live music: RONNIE WOOD x GOLDEN NUGGET x 4.21.12

Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones performs a rare show at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Photo by Joe Russo.
This photo was picked up on Rolling Stone Magazines online site and featured in their daily “Best of 2012” photo gallery.

In the recent wake of Ronnie Wood‘s second induction into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame [Rolling Stones and now the Faces], I was fortunate to catch a very rare “one-off” performance by the Slide Guitar-God in the Grand Ballroom at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, NJ on Saturday night. This year marks the Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary…and with no tour in site…this was perhaps the next best thing. The 37 year Stones veteran rhythm guitarist brought together an all-star cast for this very special performance. His bandmates include Stones players Bernard Fowler and Chuck Leavell, drummer Steve Jordan, bassist Willie Weeks and an additional piano/keyboard player. While Ronnie is not used to being a frontman and his bandmates not playing much together, the band was exceptionally tight.

Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones performs rare show at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Photo by Joe Russo.

Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones performs rare show at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Photo by Joe Russo.

Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones performs rare show at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Photo by Joe Russo.

Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones performs rare show at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Photo by Joe Russo.

What made this show so special and rare was that Wood hasn’t had a solo tour through the US since 1992; of which Fowler and Leavall joined him then too and also penned songs with Ronnie in the past. With the Golden Nugget undergoing a massive $150 million renovation, Woody’s good friend and casino owner Tilman Fertitta asked him to perform a show to un-officially open up the new look casino.

Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones performs rare show at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Photo by Joe Russo.

Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones performs rare show at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Photo by Joe Russo.

Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones performs rare show at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Photo by Joe Russo.

Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones performs rare show at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Photo by Joe Russo.

Wood played a wide array of songs from the various bands he’s rocked in/with to the smallish crowd of around 1100 lucky fans. Ronnie ran through hits and rareties from The Faces, The Stones, his own solo songs and Bob Dylan. He blazed through a 16-song 90 minute performance that had everyone rocking and grooving. The laid back rocker was in great spirits, animated as he patrolled the stage and very talkative. At one point, Wood takes off his sport jacket and button-up shirt to reveal a Justin Bieber tank top underneath.

Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones performs rare show at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Photo by Joe Russo.

“We’re going to make some music tonight,” says Ronnie before opening with the blues rock and harmonica tinged “Am I Groovin’ You” from his debut solo 1974 disc “I’ve Got My Own Album to Do”. Woods also performed original material from his solo career including his gospel-tinged “I Gotta See” and “Spoonful” from his “I Feel Like Playing”.

Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones performs rare show at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Photo by Joe Russo.

Next up was the Faces “Cindy Incidentally,” to which Bernard Fowler took over the singing duties for most of the night. Other Faces tunes included “(I Know) I’m Losing You”, “Flyin” and Woods back on vocals for “Ooh La La”.

Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones performs rare show at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Photo by Joe Russo.

Other notable highlights…Ronnie and his wonder band grooved on some reggae riffage to which Ronnie danced and played through on “Sweetness is My Weakness”. Chuck Leavell took over lead vocals for a great rendition of the Allman Brothers Bands’ “Statesboro Blues”. Woody expertly covered Bob Dylans’ “Seven Days” off his 1979 solo album “Gimme Some Neck”…“Here’s a song I stole off Bob Dylan. Or he gave to me.”

Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones performs rare show at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Photo by Joe Russo.

The night wouldn’t be complete without a taste of The Stones. Woody dug in for a few rareties and classics such as “Black Limousine”…“I have to give you a little bit of Rolling Stones…”. The main set was concluded by “It’s Only Rock N Roll (But I LIke It)” and “Dance”…The crowd ate it all up and let the band know they wanted more.

Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones performs rare show at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Photo by Joe Russo.

The show concluded with a 2-song encore comprised of the blues standard “Worried Life Blues” where Woods sang and played the song like an old blues man. Finally, Woods and the band channeled Rod Stewart and The Faces with the classic “Stay With Me” to which Fowler sang and Woody took us out with that mean slide guitar playing of his.

While there is no Stones tour on the immediate horizon, I can honestly say that the Ronnie Wood Band got me rockin…

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