Last night's Stones concert lookedBy Tim Ryan
like a familiar family ritual
Oh, how time changes all.
Friday night at Aloha Stadium, the subjects of that story, the Rolling Stones, served as a bridge between the generations.
"The first time the Stones came to Honolulu in the '60s, my parents didn't want me to go because they thought the group was so rebellious, practically satanic," said Laurie Ing, 51, of Kaimuki. "I went anyway. And they were right because I haven't been the same since that concert."
"But I brought my kid to this concert tonight -- had to twist his arm a bit to get him here, but I wanted to show him the best rock band of all time."
The nearly 40,000 frenzied fans from dozing babies to a 74-year-old grandmother at last night's Bridges to Babylon performance couldn't agree more, standing for most of the two hours and 15 minutes which featured four guys over age 50.
"I've heard about the Stones but don't really know any of their songs," said Sharon Sakai, 16, of Kailua. "I really came to hear (opening act blues guitarist) Jonny (Lang). Hey, those Stones really rock but they're old."
The audience demographic was decidedly post-30; gray or streaks of it seemed to be the dominant hair color. But there were lots of 20-somethings and Gen X'ers, many of whom seemed to be sitting with parents.
The Stones strategy to join the generations was done through a shrewd marketing move. The band has enlisted throughout the Bridges tour hot young acts to open for them.
Lester Davis, 56, a disabled Navy veteran who walked to his 20th-row seat with a cane, was up on his feet and swaying with the first rifts of Keith Richards on "Satisfaction."
"I can walk, I can walk!" he screamed, smiling.
You can't say the boomer crowd was totally unaware of their aging, because Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and especially Charlie Watts have all gotten very wrinkled and very gray. Every time their mugs showed up on the giant video screen, those over 50 were graphically reminded of time's passage.
"Talk about craggy!" said Steve Casar, 48, of Diamond Head. "Keith has more wrinkles than an old T-shirt."
Some people went to the concert for the music, to hear the Stones' classics again, because the music is so familiar and the new songs seem so, well, disposable.
Strangely, where going to a Stones concert was once an adventure, even an act of rebellion, last night it looked like a familiar family ritual, about as dangerous as a Yanni concert.
Ed Wary, 52, owner of several Honolulu restaurants including Auntie Pasto's, Dixie Grill and Rodeo Cantina, brought his 12-year-old son Andrew to see the world's greatest band that ever played rock 'n' roll.
"I'm speechless; it was awesome," Wary said after the concert. "I don't think my heart could have handled another song."
"They were great!" son Andrew chimed in. "Really loud -- and I loved when at the end of the show they shower you with all that sparkly stuff," he said referring to the fountains of shiny confetti that were spewed over the crowd. At almost every stop on the tour so far, local papers have reported from the concert about parents with their children, even grandparents with their children and grandchildren.
"My parents said the Stones were the real bad boys in the '60s," said Veronica Story, 18, of Mililani. "They must have toned down because they seem pretty innocent to me. I think Mick is kinda cute even."
Sisters Shanda, 28, and Michelle Freitas, 30, of Mililani hadn't even been born when the Stones made their first U.S. concert appearance 33 years ago. Blame their parents for exposing them to the Rolling Stones.
"This was the kind of music our parents listened to," Michelle said.
"Mom saw them in Hawaii, so we wanted to see what the big deal is," Shanda said.
Sherry North, 47, brought her 16-year-old son to the concert because the Stones had always been her rock idols and "I wanted to share them with him."
"The Stones are the only band of my generation my son accepts," she said.
"They're cool," Todd North admitted.
Richard Fowler flew in from Kona for the concert.
"This is the last concert in the millennium for the Stones and probably the last Stones concert I'll ever see," said Richard Fowler, 64, who last saw the group at Altamont in 1969. "Them and me may not be around much longer."
Perhaps the most amazing thing about last night's show wasn't its immensity but its intimacy. In the middle of the show, a long metal bridge extended from the main stage to a smaller stage set in the middle of the floor.
That made for a tight, clublike setting for such classic gems as "Little Queenie," "This Could Be the Last Time" and Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone."
For a moment the band walks away from the show's campy set. And for a moment the Stones are the way they were 31/2 decades ago, their roots and essence revealed: five guys on a tiny, spotlighted stage, playing the blues.
"I once saw them in a small club that size," John Addler whispered to his daughter, Sherry. "It was so great to be so close, kinda like we are now."
As the group returned to the main stage via the audience, the Stones slapped hands and high-fived with fans.
"Oh my God! I touched Mick Jagger!" a middle-aged woman yelled. "I actually touched Mick Jagger!"
As the show drew to an end, out came the old "Sympathy for the Devil," "Honky Tonk Women" and an appropriately pyrotechnic-enhanced version of "Jumpin' Jack Flash."
"Hey, Dad, is that the song you always play when you're in the garage working?" a boy asked his father, who nodded.
As for the issue of age, get over it. Rock-'n'-rolling is what the Stones do. And they do it well.
"They were awesome, Dad," John Mars said to his father after the concert.
"Ya know, that could be you up there on stage I was watching, except Jagger is older and in better shape."
Rodney "Banks" Laulusa, 30, drew a barrage of gunfire from three officers Thursday night when he ignored repeated warnings to drop two footlong knives and approached to within 6 to 10 feet of police on Ahe Street in Palolo Valley Housing.
Laulusa was within what is called the "kill zone," which is the estimated 20-foot distance between a suspect armed with any sharp-edged object and an officer.
"The appropriate response to an edged weapon is our firearm," Acting Police Chief Lee Donohue said yesterday in the aftermath of Thursday's fatal police shooting of an armed suspect in Palolo.
A suspect within the "kill zone" can deliver a fatal lunge at a officer in less than a second, say police.
Officer Danny Thornton, for example, had a close call last February in a confrontation with Robert Sua on a grassy highway median strip in Waipahu.
Sua was armed with two knives and running toward Thornton as the officer raised his gun.
By the time Thornton fired his first shot, Sua was only 5 to 7 feet away. As he stepped back, Thornton tripped on the curb but managed to fire three more shots before falling down, wounding Sua in the forearm, hip and groin.
"He fell on me," Thornton said at Sua's preliminary hearing last November. "His head was at my crotch and he was still trying to flail at me with the knives."
"Our shooting policy is to stop the threat, not shoot to kill," Donohue said. "In the initial confrontation, (Laulusa) was told to drop his knives and he failed to do so.
Crystal Rose and Ronald Sakamoto, the lawyers for trustees Gerard Jervis and Oswald Stender, yesterday said they plan to examine Stacy Rezentes, one of the estate's in-house counsels, as part of their petition for instructions with the probate court.
Jervis and Stender have alleged that fellow trustees Richard Wong, Henry Peters and Lokelani Lindsey kept information from them and left them out of some decisions affecting the trust.
Wong has denied the charge. His attorney, Phil Brown, yesterday said he may call estate attorney William McCorriston in rebuttal. William Harrison, attorney for Lindsey, said he objected to the calling of any witnesses.
Even with the down trend, most surf was expected to be 10 to 15 feet Saturday -- stronger than normal winter surf, said Roy Matsuda, National Weather Service lead forecaster.
Surf advisories were issued for north shores.
More high surf, reinforced by a developing storm on the other side of the international dateline, is expected Wednesday or Thursday, Matsuda said.
"It will be quite fast-moving," he said. "It'll give 20-foot-plus surf. It should be a quickie."
Meanwhile, he predicted "real fine" weather for Hawaii with sunshine and a few showers over Maui.