The Rolling Stones in Miami/Hollywood Florida USA 2021

Hard Rock Live is a theater style 7,000 capacity indoor arena at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, located in Hollywood Florida, a city 10 miles i.e. 16 km south of Fort Lauderdale, and 25 miles i.e. 40 km north of Miami. The Hard Rock Live show was announced on Oct 14, while the Rolling Stones were on the tour in Los Angeles. It was scheduled for Tuesday Nov 23, three days after the originally last show of the tour in Austin Texas Saturday Nov. 20.

I was on the noon flight out of Austin Texas to Miami Florida, the day after the Austin show. American Airlines had four or so direct flights, also there were direct flights by Southwest from Austin to the nearby Ft Lauderdale airport. As I boarded my AA flight, there were many Stones fans, friends as well as other fans I did not know. I would say there must have been 50-70 Stones fans on that flight, dressed with Stones shirts, jackets, socks, tongues and souvenirs, out of the 200 or so people on that flight. It was indeed a Stones flight.

Ever since I booked two nights at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on the day the show was announced, I was not sure if that was the right place to be. I find casino areas stressful, packed with people, few or no masks, smoking is permitted, and there would be lots and lots of fans. I was tired, I could not spend two full days on party there. I needed rest. Also, the rate of the stay was crazy, it was $1200 for two nights. My first night was at the Sheraton Airport hotel. The plan was to stay at Sheraton one night, then two nights at the Hard Rock, including the night after the show. As I got more and more tired at the end of the tour, in Austin, I finally decided to cancel Hard Rock and to stay three nights at the Sheraton Airport, a great four star hotel, rate total $330 for three nights, i.e. just $110 per night, lowest price of the entire tour.

Sheraton Airport sits right next to the MIAMI airport. The MIA Mover free airport train tok me to from the airport the hotel in minutes. Then a short walk, there was an airport shuttle too. I knew The Rolling Stones were staying in Miami too, so I wanted to be near Miami. Then it was a quick half hour car ride to the venue before and after the show. I was home sick, I wanted to be close to the airport, for going home, I had just one task now, to see the show at The Hard Rock Live venue Tuesday evening Nov 23. Then home.

Arriving Sunday 21 in the late afternoon, I just relaxed at the hotel. There is a river canal outside, poolside, and next to it there is a large golf area, green and nice. The Miami Airport runways are far away, you hardly have any noise at this hotel, very unlike the hotels I had in Los Angeles, at the LAX airport, where there were runway paths right across my head, also right above the SoFi Stadium. Back to Miami – there were sings in the hotel garden saying do not go close to the canal river, there might be snakes, and who knows, may be even an alligator, like any other canal in Florida. You don’t swim with alligators.

The day before the show, on Monday Nov 22, I went over to an area in Miami called Little Havana. It is a bit touristic, but not as bad really. Immigrants from Cuba have settled there, and you could get a feel of Havana. I just needed to stress down, rest, and kill time until show day tomorrow evening.

Show day. I am at my airport hotel. Trying to rest. Shortly after noon a show meal. Then as the clock is ticking I am getting the show nerve. I am half an hour drive away from the show. I know doors open 7pm, warm up act Ghost Hounds are on 8pm, and The Rolling Stones will be on 9pm. The casino will be packed by thousands of fans, very busy. I leave my hotel around 3pm, heading by a car to the venue. Heavy traffic, lots of queue, but finally, shortly before 4pm I at the Hard Rock Casino, and shortly after by the venue. Many people hang around the entrance. I try my best to find out about what is happening where, about entrances, tickets, early access, passes, all of that.

The following is from my show report, for the rest please see the reports link below.

Doors open 6:55pm. I am first through one of the metal detectors, call it a mix of luck, routine and a wish to be up there fast. Inside, I was on the front rail Keith side, some 8 people to the right of the center ramp. I had Darryl in front of me, Keith next to him, nothing blocking, the stage floor was so low, I looked down to see their shoes, the stage floor was approx 1,50m i.e. 5 ft high, may be less. When the security people in front of us got chairs, and were sitting down on these chairs during the show, they were all below the stage floor, so indeed it was a great low floor, like the club shows I have been attending in the past.

For show reports and pictures see the link below:

The Rolling Stones
Hard Rock Live
Hollywood FL USA
Tuesday November 23, 2021

The Rolling Stones in Austin Texas USA 2021

The Rolling Stones returned to Texas, for what was originally the last show of the tour, on Nov 20 at Circuit of the Americas, a Formula One race track field 14 miles ie. 22 km outside Austin downtown. They performed the first show in Texas on this tour just 18 days earlier, on Nov 2 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. It seemed that many fans arrived into Austin from the Dallas / Ft Worth area, as well as other parts of Texas, and of course from Austin.

I arrived into Austin Texas in the evening, following a full day of travel. Like several times on this tour, I had United with a change of planes some place on the way, this time in Chicago. It is exhausting, but the next and final flight in USA should be direct!

