Shine a Light Review

Amy Julian

If you think Keith Richards looks like a corpse on strings, wait ’til you see his cratered face and sagging jowls in 3D. I’ve never really considered myself a Rolling Stones fan; I only really know a few songs and don’t own a single album. But when I saw the previews to the Rolling Stones 3D movie, “Shine a Light,” while at the U2 3D show, I turned to my boyfriend and told him I really wanted to see it. Maybe it’s the intensity of IMAX or the hilarious visual of a 60-year-old Mick Jagger prancing around the stage in velvet, but “Shine a Light” delivers laughs and a really good time.

Directed by the famed Martin Scorsese (a huge Stones fan himself), “Shine a Light” is a compilation of concert footage from their epic 2006 tour, old snippets of a fresh-faced group of guys, interviews and behind-the-scenes clips of what it really takes to keep up with the Stones. With 17 cameras on the stage with the band as they play at the Beacon Theatre in NYC, the crowd gets an up-close look from every angle of the band doing their thing.

Scorsese does a great job at putting together all of the footage, though there are times during the film where he doesn’t really seem to know what the heck is going on. His anxiety and nervousness about making sure everything is in order and knowing exactly what’s going to happen next is a perfect foil to the Stones’ laid back, just-don’t-give-a-crap attitude. The interactions between the Stones and Scorsese are priceless, and it’s clear who the director of the show really is, only minutes into it.

The Rolling Stones, while in their 60s, still can hang with the best of them. In fact, comparing the newer (well, older) Stones to their younger days, they seem to have even more energy onstage and off now; they were kind of boring back in their heyday. Sharing the stage with artists like Jack Black and grinding up on Christina Aguilera while performing an energetic “Live with Me,” the Stones’ highlight of the night was the collaboration with Buddy Guy. Absolutely phenomenal.

Admittedly, I didn’t know some of the songs they played, but the ones I did know (including “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “Jack Flash”) were toe-tapping and fun. If you’re expecting to hear “Gimme Shelter,” you may be disappointed, as they (for some reason) don’t play it. Still, seeing the explosive visuals and the intense emotion the band has on stage is enough to make any music fan happy.

The Rolling Stones, while old, are actually pretty hilarious, as the behind-the-scenes footage will prove. They are a bunch of screwed-up old timers who are doing what they love and prove they can still give the audience what they want (and more). Even if you’ve never heard the Stones before, come out from under your rock and see “Shine a Light.” It will not disappoint.