On Saturday 9th September, the Rolling Stones kicked off their No Filter European tour with a concert at the Stadtpark in Hamburg. This was the reason for our short visit to Hamburg. We did it in style with ‘Brown Sugar VIP’ tickets that gave us some of the best seats in the house – only five rows back from the stage in Section A3.
The Stadtpark is a large urban park (366 acres) and was last used for major concerts in 1987 (David Bowie) and 1989 (Pink Floyd). A large segment of the park was closed and fenced off to build the venue, which held 80,000 spectators. The layout had premium seating close to the stage and a premium (standing only) pit that was immediately in front of the stage and surrounding the catwalk that projected out from the stage. Behind the premium seating was a ‘Silver Pit’ for standing spectators and, behind that, was a large open area that contained food stalls, bars and merchandise tents that could be accessed by all ticket holders. Around the perimeter were grandstands for cheaper seating. It was a large venue, so those sitting in the rear-most stands would have to rely on the large video screens above the stage.
The concert tickets doubled as tickets to use Hamburg’s public transportation system, so getting there was fairly simple (albeit crowded) on the U-Bahn. On arrival, we had to struggle through crowds to get through the various checkpoints but everyone was in a good mood. Things got more testy once we were inside the venue, as those of us with the premium tickets tried to get through the standing crowd to the front. Security staff weren’t very helpful at first, preventing a large group of us from cutting through the Tribune stand to reach the front. Eventually, crowd pressure won the day and the security staff stood aside and let common sense prevail. We later discovered that there was a simpler way of accessing the front of the venue, but that hadn’t been adequately communicated. However, once we were in our seats, we could enjoy the event.
The warm up band was Kaleo, a blues/rock band from Iceland. They did a pretty good set from about 7.00pm to 8.00pm to get the party started. The Stones took to the stage about 8.30pm and kicked things off with red lighting and Sympathy For The Devil.
It was about 10.55pm when the show finished, so the Stones were on stage for almost 2.5 hours. The full setlist is as follows:
1. Sympathy For The Devil
2. It’s Only Rock And Roll
3. Tumbling Dice
4. Out Of Control
5. Just Your Fool
6. Ride Em Down
7. Play With Fire
8. Can’t Always Get…
9. Dancing With Mr. D
10. Under My Thumbs
11. Paint It Black
12. Honky Tonk Woman
13. Slippin’ Away (Keith Richards)
14. Happy (Keith Richards)
15. Midnight Rambler
16. Miss You
17. Street Fighting Man
18. Start Me Up
19. Brown Sugar
20. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
21. Gimme Shelter (Zugabe)
22. Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Zugabe)
So, mostly the well known big hits but also some lesser known songs, including a couple from the Blues & Lonesome album. All in all, a very enjoyable concert. My photography was limited to my iPhone, but here are a few shots that I took.
As part of our VIP package, we each received a bag of goodies (that we had to lug around the concert with us). The package included a holdall bag, passport cover, key-ring, lithograph poster, notebook and a lanyard and VIP tag.