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Being in attendance at The Rolling Stones concert held in Fargo recently was one of the most thrilling things Iíve ever had the pleasure of attending. The music was beyond compare, the atmosphere was something North Dakota really hasnít experienced before, and Mick Jagger was acting like he was a kid again.

Itís been awhile, possibly never, since weíve had such an international, generation-spanning group come and perform in North Dakota. Thankfully a group like this came, and it was my favorite, the Stones. Aside from all the fun that everyone who attended and people that were associated with it had, there were lots of other things that this concert will bring to us.

Finally, North Dakota has shown that it really can support a thriving entertainment industry. Although the No Security tour show here was not sold out, it did a very nice bit of business, ranking as the highest-grossing show ever for the Fargodome, possibly even for the entire state. Since it did so well, these facts will show other top bands that weíre more than suitable for a tour stop. I mean, if the Stones play here, other bands can sure as well play here!

Of course, for people who didnít get to go to the concert, I donít want to make anyone feel bad for missing it. I am going to talk about some of the finer points of the show now, for the benefit of all. In fact, if you didnít attend, just picture the inside of the Fargodome about two-thirds filled up with people, all four members of The Rolling Stones on a fairly big stage, and a whole bunch of yellow and black, diagonal stripe patterns.

The concert started off with a bang by performing the only song I like that's anyway related to Whoopi Goldberg, "Jumpiní Jack Flash." It was big, it was loud, and it was all Rolling Stones. On that first number, someone threw a beer on the stage. The efficiency of the clean-up crew was almost scary, since they had that cleaned up in a matter of seconds while Mick was prancing around like he so eloquently does.

I was sitting to the left of the stage up aways, and from my viewpoint I could see something quite interesting with my binoculars; a teleprompter. Yes, on certain songs, lyrics would scroll by on this television screen so whoever was singing at the time wouldn't forget. Surprising? Yes. Distracting? No. In fact, most of the people at the concert probably didn't even know about it at all. Also on stage was a piece of paper with a list of all the songs they'd play on it. This would be so they'd know the time to "Honky-Tonk" from the time to "Paint it Black." And yes, both those were played to a well receptive audience.

About midway through the show, the four Stones, along with a few other musicians, went into a separate stage, completely surrounded by the audience, set up in the middle of the dome to play. Again, someone threw another beer onto the stage, and once again the efficient crew had it cleaned up in seconds. This time Mick wouldn't let it go, though, and he threw water out into the crowd. Good for him! If I had beer getting thrown on my stage...Well, that'd be amazing if I had a stage...

The other members, Keith Richards (guitar) , Ronnie Wood (guitar) , and Charlie Watts (drums) were all in fine form, as well. Sometime after playing "Sweet Virginia," Keith took the lead vocals in two songs which everyone seemed to enjoy. It also brought the tempo of the concert a little slower, and it seemed as though the audience was most responsive to the quick and fast music. Thus, Mick Jagger came back with a nice entry from below the floor to sing "Out of Control." This was probably the best done number of the show, with all kinds of cool lighting effects on the performers as well as the audience, and plenty of dancing and moving around for Mick, Keith, and Ronnie.

The more I think about it, the better the evening seems to me. Each time I think about it, the faint smell of two smokers sitting right in front of me gets less and less, people who stood up for almost the entire concert don't bother my view now, and the floor seems nice 'n smooth, almost as if no drink was spilled anywhere.

What I think about now is how this all would've turned out if The Rolling Stones would've played in our state earlier. What if we would've had some kind of tradition as a great place to play; more people would've already discovered the joy here in North Dakota. The state could've been host to artists that have come and gone over the years.

But now we must look to what we can become. Music capital of the world? No, I'm not even sure we'd like to be known as that. But how about the hot spot for concerts in the midwest? First the Stones, then Black Sabbath, who's next? Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey, Elton John, Dave Matthews Band...the list goes on and on of performers who have yet to discover our great state. Let's keep working to get great entertainment for the state!

The most stunning of the songs was "Out of Control," which had visuals that were just as cool as the sound. Pulsating strobe lights faded the Stones in and out of view as the deafening roar of the crowd almost engulfed the music. The bass was so heavy, you couldn't even lift it with a whole crew of union guys!

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Karl Becker, the author of all these articles, uses New Tricks for his writings.

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