My hotel this time was Hampton Inn & Suites Austin-Downtown/Convention Center. I was there four days, great location, great room, and just two blocks from the Four Seasons Hotel, which was located on Colorado River. It was a short walk there to see friends and other fans.

Austin downtown is easy to walk, and unlike many other downtown areas on this tour, it was not like in lockdown state. Right across the street of my hotel there was a P F Chang, great Chinese seafood and more, I had several meals there, made it easy as I did not have to walk around for food.

I walked the two nearby bridges. Congress Avenue Bridge is famous for all the bats. During season, as many as 750,000 bats live under the bridge. I walked by the bridge during sunset on Thursday Nov 18. Just a couple of minutes before 6pm, while it was still sort of twilight, thousands of bats left the bridge for the night hunt of insects, like mosquitoes. It was a magic sight, but my photos does not really tell much, the bats are fast, they are dark, and so was the sky. Anyway, it was a great experience.

Austin is the capital city of Texas, so there is a great large Capitol building there, with many monuments. I walked around and could sense the history as it was told through the monuments.

There was lots of construction works in the city, I noticed many concrete trucks passing by at all times, all over. A city building for the future, very few abandoned buildings downtown actually.

Show day I was so lucky to have transportation to and from the show. This is from my show report:

This show in Austin was the one I have been worried about for a long time. Far away from the city, no organized transportation, and it was supposed to be the last show of the tour, until they added the Hollywood Florida show. Luckily a great friend had a car, and we were a group of “tourists” from Chicago, Norway, Finland and Sweden on our way from Austin downtown at 3:15pm. The drive would normally take less than half an hour. We arrived shortly before 4pm. As we walked out of our car in parking lot F like “Fanstastic close to the venue”, I could hear “It’s Only Rock’n’Roll”. At first I thought it was from one of the parked cars, but as we passed more and more cars, the sound was still crystal clear, in fact it got better and better, we had made it for the soundcheck!

I was told by friends they did “Let It Bleed” just before we arrived. After IORR we got the soundcheck of “Rocks Off” – may be they will do it in Hollywood FL, then they did bits of the intros to “Ghost Town” and “Gimme Shelter”. Then at the end there was harmonica and guitar, Rambler B-stage souncheck. We were behind the stage, so we could see the backstage exit, with the ramp and the stairs where the band was going in and out. First Keith left, waving at us, walking down to his car, taking him the very short ride to the backstage tents. Then Ronnie walked down, he waved too, and then Mick appeared, he did not bother to go by car, as he took the stairs and hiked the short distance to the tents. So we had a great soundcheck warmup in the afternoon.

For the rest of my report, as well as other reports, and pictures, please see the IORR reports pages related to the Austin show:

The Rolling Stones
Circuit of the Americas
Austin TX USA
Saturday November 20, 2021

The Rolling Stones in Detroit Michigan USA 2021

The Rolling Stones first show in Detroit was on June 14, 1964, i.e. 57 years ago. They performed at the Olympia Stadium, an arena used by the NHL team Detroit Red Wings up to 1979, now demolished. At the show on this No Filter Tour USA 2021, Mick Jagger mentioned The Rolling Stones have been performing 21 shows in Detroit, including the Superbowl special appearance in 2006. The show on this tour was on Monday November 15, and we all knew what the weather might be like mid November in Detroit, so we prepared for cold days.

I stayed two days extra in Atlanta, both because I love Atlanta, and because I expected Detroit to be cold. I travel light, I have carry on luggage only, of 8 kg i.e. 18 pounds, that’s all, no winter cloths, so Detroit cold weather would mean I would have to stay mostly inside. Travel from Atlanta to Detroit took all day, with changing planes in Chicago. The first four pictures below are actually from the O’Hare Airport in Chicago, an airport I have been using numerous times during my Stones travels over the years. When I looked out through the windows at the airport, I noticed there were white dots in the air – snow flakes! So they did a de-ice procedure on our airplane ahead of departure from Chicago to Detroit. Welcome to the winter tour!

A quick 25 minutes drive from the airport to my hotel downtown Detroit. I was booked at the Hilton Garden Inn Detroit Downtown. It is just 2-3 short blocks walking to Ford Field. It took me 3 minutes to walk to the stadium, and a bit more, like 5 minutes, after the show. I don’t think it is possible to stay closer, unless you stay inside the venue…

Mick Jagger use to visit interesting places in the city at strange hours, making pictures to be posted on social media. A few of the pictures below are from those places. I just walked by the venue, the street art was next to my hotel, and then I walked down to the Marriott hotel for breakfast every morning, no breakfast at my hotel due to “staffing problems”, a common problem now during the late Covid days.

The Marriott Hotel sits right next to Detroit River. Across the river, you see Windsor – Canada. Since the USA borders opened up more on Monday November 8, it made it easier for fans from Canada to cross the border, and to see the show here in Detroit. Cleveland Ohio is a short 3 hours drive, and Chicago Illinois is 5 hours or so by car. Then fans from all over the state of Michigan arrived to the show of course. During the show, you could feel the excitement, and so many fans knew the words to every song, even if they were way younger than me, born long time after most of the songs were released initially.

