls, "Last time, we took a photo and he was like 'Look at two old ladies.'" Jagger was also present for an interview in New York, but he didn't show up. "He sent me a bottle Moet Chandon at my hotel and a card apologizing. They are still mine."

The Stones' last Spain visit dates back to 2017. This was during the No Filter Tour, which the Stones did on the occasion their twenty-third and last long-play, "Blue."

There were many mythical performances along the way. These included the one that hosted Madrid's Vicente Calderon stadium on June 7, 1982. This performance brought together almost 60,000 people in the middle of a severe summer storm. Or the shows they presented in Gijon in 1995 and Malaga and Vigo in 1998 to celebrate the 'Voodoo Lounge. A tour where those speaking the language started up again, after eight years of silence.

The stage is flanked by two screens to the sides. It has another giant in the center. This gives it the iconic logo of rock and roll, the upper lip. At 10:00 p.m., the incombustible Stones will emerge from that mouth. Sidonie and Vargas Blues Band will entertain the audience at eight in the evening. No one can deny that songs such as 'Jumping Jack Flash,' 'Gimme Shelter,' or ’(I Can’t Get No Satisfaction)’ will be a part of a repertoire that also includes ballads like ‘You Can’t Always Get What you Want’.

Ruiz says that "they are a phenomenon which surpasses both time and imagination". He also assures that the songs in the beginning are "very good". He continues, "Now," Ruiz says, "they have lost their touch because, after so many decades, it is very difficult to keep up with the modern times." They are essential in this age of "everything's cheating live", however.

Mick Jagger smiling as he leaves the party yesterday. /ep

The Madrid capital has been visited by the Rolling Stones. Yesterday, the Rolling Stones, who wrote songs such as "Sympathy for the Devil", visited the statue in the Retiro Park dedicated to Lucifer. It is the only public space worldwide that has a statue of the Fallen Angel. She dedicated an entry to her Instagram account. They chose to have dinner at one the city's most fashionable restaurants. There they enjoyed a flamenco party with cantaor Israel Fernandez and other guests.

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