Rolling Stones – From The Vault: Hampton Coliseum (2CD/1DVD)

Here we have the final episode in this current IOU Series (there may be more, at some future point, who knows?), and it’s a doozy.

I’ve been teasing the incomparable Deke at Superdekes about covering this 2CD/1DVD set for a loooong time now. In fact, it has dragged on so long, I assume he’s given up on me ever reviewing the damn thing… Well guess what, Dekester? HERE IT IS!

Quick! Someone send the paramedics to T-Bay! I think Deke just fell over in shock!

Haha. Now, before I dive in, though, I’d like to thank all of you for taking the time tag along during this IOU Series. Hell, for being Readers of the blog at all! Without all of you I’d just be firing my blather (and James would be offering up his excellent and humourous, professional-quality writing) into the ether to no one. You make this all worthwhile, so THANKS!

And now, let’s zap ourselves back to December 18, 1981, to the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia, USA…

… and let’s not forget that Tattoo You was the album of the day…

What a glorious spectacle.



Check out this setlist:

CD1: Under My Thumb / When The Whip Comes Down / Let’s Spend The Night Together / Shattered / Neighbours / Black Limousine / Just My Imagination / Twenty Flight Rock / Going To A Go-Go / Let Me Go / Time Is On My Side / Beast Of Burden / Waiting On A Friend / Let It Bleed

CD2: You Can’t Always Get What You Want / Band Intros / Happy Birthday Keith / Little T&A / Tumbling Dice / She’s So Cold / Hang Fire / Miss You / Honky Tonk Women / Brown Sugar / Start Me Up / Jumpin’ Jack Flash / (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

The DVD set list is identical, with the addition of an introduction to the set.

I’ve gotta hand it to these From The Vault releases, they’re friggin’ gorgeous. Quality, in all aspects. Having the full concert on CD so that I can hear it anytime is wonderful, and the DVD is good quality, and mighty fine viewing. Pure class, and a fine historical document.

I was thrilled to see several tracks in that list (above) that don’t get played much anymore (if ever), like Black Limousine (though it did get an airing in the Stripped set), Neighbours (off Tattoo You, makes sense they’d play it then…), Just My Imagination (cover tune, of course, and from Some Girls), Twenty Flight Rock (an cover of Eddie Cochran, which also appeared on the Still Life live set), Let Me Go (from Emotional Rescue), Going To A Go-Go (a cover of the Miracles, also found on Still Life live set)…

Anyway, you get the point. And of course there are a ton of hits here, too. If anything, this is a really, really generous set list. And judging from the DVD, the crowd was having a blast. What a frickin’ party. The band was in full flight, no holds barred. Even the intro is fun… a naked woman talking, telling you all the radio stations on which you can hear the show, with each station call numbers painted on her body. Then we go backstage and watch the band loosening up nd getting ready to head to stage… then it’s Ellington’s Take The ‘A’ Train before Keef and Charlie launch into Under My Thumb… Charlie’s revolving drum set is fun, and Mick’s dancing like a lunatic being electrocuted in a mauve suit…

They blast throught the set, and it’s riveting viewing. Say what you will about these guys and their antics, but when they get into the pocket and start rocking, which they do from the off, here, it’s a whole other animal and must be seen to be believed.

During the band intros, Mick leads the crowd in singing Happy Birthday to Keith (he was 38, that day), and then the band is all served a round of drinks to his health. Keef then launches into a characteristically rough and beautiful version of T&A and the momentum picks right back up…

And then there’s the scene everyone talks about, when mentioning this show. They do Satisfaction as a show closer encore. The band re-takes the stage, Mick resplendently draped in both the Union Jack and the American flag like a cape… the band rips into it, Keef’s guitar sounding raw and glorious… and about a minute into the tune, a fan gets on stage and makes a b-line for Mick. Keef immediately stops playing, shrugs off his guitar and proceeds to bash away at the fan with the heavy end of it until security can get the interloper off stage. Keef then gives Mick a look that says “I got yer back, mate, ” immediately straps back in, finds the line, and plays away like nothing happened. The guitar’s even still in tune! The track takes off to the stratosphere, a mass of balloons with the Stones’ tongue logo on them drop from the ceiling, Mick loses the cape and dances shirtless in bright yellow football pants…

Glory. They’re so young, lithe, already been through the ringer several times, battle hardened and not anywhere near road-weary. No one could even try to say they’d gone half-power at any moment of this gig. And the fans in the place knew the Stones had been in town (and how!), and they’d all been ridden hard and put down wet. In all, a fucking fantastic set.

Two thumbs way up.

And there ya go, Deke. Mr. Books finally made good on his word! 🙂


Thanks again for following along in this series, folks!

10 thoughts on “Rolling Stones – From The Vault: Hampton Coliseum (2CD/1DVD)

  1. J. says:

    Oh. This sounds like a right treat. Hardly surprising that the Stones delivered the goods. That’s what they do. Great write-up, dude.


  2. deKE says:

    HAHAHAHA….bout Friggin Time! ……
    This live show is in my opinon the Best Live Stones Album ever! These guys were on fire back than and we all know how much Still Life is dug right? Great review man and thanks for the namedrop(s)…..
    Your right…Mr Books has indeed delivered!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. keepsmealive says:

      Sorry for the wee delay, there, Deke! I hope you’ll forgive my tardiness…

      Best live Stones? Whoa now, hold on. Maybe I haven’t spent enough time with it yet but I dunno…


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