I'd recently been talking with friends about having missed this Imax film. What luck, a screening popped up in my area and I seized the opportunity. The film proved well worth my interest, despite the fact that I am not a devoted Stones fan. Still, like many many people, I've enjoyed several of their hits when they play on the radio.
Though big screen IMAX, this is still a full-length feature presentation -- something like an hour and a half. There's even an intermission for reel changes.
Opening with the band back stage, all smiles and readying for the show, the Stones take the walk out to their audience. Rather than review each song, here is an overview of my impression. The most striking element is Keith Richards. While Mick is bouncing around the stage like a kid who forgot to take his ritalin, Keith is blissfully picking out his spiritual place. Some of his leads are sweet, some don't make any sense at all, but all the while that man is exactly where he wants to be. He's swimming in a self-peace. There's a simple joy on his face. He's like the extreme surfers or skiers in other IMAX films, it's just that his guitar is his surfboard. It's a joy to watch him be so happy, twisting around like a ballet student in love.
Technically, this is shot very well. A rich mix of Camera angles brings you into this concert. Honestly, I'd much rather watch concerts this way than actually be there. It's a shame the public outcry for IMAX concerts isn't strong enough to make such ventures more profitable. In fact, I'm quite happy for theaters these days that have LIVE broadcast capability, but the public doesn't seem to understand the appeal because even the theaters with these capabilities aren't putting them to good use.
Besides a cool filming of the huge video screen that goes long, the weakest link in this picture is the sound separation. While the actual mix is fine, the distribution of various instruments through the awesome multi-channel IMAX sound system is lacking. Still, it's loud and listenable.
Shot over five nights in July and August 1990 during the final leg of the Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour.