Tonight, a friend and I saw “Shine a Light,” Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Stones concert documentary, at The Bridge. I don’t think I had been there since seeing “Minority Report” in 2002 during our cross-country road trip and then arguing about whether we the guy we spotted standing in the courtyard afterwards was Judge Reinhold.
I have fond memories of my dad and his friend Nate taking me to see the Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels tour IMAX movie at the Air & Space Museum. When Mick Jagger entered with that long, red cape and sang “Start Me Up,” I was blown away.
It is a bit strange to watch a big, exciting concert on a screen with only ten other people on a Tuesday night, our butts firmly planted in the seats. (At the Air & Space Museum, one brave couple danced in the aisle.) But even if our body language didn’t show it, the movie was pretty exciting. I loved how close you got to all those craggily faces. I also liked how, when you see Mick Jagger from this close, you see his shoulders moving, his hips moving, and you realize how accomplished of a dancer he is. I always figured he was just haphazardly jumping around and twitching around. But I realized that this guy could probably be a Broadway dancer.
In terms of the songs, I especially liked “Brown Sugar,” “Tumbling Dice,” “As Tears Go By,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” and their cover of The Temptations’ “Just My Imagination.” The Christina Aguilera duet was fun, but despite her technical singing ability, I couldn’t understand a word (and, as my friend pointed out, she looked like a blow-up doll). Some parts slowed, like the songs where Keith Richards did lead vocals, which are always the slowest part of the concerts themselves. And I might have preferred the drama of a huge stadium to the intimacy of the Beacon Theater. But on the whole, I enjoyed myself. I even liked the little interview bits interspersed throughout, and the parts at the beginning where Scorsese tears his hair out trying to find out the set list.
My one question: why was the front row packed with attractive 25-year-old girls? At a Rolling Stones benefit concert, in an intimate theater, with tickets I’m sure costing unfathomable amounts, attractive 25-year-old girls bought up all the front row tickets? Martin Scorsese appears to be — unintentionally, I hope — emulating “American Idol,” which recruits sorority girls to sit in the audience and arranges them so that their distance from the camera is inversely proportional to their hotness, according to The New York Times. On second viewing, I’ll try to tell if these girls know the words.