As the fireworks went off following "Satisfaction" at U.S. Bank Stadium, Rolling Stones fans were faced with a rather mind-blowing reality: Barring an atypically hasty follow-up tour or a 10th life for Keith Richards, that was more than likely the last time the miraculously enduring band will perform live in Minnesota.
With that in mind, here are some Monday morning takeaways from Sunday's concert.
- Mick Jagger is either very good at going incognito or at tourism research. The savvy former business-school student ticked off a what's-what list of cool places and suds in Minneapolis, claiming to have hit Grumpy's Bar, Matt's Bar and the 5-8 Club and consuming two Jucy Lucys along with Grain Belt, Fulton and Surly beer while in town. At press time, it's still unclear if he really visited these places. Grumpy's sources said crew members did come into their Nordeast watering hole, but they didn't spot one of the most recognizable men in the world. "It was rather busy," they offered. Hmmm.
- He really does seem ageless, though. Jagger's usual physical maneuvers — the strutting, the spinning, the twisting of his ever-slender frame — weren't the only ways he belied his 78 years. He was strong in voice and spirit, too, and still adept at improvising here and there (like dropping in two different Prince verses). What's with his and Keith's matching silk blouses that look straight out of "Golden Girls," though?
- Find someone who looks at you the way Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood look at each other. Playing off each other musically and physically, the two guitarists still get a discernible twinkle in their crow's-footed eyes. Sparks especially flew in the rarity "Monkey Man" as well as a looser "Sympathy for the Devil."
- The Stones conquered the Vikings stadium. A walk around the room during their set suggested it was one of the better-sounding shows in the $1 billion echo chamber's five-year history — nowhere near the audio quality of their previous shows at TCF Bank Stadium and Xcel Energy Center, but impressively passable. A bigger problem was the traffic bottlenecks caused by T-shirt stands in the concourse and the long and confusing process for people with floor tickets to get wristbands.
- They didn't go out on top, and that's OK. Like the acoustics, Charlie Watts' replacement on drums, Steve Jordan, deserves kudos just for being acceptable. And that's maybe a good summary for the entire show. It wasn't a super-tight or fiery performance, but it didn't feel too by-the-numbers, as often happens when rock vets near the end. Who knows? Maybe this was actually a warmup to a big 60th anniversary tour. If not, then at least the Stones went out like a living, breathing, imperfect but still incomparable rock 'n' roll band.