The Rolling Stones in Atlanta Georgia USA 2021

Atlanta Georgia is a city I have always loved. The more I go to Atlanta, the more I love it, and the more I want to stay. I love the people, the atmosphere, the architectures, all the unique places there, the historic landmarks, and the climate. There is so much to see, learn and experience. I was in Atlanta five days during The Rolling Stones No Filter Tour 2021. On my last day I really would not leave, but there was another show due in Detroit, and my flight was leaving next morning, so I just kept walking the city all day long, until it was all dark.

One of my first impressions on this travel to Atlanta was the large painting on a wall near my hotel, with the famous Martin Luther King Jr quote “If you can’t fly…“. Then on my last full day in Atlanta, before leaving early next morning for Detroit, I took the Atlanta Streetcar to King Historic District. Martin Luther King Jr was born in 1929. Most of the buildings in the area has been preserved over the past 100 or so years. I walked the grounds thinking how life could have been here in the 30’s, 40’s and on.

Before I arrived into Atlanta, I did have some issues with flights. I did not want to give it a mention, because “knock on wood”, say nothing, think nothing, worry nothing, then nothing happens. Still, my flight out of Dallas to Las Vegas with Southwest was one and a half hour late. Southwest have had many cancellations, so I have been trying to avoid them on this tour, but I still had two direct flights with them. The last one was simply late due to everything being slow, slow, slow, and the Love Field airport in Dallas was so packed and messed up. I was glad the rest of my flights were with United and American.

Then, as I was flying from Las Vegas to Atlanta, I was changing plane in Houston. After having boarded the second plane in Houston, we were told to disembark the plane, because the “captain was still in Puebla Mexico”. So we left the plane, were told that the next flight to Atlanta at 8pm was full, so I was sure I had to stay overnight at an airport hotel in Houston. Then ten minutes later we got a new message: “We found a new pilot, right here in Houston”. So great. United is a network airliner. They work hard to get the customers where they are supposed to be. So we boarded the plane one more time, and just 10-15 minutes later, the captain also boarded the plane, as he got a great applause from the entire cabin. Fun stories on tour.

The travel from Las Vegas to Atlanta was not easy. One thing is missing captains. Another thing is travel time and time zones. I left my Las Vegas hotel at 9am in the morning. The first flight left at noon. The second flight had a short connection, just an hour between the flights, and even if we had a “missing captain”, we were just 20 minutes late into Atlanta. Still, with the three hours time difference between Las Vegas, on Pacific Time, and Atlanta, on Eastern Time, it was already 9pm. Then I took the MARTA train to Atlanta Downtown, Peachtree Center, and messed around for half an hour. Luckily I ran into new fans just arriving from Germany, walking the steets of Atlanta at these late hours. They pointed me into the right direction, and I was in my room shortly before 11pm, i.e. not far away from midnight. Some times travel do take all day…

I walked Atlanta every day, also on show day. So much to see, and every time I walked in new directions, there was more to return to later. My hotel room was so tiny, almost no space for anything, hardly my PC, but I did remember the wise words of my better half from earlier in the tour: “Make the best of it”. So I did. I did only stay in the room when I was working. The rest of the day I was out in the streets, or taking time of in the lobby areas of the much better hotel Westin. I do always “adopt a lobby”, when my own cheap hotel has got no place to stay or enjoy, and when my hotel room is not really a place I enjoy staying in. So Westin and the streets of Atlanta were my 2nd homes during the five days I was in Atlanta.

The fall colors were quite visible all over the city. Even if many leaves had fallen to the ground, there were still plenty of colors for me to enjoy. The fall may wet, colder and darker, but the colors made everything more bright and interesting. I tried to see monuments in parks, the CNN building, and all the great street art, painting on buildings and walls.

Then I discovered Piedmont Park, and the nearby Midtown. So I spent two days in the great park, one evening, then two days later daytime for hours. A great park, especially since it is kept at a low cultivation level, i.e. fallen trees, forest and vegetation is for a large part untouched, so that all parts of the life cycles of all those species who live in such parts of a wood could make a living there. Also, in the park i found the Botanic Garden. It was great to walk into the green houses, it reminded me about my childhood, as I grew up as a son of a gardener, green houses with flowers, vegetables and special care was part of my life from I was born until I moved out of my home age 18 or so.

While a picture may tell more than thousand words, the park would have to be experienced, as no picture may tell the complete story. Whenever I return to Atlanta, I will for sure try to stay as long as I can, and I will walk Piedmont Park again, and again. Thank you Atlanta for making my five days on tour so great!

On show day, I spent some time in the Rolling Stones VIP Lounge, meeting friends. The picture below is taken shortly before I moved down to the PIT area in the venue. Friends from left to right: Nick from UK/Washington DC, Hendrik from The Netherlands, Me, Alwyn from UK, and John from Utah/Australia. My real family back home use to call The Rolling Stones, the crew, fans and friends “my other family”. I am always grateful for friends who are there when some times touring for months may get to a lonely task, then they are there, next city, next show, next hotel, new friends, old friends, some I have been touring with for ages, others I just met, and will meet again. Covid-19 have made it very difficult to meet many people on this tour – I try my best at finding a balance of safety and living a relatively normal social life.

For show reports and pictures see the link below:

The Rolling Stones
Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Atlanta GA USA
Thursday November 11, 2021