Shine A Light

Scorsese's Stones study

Directed by sharp-suited Rolling Stones fan Martin Scorsese, Shine A Light is a document of two New York shows from their Bigger Bang tour in 2006 interspersed with interviews and live footage from the archives. With an award winning camera team in tow, they breathe new life into the live music film with footage so close to the band you can see the white of their eyes and each wrinkle of their craggy faces.

Starting with the behind the scenes preparation, the clash of egos is evident. Scorsese’s exasperation at Jagger’s refusal to give him anything to work with
such as set lists is apparent; Scorsese dryly addresses the camera whilst stating, “Well, we wouldn’t want to burn Mick Jagger now, would we?” after being told by the tour manager that Jagger wouldn’t like the bright lighting as it would “burn him”.

Jagger’s awkwardness is evident throughout, such as blanking Bill Clinton at a meet and greet session. Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards come across as a dastardly duo always up to no good but its drummer Charlie Watts who steals the show with sardonic wit and classic British eccentricity whilst moaning about pretty much everything.

The show itself is as tight as you’d expect from a band who have been doing it for over forty years, but what makes this film stand out however is the way when a particular band member is featured, their playing is pushed right up in the mix making the music come alive to great effect.

Guests include sublime guitar work from blues legend Buddy Guy, an awestruck Jack White attempts Exile on Main Street classic Loving Cup and a caterwauling Christina Aguilera has to put up with some disturbing bumping and grinding by a man almost three times her age. But hey, if it shuts her up…

The undeniable star of the show is Keith Richards who owns the stage and knows it as does Mick much to his annoyance. However when he steps up to the mic for You Got The Silver and Little T and A, it’s like being serenaded by a drunk tramp laughing along to the voices heard in his head.

Finishing with an almost punky retread of Satisfaction, Shine A Light is just the right length for it not to drag and is as near to seeing The Stones live without coming out of it two hundred quid the poorer.

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