Anyone who arrive into Detroit Downtown will soon see the steam coming out of manholes in the streets. The steam is harmless, except some times, during the morning, the steam clouds were all over the streets, you could not see the traffic lights, you could not see the cars. Some times they added pipes some places, then the steam got elevated approx 3-4 m i.e. 10-12 feet, but still, you had to be careful some places.

The day after the show I wanted to visit the hotel The Rolling Stones stayed at during their first tour in 1964. Back then it was called Holiday Inn, now it is named Trumbull and Porter. It is a boutique hotel in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, they have opened their legendary “Rolling Stones” suite for public booking. See a separate report with video from The Rolling Stones Suite – Room 132 at the Trumbull and Porter hotel.

My stay in Detroit was short but still sweet. I did freeze a bit, in fact a lot, but the three nights and two full days I had in Detroit were all very interesting, not just because of the show, but also because I got to walk the streets at daytime, also I got to meet fans and friends arriving from Norway into this show, as well as from other places. Wherever Stonesland is, fans and friends will arrive.

A final note about the travels… During the past weeks, there have been a lot of Halloween decorations around. As I arrived into Detroit, they had started to decorate for the holidays, what we call Christmas decorations. I guess they are made in time for Thanksgiving, which is Thursday next week, Nov 25, two days after the final Stones show in Hollywood Florida on Nov 23. I love the lights and the season decoration. As it is getting dark early, like at 5pm in Las Vegas, and 6pm other places, all the lights and the decorations make it a bit warmer. And… it makes me more home sick. As I write this, I am six days away from being at home with my family. Meanwhile, two more Stones shows to go!

For show reports and pictures see the link below:

The Rolling Stones
Ford Field
Detroit MI USA
Monday November 15, 2021

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

The Rolling Stones in Las Vegas Nevada USA 2021

Some acts have been performing in Las Vegas again and again, many times, like Elvis, Celine Dion, and many more. When you move around in Las Vegas, you do see names of bands on boards, bands you thought were long gone, but they do still perform in Las Vegas. They say “What happes in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas”. My first trip to Las Vegas was for The Rolling show at The Joint Feb 15, 1998, where magic happened. Then I have returned many times. These are the memories from the 2021 travels to Las Vegas, to see The Rolling Stones show at the Allegiant Stadium.

As soon as you walk off your plane in Las Vegas, and enter the terminal building, you see a machines you may gamble on. Many. You know you are in Las Vegas. I do still remember one of my first trips to Las Vegas, arriving from Los Angeles. There was a young couple, no luggage at all, nothing to carry, they went to Las Vegas to gamble and have fun, they did not even have a hotel room, returning home next day.

I had the choice of staying at Mandalay Bay, some 20 minutes walk to Allegiant Stadium, or at one of the two star hotels just across Russel Road, just 10 minutes walk. Mandalay Bay room rates were relatively cheap, knowing it is a four star casino resort, but I knew breakfast, dinner, staying there would add a lot. I booked two nights at Holiday Inn Express Las Vegas South, on Polaris Avenue, at zero cost, because I have points with IHG. Then I booked 2+2 nights more later on, so that I had a total of six nights in Las Vegas. A long stay is always great, and I had the option to cancel any time after 2 and 4 days, if I did not like it.

Allegiant Stadium looks great, both daytime, and in the dark. It is brand new, great in all ways, and I walked by it many times, as there was absolutely nothing near my hotel. So I walked to The Strip i.e. Las Vegas Boulevard every day, to McDonalds on Four Seasons Drive, to Four Seasons and Mandalay Bay, where friends stayed. Also, I found a great area to walk to – Town Square Las Vegas – it was 3 km i.e. 2 miles across the highway and south, it took 40 minutes to walk there each way, with plenty of dining places and shops to choose from.

Walking in Las Vegas on The Strip you see a lot, a picture may tell more than thousand words. I had to pilgrim places I have been to in the past, like New York New York, where I stayed for the Stones show in 2016, and the MGM, where I have seen shows at the MGM Arena, it is easy to walk around in that area, but very crowded, so I had to use my masks at all times on the sidewalks.

Great friends of mine made it possible to see more than just The Strip and The Rolling Stones in Las Vegas. We did a trip to Red Rock Canyon, amazing red rock mountain areas, where not even a picture can tell how magnificent it is – a must see place. Then another day we went to Hoover Dam, impressing massive engineering work, knowing it was opened in 1935! Also, we managed to visit the Neon Museum, where old Las Vegas signs are resting.

Then the show with The Rolling Stones. I just loved it. Like I wrote in my report – see link below: “The show finished 11:35pm. As soon as the final bow was over, I moved out of the pit, headed to the rear of the stadium, and was out of the building in five minutes. Ten minutes later, I was at my hotel. For such a large stadium, it was just perfect. Great show, great logistics, and I will stay two more days in Las Vegas. After all these years, even such a special city, can’t help loving it!”

