“Tumbling Dice” : Bruce & the Stones

Bruce & Mick. Photo by Mayumi Mo. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

I WASN’T THERE, regrettably (sort of), I deliberately chose to sit this circuit out (and why is a much longer and very different post). But friends were there (many, many friends were there, from all over the world) and my best friend Sharon’s husband was kind enough to send me video clips of the moment, and I watched the (illegal) clip from the PPV multiple times last night because IT IS A MOMENT.

One, Bruce is absolutely beaming. In that moment, he is that kid whose mom took him to Atlantic City to see the Stones. He is not trying to be cool or laid back, he is a 16-year-old kid getting to be onstage with THE ROLLING STONES. It is charming and infectious. It is delightful.

Despite my reservations about the song choice (see below), there is no denying that “Tumbling Dice” is a great fit with his voice. Mick gave him almost enough room, although it would have been nice if Lisa and Bernard had backed off just a tiny bit more. I loved the interplay with Ronnie and adored Ronnie and Keith circling Bruce as he took the solo and most of all loved Ronnie’s exuberant fist pump once Bruce was done. (I was grumbling about Keith not cracking a smile until the hug at the end.)

The hugs at the end! And the handshakes. And Bruce of COURSE making a beeline to shake Charlie’s hand (Mick cutting him off halfway) and then Bruce making sure he got there in the end. Keith’s face lighting up with his hug. All of that would have made it worth the price of admission.

[“Tumbling Dice” is an unfortunate choice. It is a song that, in my opinion, the Stones have never ever ever played well live. (I am not the only one to hold this opinion — yesterday when I posted, “I know what they’re playing and it’s a song the Stones never play well live,” the overwhelming response was, “Tumbling Dice?”) There are a lot of problems with the song live, usually the horns and the fact that they never seem able to figure out how to end it crisply. Last night was no exception but it was saved by the horns being much, much lower in the mix than they usually are.]