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Watson: The Stones' rock film kicked it; Aerosmith up next

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The Peoria Riverfront Museum enjoyed a good turnout for the first-ever Thursdays Rock concert film series last night (Jan. 16), and the featured band, The Rolling Stones, hit it out of the park. The event was sponsored by the museum and 95.5 GLO.

The new Stones' film, "Sweet Summer Sun - Hyde Park Live" will be hard to top. I'd not seen The Stones in over two decades and didn't know what to expect from this film, culled from two shows last summer in London. Amazingly, The Stones still have it, and musically are as strong as ever, which does not compute due to their advanced ages.

The film is shot with God only knows how many panning and zooming cameras and on the Giant Screen Theater's massive screen you see close-ups and facial expressions you could never enjoy seeing The Stones live. You see snappy quick cuts of young hotties singing along to songs that were laid to vinyl before they were born. And the four skinny Stones really seem to be enjoying themselves, smiling throughout the 19-song performance, backed by world class singers and musicians.

Mick Jagger had boundless energy, skipping and dancing and pointing, while singing and shouting the vocals. Keith Richards, the crowd favorite, played his guitar as sharply as ever, dangling a cigarette from his mouth. I liked the Keith ashtray cam and his Greatful Dead patch on his guitar strap, things you'd never see live. Ron Wood was magical on his guitar, making me think he should be on every list of Guitar Gods. And the quiet, precise Charlie Watts was his usual unflappable self. Former Stone Mick Jones returned for a couple songs at the site where he played his first Rolling Stones live show 44 years prior.

The theater was a co-star of this event. The "brightest screen" in America is mammoth and the surround sound is pure. I wouldn't have minded a bit more volume.

Next up is Thursday night's Aerosmith concert film, "Rock for the Rising Sun," shot in 2011 in Japan after the earthquake and subsequent tsunami blasted the country. The Led Zeppelin reunion show from 2007, "Celebration Day" wraps up the series on Thursday, January 30th. Tickets are just $10.

Is it the next best thing to being there? I could argue it's BETTER than being there live.

About the Author
Doc Watson likes to say he's not a real doctor, "but I play one on the radio." A native of Allen Park, Mich., he became a transplanted Peorian in 1996 when he came here to start the Morning Mix TV/radio simulcast show. Now he's a jock with 95.5 GLO and is " happy to be playing the music of my misguided youth." Though known for his voice, he occasionally dabbles with the written word and does that pretty well, too.