Paint it Black? Nah, more like Paint it red, white, and blue! Legendary rock group The Rolling Stones delivered a spellbinding concert last night at IMS and provided fans a Fourth of July unlike any other.
Over fifty thousand people were reported to have attended, so the staff members of the IMS should feel free to pat themselves on the back for setting up what many fans predict to be The Stones’ final tour.
Security personnel in charge of checking for suspicious items greeted concert-goers at the front gates of IMS. The rules of whatnot to bring were quite strict: No coolers, outside food or beverages (except for a factory sealed water bottle), chairs, or strollers. The whole security process was very quick, and to some maybe even rushed. But for those who had nothing to hide, it was quite effective in checking for malicious items.
Once inside the infield, the location of where the concert was held, patrons were introduced to a wide array of pre-show attractions ranging from a bagpipe performance from The 500’s own Gordon Pipers to a soldier care packaging event hosted by Crown Royal. Concession stands were packed with food and drinks that were similar to that of a 500 race (turkey legs, corn dogs, shish kebabs, etc.). Fans even had the option of using their cell phones to vote for their favorite Stones song to be played during the show.
The bronze ticket section still contained all of the festivities while the silver and gold ticket sections offered a naturally closer view of the stage. Because the entire concert was standing or ground sitting only, peering over the heads of other fans was inevitable. For those who were handicapped or disabled, IMS set up raised platform stages specially designed to be wheel chair accessible. Unfortunately, seating in these areas ran out as the infield became more populated, leaving many elderly fans that had trouble standing and walking without a place to rest.
One might even argue that the location of the stage and standing area was rather odd and misplaced. A large portion of bronze ticket holders were expected to find comfort in the gravel terrain situated in the infield. Instead of placing the stage behind the IMS pagoda, it would have made much more sense to place it further out in the infield and allow the entire sitting/standing areea to be gravel free. For a racetrack that’s reported to be capable of holding two Vatican Cities within itself, I’m sure they could have found a more suitable (and comfortable) option.
IMS offered different tastes of music to their guests as they eagerly waited for The Stones to begin. Alternative rock band Saints of Valory awoke the crowd at 6:30, demonstrating an impressive performance. Rascal Flatts then emerged at 7:45 to bring out everyone’s inner country, paving a pathway of gold leading to the main event.
At 9:30, the lights dimmed and the crowd went wild as The Stones made their electrifying opening appearance with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and Charlie Watts all held enthusiastic spirits as they performed, with Jagger even making a rather humorous remark of wanting to bring Tom Brady on stage to sing, but was finding the idea a bit “deflating.”
The band went on to play many fan favorites like “Tumbling Dice”, “Brown Sugar”, “Midnight Rambler”, “Gimme Shelter”, “Sympathy for the Devil”, and the top voted fan picked song, “Let it Bleed”. The Butler University Chorale made a breath taking appearance as they sung the chorus to The Stones hit song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. And to cap it all off, the final song of “Satisfaction” was accompanied by an explosive, colorful display of fireworks as the band bid their adieus.
The members of the Rolling Stones were quite pepped up as they paraded around the stage. Despite being youthful in spirit, they’re old age seemed to show all throughout the performance. In preparation to play “Let It Bleed”, Jagger had to take a moment in remembering how to play the song. During the groups play through of “Miss You”, Keith Richards took a tumble on stage as he jammed on the guitar.
In their defense, they are at least seventy years old, so kudos to them for still being able to perform—let alone walk—in such an expressive manner.
But The Stones pulled it off once again, and from the IMS sponsored festivities to the eccentric fireworks, the night remains one that will not be soon forgotten.