Referring to the Rolling Stones as the “Mt. Rushmore of Rock and Roll” takes on more than one meaning, depending on your point of view.
For their most ardent fans, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ron Wood take on many a hosanna; rock royalty. Keepers of the musical flame. Popular music’s most enduring band. Pioneers.
But to those whose Stones fandom is casual, the Mt. Rushmore comparison applies. Like the beloved memorial, the Stones, to many, are an act you need only see live once, and only for the sake of being able to cross that particular live rock note off your list, bucket or otherwise.
Let’s be honest here; the Stones’ last triumph, “Some Girls,” is now 35 years old. Others will cite 1981’s “Tattoo You” as their last great front-to-back offering, yet “Tattoo” was a mixed collection of leftovers dating back nearly a decade, whereas “Girls” found the band struggling to stay relevant in the face of punk and disco, and succeeding in spades.
After struggling through the '80s, the Stones closed that decade out with a box office-breaking tour in support of “Steel Wheels” which, with hindsight, was nothing more than a musical end to justify a much greater financial means. Since then, the band continued to sell out arena and stadiums worldwide, and still on the backs of new music offerings that pale in comparison to their groundbreaking glory days from decades past (heck, the Stones know this as well; “Crossfire Hurricane,” their HBO-aired docu from last year, ends in the “Tattoo” era).
While it’s hard to argue crossing the 50th anniversary threshold, the Stones are doing so staying relatively loyal to the blueprint. Their new musical offerings this time consist of two lone songs included on “Grrrr,” their umpteenth multi-disc career overview.
And, as is the norm for the Stones, the cost of tickets for their latest go around are ridiculous, to say the least. At press time, the only tickets available for the Stones upcoming Chicago stops through Ticketmaster boast price tags, with taxes and fees, are an unjustifiable $469.64 and $622.95.
No typo. $469.64 and $622.95.
The Rolling Stones, 8 p.m. May 28, 31 and June 3, United Center, 1901 W. Madison, Chicago. $469.64, $622.95. FYI: (312) 455-4500, UNITEDCENTER.COM.
ON SALE NOW
For more information, contact the venues or ticket sales agencies listed below. Unless otherwise indicated, all shows are all-ages.
Naked Raygun, June 28, Metro (18 and older, METROCHICAGO.COM)
Rodrigo y Gabriela, July 24, Chicago Theatre (THECHICAGOTHEATRE.COM)
Jimmy Buffett, Jackson Browne, Aug. 24, Alpine Valley Music Theatre (JAMUSA.COM)
World Party, July 31, Park West (18 and older, JAMUSA.COM)
D’Angelo, Aug. 6-7, House of Blues (17 and older, HOB.COM)
Kyle Gass Band, July 17, Double Door (21 and older, DOUBLEDOOR.COM)
Josh Groban, Oct. 20, United Center (UNITEDCENTER.COM)
The opinions expressed solely are those of the writer. Tim Shellberg can be reached at T.firstname.lastname@example.org.