Last evening my wife and I attended a private screening of the Shane Meadows film Made Of Stone. Well… it wasn’t completely private, as there was one other woman in the theater.
The film made its much-anticipated premiere across North American screens last night. The feature presentation chronicles the legendary Stone Roses from their reformation announcement in 2011, to their three scheduled shows at Heaton Park in Manchester in late June of 2012, in what has become the most improbable reunion ever. Mr. Meadows brilliantly provides the back story and history of the band by utilizing never seen before footage from the eighties, then appropriately sprinkles it throughout the reunion story.
I’m sure the question on everyone’s mind is… “Did He Cry?” I will say this, as a huge fan of the band, the part about the surprise free gig in Warrington’s Parr Hall is emotionally draining. To watch the entire day of May 23, 2012 unfold; from the announcement of the show, to the distribution of wristbands, and finally the show itself, was an amazing journey. The stories shared by fans of what the band means to them while waiting in line were passionate; the utter joy of those receiving a wristband and the disappointment of those being left standing in line without one is heartfelt. The segment is capped off with a girl holding the setlist after the show, which almost… got me choked up.
I know that Shane has been criticized journalistically for not digging deeper into to what actually happened at the Amsterdam show that led to drummer Reni temporarily walking away from the band. I’m down with the way Shane presented it, because we already knew it was going to be a happy ending. Allowing the band the privacy to work things out might have led to the magical mega extended performance of “Fools Gold” from Heaton Park that concludes the movie. That magnificent 10 minute plus rendition of “Fools Gold” was well worth the $11.50 plus fandango fees I paid to get into the joint. A band that hasn’t played together for nearly16 years doesn’t rehearse that in 10 weeks, it’s the end result of being one of THE greatest bands ever…Just sayin.
This film is a must-see on the big screen if you’re a fan of the band. The ultimate indeep experience that Shane Meadows provides is unforgettable, but not, I repeat not, a tear jerker.
Encore performances of the documentary are currently being shown in select theaters. Do your eyes and ears a favor.
Check out the Made Of Stone website for a list of U.S. screenings.
The film drops in the U.S. on Blu-ray, DVD, and VCR Tape on December 3.