For show reports and pictures see the link below:

The Rolling Stones
Allegiant Stadium
Las Vegas NV USA
Saturday November 6, 2021

The Rolling Stones in Dallas Texas USA 2021

The Cotton Bowl is an outdoor stadium in Dallas, Texas. It opened in 1930 as Fair Park Stadium, and it is part of a larger area called Fair Park. The Rolling Stones have been performing a total of seven times at Cotton Bowl, including the show on this tour, on Tuesday November 2, 2021. The previous shows were on July 6th 1975, October 31 and November 1 1981, November 10 and 11 1989, and November 18 1994. It was great to be part of a historic moment in a historic stadium here in Dallas 2021.

Following the six shows during 1975 to 1994, The Rolling Stones did not perform shows that often in Dallas during the next 27 years up to this year. They performed in Fort Worth in 1997, close to Dallas, then at the American Airlines Center in Dallas 2005, and AT&T stadium in Arlington near Dallas in 2015. For the other tours, Stones fans in Dallas had to go to Houston in 1998, 2003 and 2019, to San Antonio in 2002, then El Paso and Austin in 2006. Texas is a large state, it’s hard to visit every large city on every tour for The Rolling Stones.

I was booked for a total of four days stay downtown Dallas Texas, arriving from Tampa Florida on Oct 30, staying at Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Dallas. Everything should be close, and even if the Cotton Bowl was not really downtown, I could walk the 2.2 miles i.e. 3.5 km in 45 minutes. Also, there was a tram going to the stadium, so I should be fine with transportation.

The first three days were great. My hotel was great, large room, no service, but you get used to that during travel these days. Then the restaurant closed for two days during my stay, Sunday and Monday, so there goes the four stars of this hotel, if they ever had four stars, a hotel without a restaurant is just a place where you sleep. luckily they had breakfast.

I got sick from food during my travel from Tampa to Dallas. That do happen some times, last time 2016 in Mexico City. I went into alarm state immediately, I had been sick most of the time in Tampa as well, but the first days in Dallas were just terrible. So I was down to a basic meny of McDonalds Filet’o’Fish and lots of Coca Cola, nothing else, except for white toast for breakfast, and I went on medication I always carry with me just in case. On day three I was getting better. Then on day four – show day – it started to rain, and the temperature dropped from the previous three days pleasant +32 C i.e. 90F into 8 C or so i.e. 46 F. Still, I loved Dallas, every bit of the city, but it took me all four days to figure out where to go, where to find food, and how to get the best out of the stay.

As I looked out of the window of my hotel, I noticed there was a pool area two floors down. I was on level 7, the pool was on level 5. Also, I noticed there was no large buildings in front of my room, I had a great view of most of the area, including the “Giant Eyebowl”, and all the other buildings, including a scary high floors swimming pool hanging in the air on a building right across the area I was looking at. I did never see anyone swimming in that pool, and even if glass wall may be strong and bullet proof, I wonder how you may design a pool with a glass wall up on say floor 8 or 10, and expect someone to be able to enjoy swimming in it, certainly with no scare of heights or other technical worries.

I walked for hours every day, mainly looking for a place to eat safe food. I walked over to the JFK site, where the tragic shooting took place in 1963, a sad place to be, but I just had to be there. There were quite a few people walking around there, it was a quiet mood and time to think and wonder.

Then I gave up on that part of the city, and walked towards the other directions. They said the “Arts District” would be great. Not for me. Then I walked south, not much happening there. Enough walking, I had to do my work too. So I ended up going the 10 minutes or so each way to McDonalds on Commerce Street and S Griffin Street, went there two times per day for fish and Coca Cola, safe meal, not very healthy, but safe.

On show day Tuesday Nov 2 I took the tram out to Cotton Bowl, to check out how to walk back after the show. Then I realized how large the Fair Park area was. Also, I noticed there were lots of roads and a highway to cross under, I was the only person walking there, having my notes of directions, aiming at Commerce Street, which should take me safely back to Elm Street and my hotel through a walk of 45 minutes or so.

During my walk I passed by an area with lots of graffiti on buildings, the area was called Deep Ellum. There I found a favorite place called “Vidorra Cocina de Mexico“. Great large Mexican place, almost as good food as I got in Cancun during my stay there before tour start, and they had a roof, still outside, it was now raining a lot, but I was safe under the roof. So I stayed there for a great long meal, I even got Mexican Churros for dessert, a complete concert meal, I was ready for The Rolling Stones tonight!

This is what the Deep Ellum Tourist Information is saying: “The lively Deep Ellum entertainment district is known for its vibrant street murals, quirky art galleries and long-time concert venues for indie and blues. Brewpubs, cocktail bars and Tex-Mex eateries draw a boisterous crowd on weekends…” Well, it was a Tuesday, it was vibrant as much as I needed, and if I had stayed longer in Dallas, this is where I would go every day, but I had a flight out of Dallas next day.

