This may not be "The Last Time" the Rolling Stones tour.
Yet, I'm sure hoping that it is.
It would probably be best -- for both the band and its fans -- if the Stones decide to hang it up after the current 50 and Counting Tour comes to a close.
More than ever before, the band came across like a pure nostalgia act in concert on Sunday at Oracle Arena. Of course, celebrating old memories is the name of the game in the classic-rock business. Yet, the Stones usually find ways to create cherished new ones as well on their tours.
This time around, however, the group created the wrong kind. The Stones were no better than mediocre in Oakland.
And, really, is that how they want us to remember them?
Time, clearly, is no longer on the Stones' side. The band members range in age from 65 (guitarist Ron Wood) to 71 (drummer Charlie Watts) and it shows. They are still the most impressive senior citizens in rock, yet nowhere near as good as they were on the last tour, A Bigger Bang, which ran from 2005-2007. Just imagine what the situation would be like in, say, another five years.
The band, which performs Wednesday at HP Pavilion in San Jose, didn't do itself any favors by going the arena route this time around. You can hide a lackluster performance amid the pyrotechnics, giant stage props and special effects in a stadium spectacular.
Yet, the 50 and Counting Tour is fairly stripped-down affair, at least by Stones standards, featuring just a giant video screen in back of a lip-shaped stage and a catwalk that loops through the crowd. It put the focus squarely on the band -- and the inadequacies of the band as it exists in 2013.
The show began with a video montage celebrating the band's 50th anniversary, which actually occurred last year. Iggy Pop, Perry Farrell, Martin Scorsese and other famous fans talked about the band's music. The best line belonged to Johnny Depp: "They are great songs to do bad things to."
Unfortunately, the Stones rarely did justice to many of those great songs on this night. The group started out strong, with a double shot of "Get Off of My Cloud" and "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)," but then quickly faded.
The one exception was Mick Jagger, who showed amazing energy and stamina throughout the two-hour-plus show.
The biggest problem was the guitar. Wood and Richards couldn't conjure much magic on any of the songs, even the ones -- like "Brown Sugar" and "Sympathy for the Devil" -- known for juicy leads. Wood managed a handful of above-average solos, especially on the nice version of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" in the encore, but Richards was basically a nonfactor.
And all the Jagger dancing and prancing in the world can't help the Stones if the guitars aren't clicking.
Even the much anticipated return of guitarist Mick Taylor, who was a member of the Stones from 1969 to 1974, didn't help matters much. He appeared in the main set for just one song -- a boorish take on the overrated "Midnight Rambler" — and then was gone.
The biggest shot of electricity came courtesy of the other special guest -- Tom Waits. The eccentric Bay Area troubadour showed up to trade verses with Jagger on the blues standard "Little Red Rooster."
It looks like these special guest appearances will be a regular thing on this tour. In Los Angeles, Keith Urban and Gwen Stefani joined the Stones. Who knows who will show up in San Jose? Maybe it will be Neil Young or, perhaps that guy from Smash Mouth.
After closing the main set with a surprisingly ineffective version of "Sympathy for the Devil," the band regained some steam during a three-song encore of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" (featuring the San Jose State University Choraliers), "Jumping Jack Flash" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction."
It was the only truly satisfying moment of the night.
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The Rolling Stones in Concert
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday
Where: HP Pavilion, San Jose
Tickets: $147-$597; www.ticketmaster.com