On “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” he played jazz improvisation, counterbalancing the song’s defiant swagger. Taylor disappeared into his playing, illuminating songs from the band’s repertoire, even refusing to stop after everyone had – at one point, Keith Richards, the Stones’ principal guitarist, had to touch him on the shoulder to let him know it was time to move along.
Taylor proved a needed counterpart to Mr. Richards, who hung back coloring in songs through simple chords, or sticking to what he often refers in interviews as “guitar weaving,” which involves interspersing his playing against another guitarist, usually Ron Wood, who delivered power chord riffs on command, but shined most adding a slide to his playing, giving songs that threaten to sound too polished an unkempt racket.
While the three guitarists played three distinct roles but at the same time, they all interacted with Mick Jagger, who at age 69, did not show any signs of burning out or fading away.
He demanded the audience stay with him, and if his constant stream of finger commands didn’t work, he tried wiggling each of his legs in several directions; in one moment, he slid across the stage so effortlessly, it created the impression it was atop nothing but air.
While Mr. Jagger’s tight relationship with Richards is legendary, he often looked more magnetized to Taylor. Both men started “Midnight Rambler” bunched tightly together – Jagger on harmonica – and the lengthy blues looked back to the band’s Chicago roots.
Except for temporarily donning a ridiculous furry black cape, Jagger restrained from wearing anything but stretchy black clothing – that is, except for a Chicago Blackhawks jersey he held up, but did not try on, to salute the team’s recent conference semifinals victory.
“On Monday, we decided to do the Rolling Stones On Ice,” he offered.