I brought a mini umbrella in my back pocket just in case it was raining heavily after the show. The plan was to stack it under a tree or something near some entrance/exit, but it turned out nobody cared about my umbrella, so I had it in my pocket through the entrance, and kept it in my pocket through the show, never used it on the way back. Also, I had a cheap plastic poncho, I put it on shortly before the show start, just in case there would be heavy rain suddenly, as it is hard to figure out head, arm, front, back and all of that when many others are close by you tight in the pit. It rained a bit, but really, the poncho was not needed. Still, it was a rain show, with all the specials those shows bring out, like extra focus, hats, coats, jokes, comments and more.

After the show, I walked out in a random direction, then I did not see the skyline of downtown Dallas anywhere, so I knew I was lost. I curved 180 degrees around the very large Fair Park area, in between cars stuck in queues, looking for the downtown skyline, or the street with the tram, and after half an hour I found the tram. Some people queuing there, but not as many as expected. Then 15-20 minutes later the tram arrived, it was packed, but I arrived back to my hotel in 20 minutes, no need to walk back really. I was “home” by midnight, I can’t complain!

For show reports and pictures see the link below:

The Rolling Stones
Cotton Bowl
Dallas TX USA
Tuesday November 2, 2021

The Rolling Stones in Tampa Florida USA 2021

Florida seems to be popular for Rolling Stones touring these days. In 2019 they visited Florida two times out of their fifteen stops and seventeen shows, in Jacksonville and Miami. This time, during the 2021 tour, they were booked with a show in Tampa Florida, then they added an extra show in Miami, at the 7,000 capacity Hard Rock Live venue at the end of the tour. This is the story of the travel to the Rolling Stones show in Tampa Florida 2021.

The above picture is taken in the VIP Lounge of the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Florida approx two hours before show start. They had great screens with large display graphics, and Stones music was played. Due to Covid-19 I have to limit how many I meet up close and unmasked, also I use mask most of the time in the public, close to others, but some times you just have to meet some people. It was great to meet an old friend from Argentina, who visited me at home in Norway many years ago, also friends from San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York, and other places in USA, also the Europeans on tour, not many so far, may be counted on one hand or so.

I arrived from six cold days in Minneapolis into much warmer Tampa Florida. Luckily a friend from Europe, who happened to be on the same flight as me into Tampa, hired a car at the airport, so I had super service of driving with him all the way to the door at my Clearwater hotel for three days out of four in the Tampa Bay area, at Sheraton Sand Key Hotel. It was a half hour drive across lots of water, and some bridges, to the west sandy beach side of Tampa Bay and Florida. The plan was to rest up at the resort for three days, but I did never stay on the beach or by the pool really. Busy busy busy, work, bad weather, water failure one day, and sick from food, it was really not what I planned.

Day number two of my stay in Clearwater, Wednesday October 27, was said to be the only day with nice weather, as there was bad weather coming in from the west on Thursday. So I headed for Clearwater downtown by the Trolley bus, and left it for walking early afternoon. I had just one mission, to post my postcards to my family back home. So I started walking, looking for one of the blue mailboxes from United States Postal Service. They were nowhere to be found, I did eventually find one mailbox 2-3 hours later, but meanwhile I found many other interesting places.

When walking by a building downtown Clearwater I noticed a display poster featuring The Rolling Stones dated 1965, by the local newspaper St. Petersburg Times, including a picture of The Rolling Stones (above), a facsimile from their issue dated Friday May 7, 1965, and a short summary regarding the story of Satisfaction, the song, and the Rolling Stones concert and stay in Clearwater, for the show on Thursday May 6, 1965.

So while I was looking for the mailbox, I walked around all streets and places of Clearwater, including the nearby Fort Harrison Hotel. It is no longer a hotel. When trying to walk in there, two persons with masks opened the locked door, told me I could not get in, but they could talk to me. I asked if this was a hotel, then they told me it was a “religious retreat”. I had noticed that the large building across the street was a Scientology building, so they were both part of that complex. Mick Jagger did actually mention the scientologs taking over the hotel The Rolling Stones stayed at in 1965, for the show in Clearwater, at the show in Tampa. Still, I am told that others, like Bill Wyman, claim they stayed across the bridge, in a now taken down hotel on Clearwater Beach. The story is saying Keith Richards woke up during the night having the riff of the song Satisfaction right there in Clearwater, that night after the show, it’s a great story, wherever they stayed.

Next stop for me was Jack Russel Stadium, just outside Clearwater downtown. More walking. It’s still there, a small 5,000 capacity baseball stadium, in a residential area. I walked around it, and could imagine the Stones show there 56 years ago. Everything seemed to be like back then in 1965, including the residential area, the stadium, the entire area. Most places they played 50-60 years ago are taken down or changed these days, this was like a museum place for me, great to be there. They sold 2,657 tickets at $2 each, and into the fifth song of the show, a few hundred of the fans stormed down from the seats to the field, and the show ended, according to the story That time the Rolling Stones almost wrecked Clearwater by Axios Tampa Bay. I could imagine the teenager fans back then milling around after the show, waiting for their parents to pick them up. The shows usually lasted for 25 minutes back then, with the show interrupted after four songs, or so I assume it was over in just 10-12 minutes. Those were the days of the early 60’s fans and Stones mania.

