The Rolling Stones rocked at Estadio El Campin, Colombia


Esteban Harris

One of the best experiences of my life began with pouring rain. For me and 45,000 attendees, the unreliable weather of Bogotá gave us a “welcome” with heavy rain, and as many would do, we sought for cover on a cafeteria nearby where one could breathe, hear, and talk around the subject of the night, the Rolling Stones; which was the main topic of many conversations around the Estadio El Campin. For my dad and I, it created more expectations and longing to finally witnessing this epic band; together with the news of Mick Jagger cruising around Bogotá’s downtown and him eating an Oblea and enjoying the view.

Around 18:00 after the torrential rains were over, we decided to enter. For those that withstood the rain despite getting wet to the bones, the excitement never left their bodies, and once inside the stadium, it was only a matter of minutes before the show was to start. The supporting act, Diamante Eléctrico is a relatively known band to me, I thought they were a good band to warm up the audience. By 20:30, the lights went off meaning that the show started right, and I began to get goose bumps. With an upbeat and tropical introduction, one by one the Rolling Stones were showed through the ages with an ending stating “Welcome to Colombia.” After that, fireworks and all the energy of the world creating the perfect scene for these four gentlemen together with their tour musician to start the show as they have been doing.

The set began with ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ and the fireworks went on and it was slowly fulfilling the expectations of each and every single fan there. The following song was ‘It’s Only Rock and Roll’, a song that has a lively disposition and catchy tunes. Later it was the turn for ‘Tumbling Dice’ and ‘Dead Flowers’ which arose the excitement to a whole new level and although Mick Jagger was playing an acoustic guitar, he pulled his special moves up. After this hell of a start, a surprise came along when Mick Jagger talked very close to the way we talk by saying words like “Oblea,” “Aguardiente,” “Guayabo” among other expressions that proved he could talk like us, his “parceros” from that night. Following this he invited Juanes to the stage, a close friend of the band according to him, and so Juanes joined the band to play ‘Beast Of Burden’, and after this surprise, Mick said “a song for the romantics” and they played ‘Wild Horses.’ After this ballad, the song that my dad was longing to hear since he started to listen to the Rolling Stones which was more than 50 years ago started to sound; I am talking about ‘Paint It Black.’ Despite being a song written in the sixties, the Rolling Stones experimented with different instruments like a zither played by Ronnie Wood, and an intro done by Keith Richards; the entire stadium sang their lungs out to that one. After this song, they played ‘Honky Tonk Women’, an equally upbeat song to give time for Mick Jagger to leave the stage for a bit, giving the stage to Keith Richards to sing for ‘You Got The Silver’ and ‘Before They Make Me Run.’ After this break, Mick Jagger returned to the stage while playing the harmonica for ‘Midnight Rumbler’, giving the proper set up for one of my favorite songs, ‘Miss You’ a song that despite being rather a romantic title is not a ballad. As a matter of fact, it is an incredibly upbeat song with a voice choir that resembles guitar riffs. With ‘Gimme Shelter’ the concert kept on going with a vocal duel and a dance-off between Mick Jagger and the main chorist. This woman showed why she was at the level to be part of the touring set of musicians that play with the band.

Then it was time for the song that opened the South American Tour, ‘Start Me Up’ with fireworks and the voices of everyone at the stadium and every member of the band singing along, These guys looked as fresh and full of energy despite the altitude and their age. After the song, lights went out and just like a Slayer concert, there were red lines on the back screens that drew pentagrams on them, with upside cruxes and all the related symbology as a set up for ‘Sympathy For The Devil’, when Mick Jagger entered the stage with a curious attire and went dancing. This song is one of those that makes me think that the Rolling Stones are really tough guys. After this, they bid their goodnights and left the stage.

After two hours of concert and to be left completely shocked by the musical discharge we received, we were thinking about how these 70+ years old guys could make a show of such magnitude after all the drugs they must have consumed over the years, and to look not as tired as they should be. The expectation met the reality by every second. But the show was not over just yet. Blue lights went on, and the Choir of Javeriana University started to sing, and slowly every member were back on stage playing ‘Can’t Always Get’ which was the beginning of the end of the show. This song gave place to the last song of the night, a song that marked every single generation at the stadium, even if we did not know these monsters, we are all aware that ‘Satisfaction’ was exactly the song that defined a big part of rock ‘n’ roll. With fireworks and the best performance from Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards, and Charlie Watts, the night was getting to and end. This show was full of sing-along, the stadium trembling with jumping around, fantastic fireworks and marked the very best of the Rolling Stones in Colombia.

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