By TOM D'ANTONI // Scenes from their 2016 tour and reasons to hope they never stop playing.
In 2016 the Rolling Stones toured South America, playing concerts in Mexico City, Lima, Buenos Aires, Santiago, and São Paulo, finally winding up in Havana where more than one million people turned out for the band’s first-ever concert in Cuba.
That's how the summary read on the NW Film Center's 34th Reel Music Festival page.
If your first reaction was to age-shame them and throw snark about how old they are and how much you think they should quit, you should stop reading and go elsewhere because you don't know what you're talking about and should wait ten or twenty or thirty years and then try making that statement again...about yourself.
Better still, watch this doc and then try to haul out that bullshit about how irrelevant they are, especially after watching how much they and their music mean to a million Cubans in the stadium, all of whom were prevented from hearing and playing such music for nearly sixty years, as were folks in other South American countries. In Argentina, there is a huge Rolling Stones cult.
Get snarky with them, why don't you.
This isn't the greatest concert tour film ever made. It has the usual conceits and school figures. That's ok. You're dealing with a group that's been around and songs that have become part of the world's vernacular. And it's still thrilling to hear them, no matter how many times you have before.
Yes, they're rich and they've earned their share of world-weariness. But upon closer inspection, they still love to play and give of themselves to the audience. It can't be just for money anymore. They have more than enough. They understand how much their music means to the people of South America (and the world, and to me.)
Before they went out on this tour, they recorded Blue and Lonesome, their first all Blues album in which all the tunes are from original Delta and Chicago (among other similar locales) Blues folks. You can find that spirit of returning to their roots as a subtext to this doc, even though they don't play any of those tunes in the film.
Don't make them a guilty pleasure. No excuses needed. If you were ever a Stones fan, seeing this doc will be a happy ocaision for you.