On show day I checked out of the Clearwater San Key hotel and moved over to the hotel “Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Tampa RJ Stadium”. It is such a hazzle to change hotels, stressful, in and out, two times per city, so I don’t do it every city, but this time it was all worth it. The distance to the stadium was may be 10-15 minutes walking. The airport was just nearby. Everything was there, even McDonalds, a 30 minutes walk each way, and many other places to eat, so I could have stayed there all four days, but then I would never had seen Clearwater and that area, so some times you have to do some extra work to experience a bit.

Show day afternoon, a meal nearby, safe food, lots of water and ice tea, and preparing for the show, then walking the 15 minutes over to the stadium shortly before 6pm. I was still unpacked in my new hotel, hardly any updates on the IORR web site done during the day, my PC and luggage was still unpacked when I returned after the show. I worked into the night, published some pictures from the show, slept four – 4 – hours that night, and went to the airport next morning at 9am, for the noon flight to Dallas. Busy days!

For show reports and pictures see the link below:

The Rolling Stones
Raymond James Stadium
Tampa, FL, USA
Friday October 29, 2021

The Rolling Stones in Minneapolis Minnesota USA 2021

After ten days in sunny California, the tour moved on, and next stop was Minneapolis in the state of Minnesota. I was booked for six days in Minneapolis, and already as I walked out of the airport, I regret not staying a couple of more days in much warmer Los Angeles. Still, I need to be where the next show is, general strategy. In case of strikes, bad weather, storms or any other problems, I like to be close by where the next show is, early on.

I was booked for six days at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Minneapolis Downtown, same hotel as I stayed at six years ago in Minneapolis, when the Stones were here last time. Some times it is great to have an on site guest laundry in the hotel, I travel light, with just 8 kg i.e. 18 pound total in my carry-on, that’s all, so self service laundry is a great bonus in any hotel. Also, next door was the five star Ivy Hotel, they do offer all the services I need like a lobby bar, and meeting friends on tour who stay there.

It cost me one dollar to get from the airport to the Minneapolis city center, then a quick ten minutes stroll across a few blocks to my hotel. That was the only time I used public transportation in Minneapolis, except for the return travel to the airport six days later. The blue train seemed to be great and efficient, also the bus systems, in case I needed them, but I walked most of the time.

First on the agenda was finding a place to eat, for lunch and dinner. Downtown Minneapolis was completely empty. Hotels were operating on very limited lunch menus, and their restaurants opened eiter 5pm or 6pm late afternoon. By then I had been starving since lunch hours, so I went to the store and got some bread, bananas and food to keep in the hotel room fridge. It saved my day quite a few times.

Brit’s Pub was a safe haven, I went there several times for Fish’n’Ships, as they were open all day. Some times they were completely packed – I was offered to sit at the bar, but I am still concerned about covid-19, so then I went to my room and checked for sea food places in the area. I found a place called Stella’s Fish Cafe, it was in Uptown, so I got a car to get me up there, quick ten minutes ride that cost me ten dollar, not bad. Stella’s would be my favorite place, returning there later on also.

Uptown was the place to be. Right nearby Stella’s there was a building named “Sons Of Norway”, with plenty of Norway flags. I later found out it was an insurance company, with roots from Norway, and they did have a lot of Norway stuff on display at their floor level, enough to get me home sick.

I spend all day out in Uptown, also walking to the nearby lakes. I have been missing the fall colors back home, that is the greatest part of living in Norway, the four totally separate seasons. Cold winter, great spring with all the green leaves coming out, summer often warm, and then the fall colors, red, orange, yellow, all sorts, all over. So far I had not seen any fall colors on my US travel, but as I arrived into Minneapolis, there were colors. Not as bright as back home, but enough to get the fall feeling.

Norway was a poor country some 100+ years ago. There were fishermen and farmers, but farms were small and families were large. Many left for the new large countries in west – North America – USA mostly, but also Canada. My own grandfather on my mother’s side went to North America during his young age, but he returned home to Norway, otherwise I would probably have been living in Canada or Minnesota myself… Anyway, Minnesota was one of the main hubs of immigration from Norway to USA, Norwegian immigrants went to the United States primarily in the latter half of the 19th century and the first few decades of the 20th century. There are more than 4.5 million Norwegian Americans, according to the most recent U.S. census, most live in the Upper Midwest, according to the Wikipedia article Norwegian Americans. So I felt sort of at home in Minneapolis, especially when I took a walk over to Norway House, where they had lots of Norway culture and pictures on display, well worth a visit for anyone!

