The latest offering in The Rolling Stones' “From the Vault” series is, unlike many of the other previous releases, not a vintage offering at all. “From the Vault: Sticky Fingers Live at the Fonda Theatre 2015,” which hits the streets Sept. 29, was a show in the very intimate Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles that kicked off their North American Zip Code tour that year. The special show marked the first time the band had ever played the entire 1971 “Sticky Fingers” album live. It was done to promote the re-release of the album.
As artificial as the whole “From the Vault” aspect of this show is, it's a good piece of entertainment. You might expect the band to play the album in order from start to finish, but Mick Jagger jokes as they begin that the band was going to play in 8-track order, which probably set a few people Googling to see what he meant.
The whole performance, however, is quite good, which isn't a surprise since the album the music was taken from is one of their best from that era. “Sway,” which kicks off the “Sticky Fingers” portion of the set, sets the spark for the rest of the great set. The only song that suffers is “Moonlight Mile” thanks to a bad vocal intro by Jagger and some sour notes on guitar by either Ron Wood or Keith Richards.
The set comes in various configurations with video (DVD or Blu-ray) and audio (CD or LP). The video version has an edited version of the show interspersed with a few interview segments by various members of the band, while the audio discs feature the entire concert as it was played. The DVD and Blu-ray have the songs left off the set included as bonus tracks. Besides the “Sticky Fingers” songs and a few other Stones songs, the set includes a tribute to B.B. King with the bluesy “Rock Me Baby” in the encore.
One notable video segment has dueling comments about the shooting of the controversial cover done by Andy Warhol from two of several who have claimed it's them – Joe Dallesandro and Corey Tippin. To refresh your memory, the cover showed a male model in extremely tight jeans. The original album included a real zipper you could pull down, which would reveal the model's underwear. Apparently, the Stones themselves, from their comments, don't know who it is. Further, it's also funny to hear Charlie Watts say he couldn't even remember what the memorable cover looked like.
Overall, the band sounds good performing these old songs.Though this isn't the most exciting of these retro Stones releases, if anything, “From the Vault: Sticky Fingers Live at the Fonda Theatre 2015” proves that these old Stones songs are still rocking and have aged nicely after all these years.