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Old July 31, 2003, 00:38   #1
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450,000 attend concert in Toronto

Stones rock out at Toronto's 'biggest party'
Last Updated Thu, 31 Jul 2003 0:28:29

TORONTO - Close to 450,000 people spent the day at a Toronto airfield as the Rolling Stones headlined the country's largest-ever rock concert, all to help the city shake off the effects of the SARS outbreak.

The crowd roared in delight as the Rolling Stones took to the stage. Wearing a hot pink coat, frontman Mick Jagger energetically bounded across the stage as the band launched into Start Me Up, followed by Brown Sugar.

"This is the biggest party in Toronto's history, right?" Jagger shouted to the crowd. "You're here. We're here. Toronto is back and it's booming."

The Stones' 90-minute set also included Ruby Tuesday, Honkey Tonk Woman and Satisfaction.

Before the Rolling Stones, Australian rock band AC/DC whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

The crowd grew louder with each tune in the band's set, which wrapped up with Let There Be Rock and Highway to Hell Lead guitarist Angus Young dropped his pants during the band's performance of The Jack and revealed a pair of Maple Leaf boxer shorts.

Canadian prog rockers Rush topped the native talent at the SARS benefit concert.

Canadian rock legends The Guess Who took the stage before them as the concert went into its seventh hour.

The band played some of its classic songs such as No Sugar Tonight and American Woman, and borrowed Taking Care of Business from Randy Bachman's other band, Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

Pop star Justin Timberlake got a few boos, but also a lot of cheers from the crowd as the evening program of the concert started.

Timberlake, of the boy band *NSYNC, was something of an odd man out in the lineup dominated by hard rock acts.

He donned a trucker hat and used some blue language to try to ingratiate himself to the rock audience, but some in the crowd still threw water bottles and other debris onto the stage.

Later, Timberlake said the crowd's reaction was understandable.

Blue Rodeo and the Isley Brothers brought the concert into its fifth hour Wednesday as temperatures soared above 30 degrees and Toronto health officials handed out free bottles of water to keep people hydrated.

Montreal's Sass Jordan and guitarist Jeff Healey had the challenge of following the giant balloons and animal dancers of Oklahoma's The Flaming Lips.

The Lips' set raised a few eyebrows in the crowd, though, when some of the dancers appeared wearing SARS masks.

Lead singer Wayne Coyne said the masks would be removed during their set, but the symbolism was apparently lost on some in the audience.

Following The Tea Party's set in the third hour, security hosed down the scorched crowd gathered in front of the stage.

Hundreds of people were treated for heat-related conditions as temperatures rose well over 30 degrees, but no serious injuries were reported.

The music started shortly after noon with Jann Arden singing the national anthem and Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi and the Have Love Will Travel Revue leading off the performances.

Aykroyd shared hosting duties with comedian Mike Bullard.

Montreal rocker Sam Roberts and Ottawa singer Kathleen Edwards and Quebec's La Chicane took the stage in the second hour.

Roberts later said he'd never been so nervous since his early violin recitals.

Sam Roberts

"It's intimidating to get involved in something that you know is so much bigger than what you feel like you can actually contribute to," said Roberts.

Edwards faced the crowd with dry humour.

"Too bad they didn't sell enough tickets," she later told CBC Newsworld.

Edwards said it was "fantastic" to play before such a large crowd, but said it was "unfortunate that more money wasn't going toward the charities."

Largest-ever Canadian concert

Predicted to be the largest paid music event in North American history, the concert also attracted a host of politicians including Paul Martin, Agriculture Minister Lyle Vanclief and Health Minister Anne McLellan, who were on hand for a fundraiser for the hotel industry.

Premiers Ernie Eves of Ontario, Ralph Klein of Alberta, Lorne Calvert of Saskatchewan and Gary Doer of Manitoba were alongside them.

The gates were supposed to open at 8 a.m., but actually opened at 8:15. The assembled fans were starting to get mildly rowdy as a result, said CBC reporter Amanda Singroy.

