Stones’ Initial Bang

While The Rolling Stones‘ tour-launching performance at Boston’s Fenway Park went off with nary a hitch August 21st, there were a few concerns offstage.

Many watched horrified as an unidentified 20-year-old woman fell more than 35 feet from the rafters, breaking both her ankles and a wrist. Witnesses said the woman climbed into the rafters above the ballpark’s right-field bleachers and stayed there for some time. Firefighters were in route but did not reach her before she fell.

The woman was listed in stable condition the next day at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Before the show, about 30 protesters reportedly gathered in front of Fenway Park to protest a fund-raiser that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was having at the concert. The protest apparently caused no problems.

Meanwhile, police officers armed with noise meters were stationed outside the venue monitoring noise levels on the streets surrounding Fenway Park. But the levels apparently did not reach the agreed-upon maximum of 70 decibels so concert organizers did not have to worry about turning down the volume.

One onstage problem turned out to be the expensive, much-hyped onstage seats that are supposed to bring fans closer to the band. As it turns out, the seats (actually there are no seats; it’s SRO) are a series of tall balconies that stretch out from the huge screen backdrop. Some fans standing 40 to 60 feet above the band were less than thrilled with their experience, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Despite that, Mick and the boys were said to be as spry as ever by some of the concert-goers who got to witness the first gig of the 37-city, 42-show tour.

The Stones kicked off the two-hour show with “Start Me Up,” then three more traditionals before playing a tune off the upcoming album, A Bigger Bang, their first studio album in eight years and a sound that returns to their roots.

And “bigger” is the key word here. It takes about 70 trucks to transport the band’s gigantic stages and equipment.

Fenway Park does not normally host concerts, with the Stones third in line after Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Buffett. The band’s last tour, Forty Licks, also launched in Beantown.