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STONES HEAT UP TO ROLLING BOIL AT L.A. CONCERT

SHARE STONES HEAT UP TO ROLLING BOIL AT L.A. CONCERT

It's only rock and roll but we like it - and the Rolling Stones know it.

Greeted by 70,000 screaming fans, the Stones kicked off a four-night run in the L.A. Coliseum and proved that, although rock's original bad boys may show their age occasionally, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and company can still put on an energetic, electrifying show.First up was Living Colour, looking a little overshadowed by the Rolling Stones' impressive staging. Cory Glover's head-spinning style and Vernon Reid's funk-flavored hard-rock guitar proved Living Colour came to play.

From the anti-racist song "Funny Vibe" to the big hit "Cult of Personality," the new band was out to show the crowd it could play with the best.

Next on stage was Guns 'n Roses, the most popular band to come out of L.A. in years.

And upon reaching the microphone, in his first words, lead singer Axl Rose profanely abused the crowd, and then turned on critics for having said the song "One in a Million" is anti-black, anti-gay and anti-immigrant. Rose denied the charges . . . and then went on to use ethnic slurs to criticize blacks, gays and immigrants.

Later Rose also attacked his fellow band members - and said he was sick of them and was quitting the band.

Guns 'n Roses performed the songs "It's So Easy" and "Patience," and during the song "Welcome to the Jungle" Rose fell face first off the stage. Helped back up by a member of the road crew, Rose appeared to be all right and finished the concert.

Rose is known for erratic behavior and contemptuous moods, so we can only wait to see if he stays with the band.

Then, during blinding blasts of flame and smoke, the Rolling Stones appeared on stage and proceeded to perform a slick and very well rehearsed set of songs new and old in their distinctive R&B bad-boy style.

As the fans roared, the Stones opened with their 1981 hit "Start Me Up." Lead singer Mick Jagger was in top form and kept up a hectic pace, running at full speed all over the stage, as the band played one hit after another for three solid hours.

Jagger emerged from the initial stagecraft confusion dressed in a long-tailed, double-breasted green leather coat with gold buttons; a loose-fitting silk shirt, complete with bow tie; and tight, black pants, strutting just as he has for over 25 years.

The Stones, of course, first came on the scene in the mid-'60s and hit the top with their big hit "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." The band dug down deep and pulled out that classic and other familiar tunes for the "old folks in the crowd," as Jagger put it. "Ruby Tuesday," "Paint It Black" and a hot harmonica solo on "Little Red Rooster" gave veteran fans a nostalgic blast from the past, and gave the younger Living Colour and Guns 'n Roses fans a taste of the stuff rock 'n' roll - Stones style - is made of.

The Stones also performed material from their just-released album "Steel Wheels." They whaled on songs like "Sad Sad Sad," "Mixed Emotions" and "Rock and a Hard Place," proving Jagger and lead guitarist Richards could reunite, iron out their differences and come back together for yet another album.

The stage, resembling a partially destroyed cityscape of towers and ramps, provided a place for Jagger, Richards and even the horn section to play hide and seek. The crowd never knew where they would be next, or how they got there so quickly.

Then, during the song "Honky Tonk Woman," two 40-foot inflatable dolls, one a scantily dressed blonde grasping a cigarette, the other a brunette in aerobic attire, rocked back and forth to the guitar work of Ron Wood, the bass of Bill Wyman and the drum beat of Charlie Watts.

It has been eight long years since the Stones toured the United States, and the L.A. crowd had missed them. The fans stayed on their feet, dancing and singing along with every song from beginning to end.

"Harlem Shuffle," "Street Fighting Man," "Sympathy for the Devil," "Undercover of the Night," "Tumblin' Dice," "It's Only Rock and Roll," Brown Sugar" and the final song, "Jumpin' Jack Flash," proved the Stones are still one of the greatest bands in rock and roll - a test to the saying a Rolling Stone gathers no moss.