Blu-ray Review: The Rolling Stones - Olé Olé Olé! A Trip Across Latin America

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A chronicle of The Rolling Stones' 2016 concert tour through Latin America, Olé Olé Olé! brings to light some of the challenges the band met when planning their show in Cuba. Over the course of two months, the Stones traveled to eight countries and played a total of 14 sold-out shows. Cuba, the tour closer, was the biggie—an estimated 500,000 attended the free show. This was the first rock and roll concert of its kind to grace Cuban soil since the uprising of Fidel Castro and communism.

But beyond that, Olé Olé Olé! is a wider-reaching testament to the unifying, border-defying power of music. Four of the countries along the tour were new territory for the Stones. Hard to believe, considering the band has been all over the world many times over the last several decades. We hear from the band themselves about their bond with fans in Latin America, fans who if anything appear even more rabidly enthusiastic than those in the U.S. and U.K. The excitement to perform in new countries, for audiences who've never had the chance to see them, is expressed by the Stones in understated fashion.

Make no mistake, Olé Olé Olé! is not a concert film. Havana Moon, also available from Eagle Rock Entertainment, presents the concert in Cuba. These two releases are perfect companion pieces, with Olé! being the one to watch first as it offers more context. The logistical problems of doing something that essentially hadn't been done before. The curtain is pulled back, allowing for a peek at the incredible amount of work that goes into such massive tours. We meet various members of the Stones' management team and hear directly from them about the challenges involved in planning the Cuba concert. Not the least of the concerns was the landmark visit by President Obama that resulted in a date change for the Stones.



There are also many terrific moments between the Stones themselves, highlighted by a backstage unplugged duet between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of "Honky Tonk Women." There are also glimpses of the various concerts themselves, but again the focus remains solidly on behind-the-scenes stuff. We see the guys hanging out with locals, dancing and generally having a good time. In Brazil, Ron Wood meets with artist Ivald Granato to continue their painting collaborations. Sadly, Granato passed away just months after the Stones' visit. Amidst it all, we see some truly stunning scenery and cityscapes in the various locations. Even those not hooked on the music of The Rolling Stones (for shame!) might find Olé Olé Olé! interesting as both a travelogue piece and for its historical significance (i.e. the landmark concert in Cuba).

While it's highly recommended to pair Olé Olé Olé! A Trip Across Latin America with Havana Moon, those looking for unadulterated Stones rock and roll will find it in Olé's special features. The disc features nearly an hour of performances culled from concerts in Argentina, Brazil, and Peru (since no numbers from the Cuba date are included, there's no overlap between this and Havana Moon).

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Chaz Lipp is a Seattle-based freelance writer whose focus is music and film. As “The Other Chad,” he has written for the online magazine Blogcritics since 2008. When he’s not writing, Chaz can be found trolling jazz clubs, attempting to find somewhere to play his sax (whether anyone wants to hear…

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