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The stage erupts with lights and sound as the greatest rock n roll band ever takes to the stage to perform favorites from yesteryear and their current day hits. Multiple overhead screens show the action onstage from all sorts of different viewpoints. The crowd roars with cheering as the first chords are played.

And so The Rolling Stones played at Fargo just this last Wednesday, February 17th, 1999. I was in attendance. Im writing this the day after, and I'm still pumped up, as well as awe struck, by their performance. Maybe its just the sleep deprivation Im under right now (getting home after 3 a.m. isnt exactly fun) , but Im still amazed at what a concert it was. The music was beyond compare, the atmosphere was something North Dakota really hasnt experienced before, and Mick Jagger was acting like he was a kid again.

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 were more than suitable for a tour stop. I mean, if the Stones play here, other bands can sure as well play here!

It was also a great event for the generations. Its really never happened in recent history where a parent wants to go to a concert more than a kid, and the kid will come along just because it looks like it could be cool! For me, it was the exact opposite case, as my dad came along after I decided I needed to watch this first stop of the Rolling Stones in North Dakota. Were the first generation where kids and adults alike can stand in line at a souvenir booth, both wanting the same cool t-shirt. Right before our eyes, were starting to bridge the generation gap!

As for the concert itself, around nine oclock everyone was itching for a bunch of ear-ache inducing rock n roll, and we all received it when the Stones entered the stage. The jumbo displays high above the stage beamed images of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and Charlie Watts swaggering through an abandoned building with only its security cameras running and nothing else. Then all of a sudden, the Rolling Stones hit the stage.

Keith and Ronnie, armed with a guitar each, headed for the sides of the main platform. Mick came out front and center to claim his microphone and start belting out the tunes, while Charlie was, as always, chilling in the back with his trapset. They started off with yours and my favorite song that's associated with a Whoopi Goldberg movie, "Jumpin' Jack Flash." To hear it being performed live and in person was stirring!

After getting the crowd thoroughly excited and getting loads of adrenaline pumping, they went on to the next song, "You Got Me Rockin'" from their Voodoo Lounge tour. Sure, it's a good song on the CD and radio, but it's better ten fold live.

It was big, it was loud, and it was all Rolling Stones. Mick was strutting around like a turkey the day after Thanksgiving, knowing its gonna be around and having some fun for quite some time. If you think that The Rolling Stones are old, you have to see these concerts. Theyre psyching up the audience and moving around as if they just got their first record deal yesterday!

After Keith was done singing lead on two songs, suddenly there was darkness and it appeared that nothing was happening. Of course, we were all surprised when all of a sudden Mick popped up through the floor to do a stunning

rendition of "Out of Control," from their "Bridges to Babylon" CD. This was probably the most spectacular of the songs, with 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! Add to that a spooky, appartion-like light emitting from under Mick at the beginning, and youve got yourself an incredible act.

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, U2, Beck, 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!

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

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