Minnesota Wild is the hockey team of Minnesota. They play their home games in Xcel Energy Center, St Paul, twin city of Minneapolis, just a quick 20 minutes drive from Minneapolis. The two cities are located on each of their sides of the Mississippi River. After having seen “my” team Minnesota Wild in Los Angeles last week, I had to see them one more time, on home ground. The day before the Stones show – Saturday October 23 – I went the 20 minutes ride to St Paul, and spent the afternoon there, visiting the great St Paul Cathedral, walking by the Missisippi River, and of course watching the game, where Minnesota Wild won in overtime vs Anaheim. Lots of smiles as we walked out of the venue. People invited me out for drinks and beers, but I had a show to go to next day, so I went “home” to rest ahead of concert day.

Since the downtown Minneapolis area was completely empty, hardly any restaurants open daytime, I walked a lot from downtown and into east, west, north and south, at various times. There were good areas and not so good areas. One time I walked for 20-30 minutes to find a McDonalds restaurant. That area was not any good at all, so I had to walk another way back. Two times I went to Uptown, then I walked back to the downtown every time, along Hennepin Ave, a great long walk of an hour.

Show day, the hotels are filling up, the breakfast area is full, also next day, then the day after that everything is back to normal, very few guests at the hotel, except for me and a few others, same with the streets and a lot of the area around. Too bad covid-19 and other reasons have made so many changes of the downtown area of Minneapolis, now downtown is mostly hotels, banks, offices, while many seems to have moved out some places.

Walking to the Stones show at US Bank Stadium took some 20 minutes. It was so cold, I do only have light dressing, but I survived. It was all worth it – they performed another great show, with songs including “Monkey Man” and “Fool To Cry”.

For show reports and pictures see the link below:

The Rolling Stones
US Bank Stadium
Minneapolis, MN, USA
Sunday October 24, 2021

The Rolling Stones in Los Angeles California USA 2021

The Rolling Stones were booked for one show in Los Angeles California at the brand new US $5 billion cost SoFi Stadium, just 4 miles i.e. 6 km off Los Angeles International Airport LAX, on Sunday October 17. The show sold out fast. Then the Jazz Fest in New Orleans was cancelled in August, including The Rolling Stones show booked there for Oct 13. The free time slot made it possible to add another show in Los Angeles at the SoFi Stadium for Thursday October 14.

I left Nashville TN the day after the show there, on Sunday October 10. The flight was direct, with a duration of 4.5 hours. The plan was to stay ten days at a hotel on Los Angeles Airport LAX airport, at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel. In order to have the flexibility of changing booking, in case I did not like it there, I had three separate reservations, total of ten days. The ten days stay in Los Angeles had taken so much planning time during the past weeks. I wanted to stay in Palm Springs, where I liked it during Desert Trip in 2016, and I wanted to stay in Santa Monica, where the pier and many restaurants makes life easy and pleasant. The only problem was the fact that the two shows on Oct 14 and 17 were right next to LAX Airport. Also, high prices and transportation cost made it easy to settle with ten days at LAX. But was it possible to enjoy it out there?

I picked Sheraton Gateway LAX hotel because it was cheap, and because Sheraton use to be a great four star hotel. Also, it looked great on the pictures. Once I arrived there, after less than 24 hours, I regret staying there. The service was bad, the hotel, lobby, elevators, bar, every place was packed with budget travelers, half of them had no masks. Luggage in, luggage out, always full elevators, and was on floor ten, so I was in the elevator many times during the day. Finally, the restaurant was closed, due to covid-19, they just served through a reduced bar menu. It was more like a two star service.

There are many large four star hotels right next to each other in between two of the landing paths at LAX. I spent the next day walking to Hyatt and Hilton and Marriott and other hotels there, checked their restaurants, mask use by staff and clients, how busy these hotels were, and where I would like to move to. It took another day until I decided to move to the Los Angeles Airport Marriott, just 2-3 blocks away from the Sheraton. The Marriott had an atrium style poolside area, with low five floors buildings on three sides of the pool, then the main tall building on the fourth side of the pool. This way they could keep the noise from the airport and the incoming landing paths away from most of the rooms under the 5th floor level. I booked a room with a balcony on the 4th floor, again with multiple bookings, and ended up staying there for 8 days out of my total of 10 days at LAX.

Covid-19 has been used as an excuse to reduce service at all levels. I have not had any service in any of my hotel rooms during any of my stays since I arrived into USA early September. Not that I want it, but some times it might be nice with a minimum of service. Restaurants are closed. Bar menus are very limited, almost nothing I can order, due to my dietary requirements. Many times I have to go to McDonalds to get one or two of my $5 Filet’o’Fish. That happened quite a lot also at LAX. It took around 20 minutes walk each way, a project of nearly an hour, then I found another McDonalds slightly closer, so I was down to 15 minutes walking each way. The walk was with incoming airplanes right above my head, and tired homeless people sitting, sleeping or camping on the sidewalk. The grocery store was within 45 minutes walk, it took 1.5 hours of walking to get grocery.

