The Rolling Stones were scheduled to be performing at Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam The Netherlands on Monday June 13. I arrived the day before, stayed at Holiday Inn Amsterdam Arena Towers, just 400 meters i.e. a five minutes walk from the venue. It was a great location to be at.
I had been in Amsterdam last month, in May, for the pre-tour rehearsals, so I was already ready with a metro/train card, also knew what trams and trains to take. It was a great day on show day June 13. Lunch on Rembrandtplein, a great place, and some walking around in the city, then heading for the show in the afternoon.
I could hear a soundcheck of “She’s A Rainbow” and “Connection” while walking around outside, some time after 4pm. I was inside the stadium at 5:25pm. Doors seemed to open around 5pm, but as I stayed so close, there was no rush in getting inside the venue early. Show start was expected around 8:45pm. Then, at 6pm, there was an announcement saying “The show is cancelled” – “Mick has got Covid” … It took a while until I realized it, it was a fact. We had to leave. Then dinner with friends nearby.
Then at 10pm I changed my plan to take the train from Amsterdam to Bern, a ten hours train ride. I had already booked the ticket at some Euro 200 the day before. Lost money. I booked a direct flight back home next morning, and after some hours on Schiphol Airport, I was back home at around 2pm in the afternoon, the day after the cancelled show.
The show in Bern on Friday June 17 was cancelled while I was at the airport in Amsterdam, like I expected. The Milan show on Tuesday June 21 was still on, in my hopes, so I headed home for nearly a week of rest.
There will be more about the Amsterdam show here next month, as there is a new date for the Amsterdam show on Thursday July 7. Meanwhile, some other shows in Milan and London.
The Rolling Stones arrived back “home” to England on Thursday June 9, 2022, when their SIXTY tour took them to Anfield in Liverpool. They did a rare live version of “I Wanna Be Your Man”, and the fans were singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as they waited for the encores.
I had been at home for a short trip, following the Munich Germany show. As it typically takes 8 hours, more or less, to get from door to door from home and to the next location, or the other way around, I basically get one day at home and waste almost two days on travel. That is the price to be paid for getting home between shows on tour. For the next few shows I can’t keep going home, so after Amsterdam I just stay on the tour. It is just so exhausting with all the travel.
To get to Liverpool I was flying from Oslo to Manchester, then train to the Manchester city center, then another train to Liverpool. As I walked out of Liverpool Lime Street Station, I had four images in front of me. First of all my hotel, to my front left, an ugly looking container style building branded Holiday Inn City Center. So it was an easy walk 5 minutes. Great! To my very left, there was an old style pub building named “Crown Hotel”. In front of me, a large shining advertisement board for a large shopping center with parking, and to the right, a beautiful old building which seemed to get sort of lost in all the construction works in front of the train station.
Liverpool is famous for The Beatles, also for football – Liverpool F.C. and Everton F.C. I spent the time in Liverpool walking around in the city. Most of the city in my area seemed to be shopping centers and bars, a bit Dublin style, with drinking and loud music. My favorite area was by River Mersey – the Royal Albert Dock Liverpool. It’s a great and relaxing area, not as busy and high on noise level as the city area around Lime Street Station.
Show day, I had a 45 minutes walk to the show. Most fans took the bus, there were queues, long queues. The show, such a great show! See reports through the links below. The return home? SAS canceled my direct flight home, so it took me all day, 13 hours, to get home from Liverpool, leaving Liverpool by train before 6am, via Manchester nightmare airport, then Copenhagen airport stopover, some hours waiting, then Oslo, then a one and a half hour waiting for trains to run due to a train power problem in Oslo, and finally at home in the evening at around 7pm. The long and winding road back home…
Munich is a great and beautiful city south in Germany. The Rolling Stones go to Munich on almost every tour in Europe. Summer time in Munich means packed beer gardens, lots of tourists, and may be some rain at times!
I had ten great days during the tour start in Madrid. Now I was on a much shorter three days stopover in Munich, in fact three nights but just two days, as I was arriving really late, and leaving very early.
Munich was not really very welcoming, as our late afternoon flight from Madrid Spain on Friday June 3 was en route to Munich Airport. Some 10-15 minutes before we were supposed to land, I was following the flight path, and we were going towards Salzburg Austria, not really Munich Airport. Then we were doing circles on a holding area half way between the Munich Airport and Salzburg. After a while the pilot told us the Munich airport was closed due to heavy thunderstorms. After 30-40 minutes doing circles, quite a long holding time, we were cleared for landing, and half an hour later, after still some 10-15 minutes hold before ground control were allowed to work, we were on Munich ground. Some times a flight is not just another flight.
I had booked a hotel near the Olympiastadion, Leonardo Royal Hotel Munich. With great memories from the Leonardo hotel in Hamburg during the tour there in 2017, I thought that hotel chain was a great one. Well may be not… The hotel was large, but ok. The room was ok, the distance from the venue was just 15 minutes walking through the Olympiapark, but the service was just terrible. It was a two hours wait to get food, and I just gave up on the hotel, and went other places for dining.
