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“A Day at the Races with the Rolling Stones”

A week, I’m still thinking about it. And for a long time… Because going to a Rolling Stones concert is first and foremost an inner journey. Just as when stumbling over a disjointed cobblestone in the court of the Prince de Guermantes, the narrator ofIn Search of Lost Time finds himself for a moment in the shoes of the walker he once was in Venice, our lover of old stones does not walk alone. Suddenly rushing from the past, all his successive doubles follow him in procession – the adolescent, the adult, the father of a family, the fifties, all those who one day followed this same path, never tired of going to hear the soundtrack of their existence. An ageless man of all ages.

Going to a Rolling Stones concert is first and foremost a matter of inner voices. Of the original quintet, only Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are present, they recall in a loop, Bill Wyman has retired, Brian Jones is dead, Charlie Watts recently followed him to the grave. Wasn’t this latest disappearance worth pulling back the curtain with elegance? Is a knife whose blade and then the handle are replaced still the same knife? May the fan who has never asked this question throw the first rolling stone at me!

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To which are added the external voices, those which make fun of the age of the captains, those also of the hyenas which surround the old lions whose rightful place would be, if we believe them, if not in the zoo, at least in the museum, after stuffing in the rules taxidermy, among the memories of a bygone past – Brown sugar (“Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Ouh!”), a piece of scenic bravery, has already been ejected from the repertoire for lese-wokism.

Kids of rock, just kids

It has been said that our lover of old stones does not walk alone, so he walks. Yes, because mathematics does not seem to be the strong subject of the organizers. By dividing the number of spectators by the capacity of the shuttles responsible for transporting them from the metro station to the Longchamp racecourse, even a primary school student should be able to establish the desirable frequency. But 1,500 people wait in vain under the sun for a bus to appear on the horizon. Very little or rather too much for us. Almost no indication for pedestrians in spite of themselves, the police are conspicuous by their absence – the first manifestation of a truth that will come out of the well only at the end of the evening, we will come back to this. Kindly informed by the prostitutes of the Bois de Boulogne, we nevertheless reach our destination.

Another novelty compared to the already old time of the last concert of the Stones in the French open air, the interminable queue before entering the grounds of the racetrack now takes on the appearance of a serpentine. An invention of the Walt Disney parks it seems, a way of confirming that, having become global, the society of entertainment no longer establishes any distinction between its different representations, a way of telling rock children that they are now just children. In the meantime, the compact crowd tramples on, completely disoriented and unable to know if there are a few minutes or a few hours left to wait. Claustrophobes abstain.

A couple of free riders jump from one ring of the snake to the other. Denounced by his neighbors, he is accompanied by a CRS to the cheers of the public to his starting point or almost – at trial, the penalty is equivalent to a hundred places lost. It’s hard to imagine this scene in a rock concert of the last century. Times are changing as Bob Dylan says, who we hope the Rolling Stones will perform “Like a rolling stone”.

Carré d’or and foot soldiers

Here we are. A vast airy space opens up, which we consider with the same satisfaction as Charles Ingalls in front of the meadow where, at the end of a long journey, he is going to build his little house. But a real village has already been erected there, a multitude of stands dedicated to the most exhaustive of merchandising as well as food for lovers of binary rhythms. All taken by storm. A charming young woman offloads us 8 euros in exchange for a 50 cl bottle. When will government fuel aid for mineral water? ” By the wayshe says, I completely forgot to tell you that the water is not fresh. »

In the stands, the price of seats varies from a quarter to a third of the minimum wage (not to mention the black market) – from expensive, rock has become overpriced. The lawn ? There is no need, as in the past, to sprint towards the stage as soon as the doors open, the nearest zone constitutes another golden square where a few privileged infantrymen are separated by a barrier from the rest of the foot soldiers (whose ticket is very close to even the hundred euros).

Few cops, even fewer stewards, the lessons of the Stade de France have hardly been learned, each man in his night.

In the first part, Ayron Jones declares far too long and far too loudly his love for Jimi Hendrix. A video montage shows Charlie Watts on giant screens, I’m crying. The Stones tumble and squirt “Street fighting man”, I’m still crying. And then ? Then it’s great. Great sound, set list almost ideal (we would perhaps exchange “Start me up” for “Angie”), we even have the right to “Out of time” (if I cry? Affirmative!). From “19th nervous breakdown” to “Living in a ghost town”, quite the journey.

Jagger in great shape, joking Jagger: ” Do you know how I got here this afternoon? On a bike with Anne Hidalgo. ” Message to the hyenas: the anomaly is not that Keith Richards and Ron Wood show the weight of the years (and illness for the second), the anomaly is that Jagger can thus do the show for two hours lasting a few days from celebrating its 79th birthday, may thus continue to stick out your tongue. Satisfaction as a goodbye or farewell.

To imagine the conditions of the return, you have to imagine the outward journey but in a general stampede version, in the dark and in the slush. Few cops, even fewer stewards, the lessons of the Stade de France have hardly been learned, each man in his night. It jostles, it stumbles. We pity the provincials and the confused foreigners, we try above all to extricate ourselves from the quagmire. And so the truth finally appears in its lightest outfit: the rock lover is no longer worthy of attention until he merges with a paying pig – otherwise he only represents the missing link between the sheep and the mass tourist.

At a Stones concert, everything became unrecognizable except the Stones themselves.

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