IORR keeps me busy every day, I spend half the day or more editing pages, moderating the forum threads, general administration, updating tour reports, pictures scaling, publishing and so on. Then I have my usual work to do. Finally there is always another flight to book, or a hotel to book or change, I am my own travel agent, and a travel of three months with 33 hotel bookings and a lot of flights, do take time to organize every day. In addition to my current and past 33 room bookings, I have 23 rooms booked and then cancelled, so in total I have or have had 56 separate reservations for this three months plus travel. During the last days of my Los Angeles stay, I managed to book my final reservations of rooms and flights to/from Tampa, Miami, as well as the third version of my flight back home on Wednesday November 24. Now I really hope I can keep all these bookings, and that the remaining places I will be staying will work ok.

The two shows at the SoFi Stadium were great as expected. The reports are linked up at the end of these pages, ahead of the pictures.

In-between the shows, I went to Beverly Hills two times, to visit the Four Seasons Stones hotel, then one time to Santa Monica with the beach and the pier, a visit to friends in the Hollywood area, also downtown Los Angeles, including Main St (famous from Exile on Main St), Skid Row, and a hockey game at Staples Center. Mats Zuccarello, our own #36 ice hockey forward player, who once was on my own team Frisk Asker Norway, before he made success in Sweden, and later NHL with New York Rangers. Now he is playing for Minnesota Wild, there was a game vs Los Angeles Kings, and “my” team Minnesota Wild won 3-2. As I now move on to Minneapolis, I will see the Minnesota team more, as they do have games at their home arena in St Paul, twin city of Minneapolis, the coming week-end, ahead of the Stones show on Sunday.

After Stones show number two I had two more days at my LAX hotel. At that point I was completely dead meat. I was so tired. Lots and lots of IORR work. Show updates. Pictures. Reports. Moderation. Flights and hotels booked and changed. Little sleep, going to bed 2am in the morning, waking up at 7am. Lots of walking, the shows and the excitement and energy given and taken there, and all the chasing for food I could eat. So the last two days I could finally rest and do nothing. Los Angeles was great. Thank you for your wine, California. Will I ever see The Rolling Stones again on the US West Coast? May be, I don’t know. Only time will tell.

For show reports and pictures see the links below:

The Rolling Stones
SoFi Stadium
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Thursday October 14, 2021

The Rolling Stones
SoFi Stadium
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Sunday October 17, 2021

The Rolling Stones in Nashville Tennessee USA 2021

Just like Pittsburgh PA, Nasville TN was also visited during the 2015 Zip Code Tour by The Rolling Stones. The stadium was called LP Field in 2015, but shortly after The Rolling Stones performed there that year, they changed name into Nissan Stadium, in a 20-years deal with Japanese car maker Nissan, having their North America head quarters just south of Nashville in Franklin TN.

Nashville is the most expensive city of the 2021 tour on my travel budget. Hotel prices were four times and up vs. normal prices, in the range of $600 – $1200 per night during the days of the Stones show. I was staying five days in Nashville, so in order to survive economically, I booked three nights six miles outside the city center first, then I had two nights in the center, with walking distance to the show.

I stayed at a hotel right next to the intersection of Charlotte Avenue and White Bridge Pike. Highway 40 was passing by, so I was quite central, transportation wise. Bus number 50 took me all the way into the city center in 20 minutes, all along Charlotte Avenue. There were many 2-star hotels in the six miles range from the center. I just picked a hotel with great ratings, free breakfast, and with many restaurants nearby.

As I checked into my hotel, and was all settled in, it was already 9pm. The flight from Pittsburgh with Southwest took one and a half hour, but as it did not arrive into Nashville until shortly before 8pm, I was late for getting any meals. I asked at the reception where to find any restaurants. “Just follow the lights”, she said, meaning any place along Charlotte Avenue. I had already cheated a bit, by checking out Google Maps, so I headed for Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant. I was there around 9:15pm, it was all dark, same with all other restaurants in the area. Closed. So I walked a bit in the direction of the city, and eventually I found a Burger King. They had Drive Through only, she asked me just to order like I was in a car, funny thing was there were quite a few small coins on the ground, I did not pick them up, but I am sure I was the first person in a long time walking by that window there for “walk through” shopping a Big Fish Burger. During the next days, and even during my Nashville city center stay, I had all my meals at the excellent family restaurant Las Palmas, on 5821 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, highly recommended, best restaurant so far of the tour.

During my stay outside the city center I took bus number 50 to the Centennial Park. It was half way to the city, a short 10 minutes ride along Charlotte Avenue. Great park, great flowers, even at this late time of the year, a nice lake, and great place to relax, from all the traffic noise and party time noise in Nashville city center.

The day before the show I took the bus down to my city center hotel. Nashville has certainly changed a lot since I was here last time in 2015. There were party buses and tractors everywhere, mostly with girls in their 20’s drinking, but also party people at all ages, in general, mainly younger under 40, drinking, singing, from early morning, to way past midnight. I escaped back to my Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant for proper meals both the day before the show, on show day, and the day after, on my way to the airport.

Show time. A short walk across the bridge, then I was at the stadium. Once again, The Rolling Stones did a great show!

For show reports and pictures see the links below:

The Rolling Stones
Nissan Stadium
Nashville, TN, USA
Saturday October 9, 2021