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Rolling Stones at halftime: the review

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Of all the contributors to LAist, I'm the least qualified to say anything about football. But I do know something about live rock shows. Which brings us to the Rolling Stones at the Superbowl.

There was something wrong with the audio feed at first, so it sounded like Mick was locked in a closet somewhere. But there they were, the Rolling Stones, whose combined age is more than 230 years old, rocking out live. The audio got fixed, mostly.

And they sounded kind of, um, not great, especially at first. It dawned on me that it's been an age since American TV audiences last saw a rock band actually play live, like really live, with mistakes, odd pauses, without electronic vocal tone correctors or a phalanx of backup singers with perfect pitch. It's kind of awkward, but nice, actually. The vulnerability of it. The risk of failure. What if Mick forgets the words?

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By the time they get to their third song, "Satisfaction," they're warmed up and energized, and even though they must have played it 7 million times it sounds like they're having fun. Mick doesn't forget the words.

What's amazing is that the Rolling Stones' sound, in 2006, seems so goddamn simple. They sound like a garage-rock band. What was once so big and full and ROCK N ROLL now seems quaint and straightforward. So uncluttered. So antique, I guess. In terms of music, 1963 sounds about 230 years old.