Although it was a very brave and capable performance under pressure, Mick Jagger’s performance before President Obama at the House struck me as extremely self-conscious and even rather nervous at times, most especially during Miss You. This is doubtless largely due to the horribly politically correct audience.
There were several moments where everything in the room seemed so silent, as the audience with turgid politeness watched Mick’s strange antics, without making even a sound. Must have been quite unnerving for him. As stated, Mick Jagger sang the song in a uncharacteristically self-conscious way, like I have never seen him do before with the Rolling Stones. Also, the attempted rapport with the singing girls really fell completely flat. And the harmonica solo, although rather innovative since it is usually never done on this song, did not work very well, breaking up what little momentum there was.
Although Mick Jagger is one of the most famous front-men in the world, when he is by himself, he never seems to measure up to anything like as much as when he is with the Rolling Stones. This performance is a classic example of that.
I remember a few decades back… when the Rolling Stones came to London, they played the 70,000 (or so) Wembley Stadium several nights in a row. When Mick Jagger came to town with his solo tour around the same year or maybe the year after, he played the Hammersmith Odeon/Apollo; a former cinema housing just a couple of thousand. Big difference. There is a good reason for that. And actually, the same thing happens when Keith Richards does his solo tours too.
Just like Springsteen’s massively diminished popularity when he cut loose of the E-Street band for a decade, the Rolling Stones are ONE cohesive unit. They never “cut it” to anywhere near the same extent when they are by themselves, solo.
Anyway, a brave performance nevertheless. Let’s not get into what the heck Mick Jagger was even doing there in the first place. I imagine the other members were invited but some must have declined. Wasn’t it Keith Richards who refused to accept his knighthood?…