By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Mar 31, 2015 at 7:35 AM

Over the last four decades I’ve seen plenty of big star shows, Rod Stewart, The Who, Madonna, Faith Hill and Tony Bennett, but nothing has ever matched the sheer excitement of seeing the Rolling Stones.

On stage there is hardly an act that brings as much energy, sexual power and showmanship as the Stones.

I’ve seen them three times, once in 1972 at Madison Square Garden, again in 1975 at Milwaukee County Stadium and, the most memorable, on Sept. 9, 1989, at Alpine Valley in East Troy.

The show in Madison Square Garden was powerful, with all the magic you can get only in New York. The crowd, I remember, was full of celebrities and dressed to the nines with a joyful atmosphere.

The opening act was Stevie Wonder and I recall him joining the band for an encore of "Satisfaction."

In 1965 my most vivid memory was the band playing The Temptations’ classic "Ain’t Too Proud to Beg," the first time I’d heard that one.

The Alpine Valley show was the most memorable of all.

The weather was terrible, with rain starting in the morning and running through the afternoon. I went to the concert with Dr. Robert Peterkin, the Milwaukee superintendent of schools. He had a big old brown Mercedes, and we got stuck in the mud when we tried to leave.

Alpine Valley was a stage absolutely made for the Stones.

With Mick Jagger on one side of the stage and Keith Richards on the other, you got a sense of the raw and coordinated power of this band. When Jagger moved from one side of the stage to the other, Richards slid across the stage to take his place.

While Jagger was the preening peacock, Richards was like a slithery snake, waiting to pounce on the unwary.

The sound from the band was huge. It seemed to ring down from all corners of the space. We were in the fifth or sixth row and talking was impossible for anyone, In order to react to each song, the crowd only used smiles or other sorts of silent signals.

There was a lot of confusion due to the size of the crowd. Rumors spread throughout the evening that the concert had been oversold and some level of anger was present until the Stones took the stage. I do remember that once they started, the anger disappeared and the night was turned over to music.

A complete run-down of the Stones' Brew City performances is here.

Photo courtesy Rich Zimmermann Photography.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as OnMilwaukee.com keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.