One person was arrested as a result and charged with assaulting a police officer.

Security a concern

As they entered, the concert-goers were being checked by security guards equipped with metal detectors. A long list of items were banned, from pocket knives to umbrellas.

A taste of Toronto fashion

The nightmare scenario for police and concert promoters is a repeat of the chaos and vandalism that reigned after the 30th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival. The 1999 version ended with tents, booths and even sound equipment being burned.

There are 1,500 security guards at the Downsview site, plus 1,300 police to help keep order.

"I want us to be invisible," Staff Supt. Gary Grant of the Toronto Police told CBC Newsworld. Other than offering help, police plan to step in only if someone was causing trouble and spoiling things for others, he said.

To keep a lid on any alcohol-fuelled behaviour, the beer tents were shut down at 8 p.m.
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Old July 31, 2003, 00:40   #2
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Rolling Stones

Something I can always thank Britain for, as they are my favorite band.
Lets face it. We flamiing queers have more appeal then Pat Robertson and other religious wackos. We have shows that are really growing in popularity. We have more channels (Q TV, Logo Channel). And we help people in their style issues (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy). The last thing I saw a religious preacher did was ask for $5 in a "generous pledge" to help his bank account in Zurich, erhm, some starving kids in Zimbabwe.
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Old July 31, 2003, 00:52   #3
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I play "The East is Red" for this occasion
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Old July 31, 2003, 01:45   #4
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The city, the Province is rocking tonight Figure it 1 out of 20 people in this province are in a park partying.
Jim Belushi, Dan Aykroyd And Have Love Will Travel Revue, Sam Roberts, Kathleen Edwards, La Chicane, Tea Party, The Flaming Lips, Sass Jordan, Jeff Healey, The Isley Brothers, Blue Rodeo, Justin Timberlake, The Guess Who, Rush, AC/DC The Rolling Stones rummor has it U2 and a few others are going to join in... You can pick up pieces of it on Much Music...

As a show of support to both Toronto and Alberta’s beef farmers, the City Of Calgary has secured the right to simulcast Toronto’s SARS concert in the Pengrowth Saddledome. Organizers are hoping that tourists who can’t make it to Toronto for the actual concert will travel to Calgary to watch it on the big screen, and hopefully enjoy a few burgers or a nice juicy steak while they’re there.

The Calgary show will be free, but tickets will be required to get in. Organizers are planning to distribute about 50,000 tickets. The Saddledome only holds 22,000 people, but they’re counting on the fact that most people will only come for select acts rather than sitting through the entire eight hour show.

As for the actual Toronto show, organizers are predicting that ticket sales will plateau at about 430,000. For those that can’t make it to either Toronto or Calgary, it is expected that MuchMusic and CBC will be granted broadcast rights to telecast the entire event. That deal won’t be secured until each band on the bill agrees to participate in the telecast.
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Old July 31, 2003, 03:05   #5
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499,999 people attended if you don't count Agathon, who had a free ticket.

It was very good. The Guess Who probably put on the best performance, but AC/DC were not far behind. The Stones were excellent too.

Justin Timberlake got booed when he came out. He did play well though and won over the crowd. I don't like his music but he is a talented performer whatever anyone says.
Only feebs vote.
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Old July 31, 2003, 05:47   #6
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I just got home now. It was crazy trying to get out of Toronto. There was alot of security hype but I walked into the park without being checked at all. The Rolling Stones were great but AC/DC got alot more energy flowing through the crowd. The Guess Who were awsome but I missed most of Rush's set. I kept looking for Ralph Klein to cook me a burger but it turns out that he only flipped a few steaks and took off to his private area. I felt sorry for Justin Timberlake who came out to support the city but still got things thrown at him.
All in all it was a great concert with a great line up and it was my first concert going experience.
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Old July 31, 2003, 05:59   #7
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Seems like a great concert.
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Old July 31, 2003, 06:25   #8
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Old July 31, 2003, 11:50   #9
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Old August 1, 2003, 00:51   #10
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