Music Review: Rolling Stones' 'Hackney Diamonds' live album will give you serious party FOMO

This cover image released by Polydor/Universal shows the live edition of "Hackney Diamonds" by the Rolling Stones. (Polydor/Universal via AP) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

“How ya doing?” Mick Jagger asks the crowd, arriving for a club gig in Manhattan.

You read that right: A club gig. And how would YOU be doing if you were in a club and the house band turned out to be The Rolling Stones?

True, it wasn’t a total surprise when Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood, plus some invited musicians and one very high-profile guest, showed up to play at Racket NYC, capacity around 600, back in October. The crowd, industry folk and VIPs like Elvis Costello and Trevor Noah, had gathered to fete the release of “Hackney Diamonds,” the Stones’ first album of new songs in 18 years.

There were hopes, but most didn't know the band would be playing seven tunes — four from the new album and three longtime hits, including “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” Few can say they were there, but now there’s one way to recreate the experience: “Hackney Diamonds (Live Edition),” a two-disc CD out Friday, includes both the studio album and the live show.

“We’re gonna play old, we’re gonna play new!” Jagger tells the crowd. First, the old: “Shattered,” in which the band sings about New York, of course, where the crime rate's “going up, up, up." That was back in 1978, but guess what, we've still got “rats on the West Side” (arguably more) and yes, “bed bugs uptown,” too.

We next get “Angry,” the big (now Grammy-nominated) single from “Hackney Diamonds,” in which Mick pleads, “Don't get angry with me, I never caused you no pain.” By the end, though, he’s off to Brazil. And then “Whole Wide World,” with Richards and Wood sounding like they're having an especially good time (in videos, the band is smiling a lot — surely energized by enthusiasm over the new album).

“Everywhere I’m looking there’s memories of my past,” the song goes, but these lads — now 80 (Mick and Keith) and 76 (Ronnie) — also give a nod to the future: “And you think the party is over, but it’s only just begun...”

Another oldie, “Tumbling Dice,” features terrific backup vocals from Chanel Haynes. That aggressive vibe from “Angry” returns with “Bite My Head Off” — but alas no Paul McCartney, who played bass for the studio album. Might Sir Paul join the band on a tour date? One can dream.

A rollicking “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” often the band’s encore song, closes out the show — well, for a second, because we know the Stones always come back.

And they do, with the gospel-infused “Sweet Sounds of Heaven." Mick starts it off and then, sure enough, Lady Gaga comes out to do her vocal dueling thing with the frontman, the two trading “Oh yeah!” howls.

At the end, Gaga salutes this up-and-coming bar band: “New York City, The Rolling Stones!” Jagger suggests: ”Let's take a bow."

And now, on to the arenas. To anyone who saw them in this tiny venue: Congrats. For everyone else, the FOMO is real.


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