The Rolling Stones—A Bigger Bang: Live On Copacabana Beach front cover

The Rolling Stones

By Mike O’Cull

The Rolling Stones dropped one of the biggest free concerts in rock and roll history at the Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro on February 8, 2006 and it’s now an amazing concert film and album you can enjoy from your comforts thanks to Mercury Studios. The Rolling Stones—A Bigger Bang: Live On Copacabana Beach will be released July 9th, 2021. The show was originally put out on DVD in 2007 as The Biggest Bang. This new look at it includes four songs not on the first version (“Tumbling Dice,” “Oh No, Not You Again,” “This Place Is Empty,” “Sympathy For The Devil”) and has been remixed, re-edited, and remastered. It will be available in a variety of formats to suit the taste of every Stones fan, including DVD+2CD, SD BD+2CD, 2DVD+2CD Deluxe, 3LP (pressed on blue, yellow, and green vinyl), 3LP pressed on clear vinyl (exclusive to Sound Of Vinyl) and digital. This is the first time that the gig has been released in its complete form and, as expected, it’s a gas, gas, gas.

The show at Copacabana Beach was absolutely epic in every way, with 1.5 million people coming out to party. Fans were watching on land and on the water and it was a beautiful night in the tropics. It was an electric setting that crackled with the energy of the world’s greatest rock and roll band giving the massive crowd every bit of music it had in it. From the moment when the group crossed the specially-constructed bridge from the Copacabana Palace Hotel to the stage, it was obvious that Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and Charlie Watts were about to light everyone there on fire. They put down a two-hour set of hits and new songs with the fervor of men who live for the act of playing this music together and seeing the crowd go wild.

The Stones exploded onto the stage with the timeless “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and the Brazilian throngs assembled were instantly up and moving. Keith simply walked out from beside the drum riser while hitting that wonderful riff and the entire beach went up for grabs. The Stones have always had the ability to go from zero to 60 in the space of an eighth note and used it that night to connect with each fan at once and infuse them with the power of rock and roll. It’s a great moment that foreshadowed an equally great set.

“It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)” followed close behind and sent both band and audience even deeper into the zone. So many Stones tunes have transcended simply being pieces of music and have become permanent parts of their fan’s lives and witnessing them go down live like this is practically a mystical experience. The four members grooved hard while bassist Daryl Jones, horns, keys, and backup singers provided support and it’s impossible to not get caught up in this captured performance.

“Tumbling Dice” was brilliant as always, with Charlie Watts driving the beat into the stage while Keith and Ron weaved their guitars into a roaring tapestry. Both players were in fine form that night and the licks and tones that came out of their back line of Fender amps channeled everything we’ve always loved about true rock music. Mick Jagger was also at his best in Brazil. He was a man in constant motion who romanced every bit of his crowd and sang these anthems like the legend he is.

Keith went acoustic on “Wild Horses,” using a gorgeous Guild 12-string on one of the most emotive songs in The Stones’ catalogue. That song is tattooed on the soul of everyone who’s ever heard it and the band delivered it with style and grace. Any Rolling Stones show is like watching a Greatest Hits record go down live and there’s just no way to argue with this kind of legendary material. The ending run of immortal tunes “Get Off Of My Cloud,” “Honky Tonk Women,” “Sympathy For The Devil,” “Start Me Up,” “Brown Sugar,” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” was and is as mighty a sequence of songs as any that’s ever been done by any band.

A Bigger Bang: Live On Copacabana Beach preserves an incredible show by a band that helped create rock and roll as we know it today. The Rolling Stones left everything out there that night on the beach but that’s just how they do it. Let this new set transport you back there and remind you you’re still alive. Highly recommended.

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