Munich city center is like a museum, so many great buildings and stunning architecture. I took the U-Bahn to Marienplatz, and walked around in the Old Town. Even if the area was packed with tourists, it was still a pleasure to be there, just to see it all, like on every visit to Munich. Then I needed a meal, no chance for any seating outside, so after a while I studied the map, and found out I had to leave the center for some walking in the park.
The English Garden (Englisher Garten) is a great large park spanning some 6-7 km i.e. more than 4 miles just near the Old Town. It is not really a garden, but a large park, lots of old beautiful chest trees, and other trees, beer gardens, and traffic is so far away you do not hear anything else than the birds, you see people relaxing, enjoying the summer. I spent several hours walking the park, it reminded me a bit about Hyde Park in London, both are large, both give the people a lot of space and relaxing.
Show day, there were forecasts of rain, I was on hold in my hotel, working, until after gates opened late. I did not leave my room until 6:35pm, by then most of the rain had stopped. Then a fast walk 15 minutes, and I was inside the stadium within 5 minutes. Less than two hours later The Rolling Stones were on stage, and gave us another great show. For reports and pictures see the link below.
The Rolling Stones SIXY tour in Europe summer 2022 started in Madrid Spain June 1, 2022. The tour is celebrating their sixty years career, since their very first show on July 12, 1962 in London England. It is an unbelievable long career, spanning three generations. I am so happy and lucky I have been able to enjoy most of their career, so many great memories, many friends met during all these years, travel across the world several times.
I left for Madrid Spain on May 24, for a ten days stay there. The plan was to spend some weeks in Amsterdam The Netherlands ahead of the tour, where they did some three weeks of rehearsals, but there was not much to see or hear there, as they were in a sealed off studio inside the Ziggo Dome. So I changed my travel plans and arrived into Madrid Spain late Tuesday May 24, two days ahead of The Rolling Stones, and four days ahead of my originally planned arrival of May 28.
When in Madrid, The Rolling Stones used to perform at the Vicente Calderón Stadium, in the Arganzuela area, near Puerto de Toledo in Madrid. Then they did their 2014 show in Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, home ground of the football team Real Madrid. Athletico Madrid, who used Vicente Calderón Stadium as home ground, recently moved into the former olympic stadium, rebuilt into the new and modern stadium Wanda Metropolitano. With tour start Wednesday June 1, I wanted to be in Madrid early, so that I could enjoy their pre-tour rehearsals at the venue. I booked Hotel Sercotel Alcalá 611, it turned out to be the perfect choice this time, just 2 km i.e. 25 minutes walk to the stadium. Also, the area Canillejas turned out to be a great 2nd home during my ten days stay, with plenty of localø bars and restaurants, a quiet place, still just 20 minutes or so by metro to the city center.
I walked over to the Wanda Metropolitano many times. For reports from the rehearsals please see the separate reports:
With ten days in Madrid, I did get some time to see the city as well, not just rehearsals, and the show. My hotel was at Calle de Alcalá 611. The street Calle de Alcalá is very old and historic, an attraction on it’s own. Old maps are showing the importance of the street, the widest street in the old days, spanning some 11 km across the city of Madrid.
The city center has got many large and impressing old buildings, churches, royal castle and parks. Some of the pictures below is just a bit of what Madrid has got to show the tourists. I would need a lot more than 10 days to see most of the great places in Madrid.
Show day with The Rolling Stones was warm and bright. They waited as long as they could before going on stage, at around 10:15pm in the evening. We got two hours fifteen minutes of a show to remember for a long time. The 19 songs included “Out Of Time” performed for the first time live, a great version, they did even restart it and play most of the song for a 2nd time. What a great show!
For show reports and pictures please see the IORR reports pages:
The Rolling Stones are celebrating their sixty years career since their very first live show appearance in London July 12, 1962. The celebration tour is named SIXTY, with a summer tour in Europe through June and July 2022. The tour stage seems to be designed so that it may take them on a worldwide celebration tour during the next months and year to come – only time will tell if that will happen. Meanwhile, this is the first part of the tour reports, from the rehearsals in Amsterdam and Madrid.
The rehearsals started with a three weeks stay in Amsterdam, where they rehearsed at a studio room in the Ziggo Dome. Unavailable to outside fans for anything to bee seen or heard, there is not much to report, except for the posts done by the band themselves, see the IORR rehearsals link at the end of these pages.
Having rehearsed some 70-80 different songs, The Rolling Stones left Amsterdam The Netherlands for Madrid Spain during the afternoon of Thursday May 26. The next day i.e. Friday I was on the last guided tour of the stadium of the opening show, the Wanda Metropolitano. The guided tour was at 1:30pm, and most of the stage was ready by then. It is a new stage design for the SIXTY tour, it looks like it will be easy to fly around the world, for a celebration anywhere they might take their SIXTY shows in the time to come.
Saturday May 28 the band went to the Wanda Metropolitano stadium for rehearsals on their full production stage, and they returned for two more days of rehearsals on Sunday May 29 and Monday May 30. The last of the three days marked a full set of songs, not far from the final show to be performed at the opening show in Madrid on Wednesday June 1.
For details about the rehearsals please see the IORR thread:
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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!”