The recently re-released Hal Ashby (Harold and Maude) directed 1981 concert DVD, Letâ€™s Spend the Night Together, features a raw, high-energy version of the Rolling Stones playing to some of their largest crowds ever.Â With concert footage from shows at both Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey and Arizona State University, the band quickly cranks through 24 songs, including most of their big hits like â€œSatisfaction,â€ â€œJumpinâ€™ Jack Flash,â€ Under My Thumb,â€ and â€œStart Me Upâ€ to name only a few, as well as a couple of covers, like The Temptationsâ€™ â€œJust My Imaginationâ€ and â€œGoing to a Go-Goâ€ by The Miracles.
Though Mick Jaggerâ€™s level of enthusiasm, which reaches new heights, does create a great sense of fun and excitement, it becomes almost too manic at times.Â The band rushes through their songs far too quickly, never really giving listeners a chance to take a breath.Â Also, songs like â€œTumbling Diceâ€ and â€œYou Canâ€™t Always Get What You Wantâ€ are a bit depressing, actually, as they are played so quickly, they sound absolutely nothing like their original, fantastic studio recordings.
But then again, the Stonesâ€™ concerts should probably be seen as more of a package deal with all of the theatrics, on-stage camaraderie, balloons released into the sky at various intervals, fireworks and letâ€™s not forget Jaggerâ€™s costumes (skin-tight white football pants, various neon shirts and large-brimmed hats; the guy is not exactly a wallflower.)Â Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Jagger is one hell of a frontman, if not incredibly eccentric.Â Racing around the stage, heâ€™s able to work every far-flung corner of both stadiums, getting everyone in the audience on their feet, dancing.Â Lazy, this man is not.
Keith Richards plays some pretty great guitar throughout too, especially his solo in the bluesy â€œBlack Limousine.â€Â With a cigarette perpetually dangling from his mouth, clad in pirate-like garb (the guy clearly did inspire Johnny Deppâ€™s portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow), and rock and roll swagger, Richards does his best to work the massive crowd a bit alongside Jagger.
â€œTime Is on My Side,â€ which features a slide show of pictures of all the past and present band members growing up, is one of the best sounding songs on the DVD.Â Along with â€œLet It Bleed,â€ both of these songs featuring Jagger on electric guitar, which ties him down a bit, making his lyrics less manic and more enjoyable.Â Though not necessarily featuring grade-A vocals, â€œHonky Tonk Womanâ€ and â€œSheâ€™s So Coldâ€ are very fun, upbeat highlights on the DVD as well.
Despite the outdated (or just universally bizarre) outfits, this is still an interesting slice of Stones history, which is showcased well on this fun, high-energy DVD that is certainly a worthwhile watch for any Stones fan.