Stones kick off 50th anniversary tour
LONDON - The Rolling Stones rocked a crowd of 20,000 with the first of five concerts to mark their 50th anniversary.
Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood were joined by their original bass player Bill Wyman at the O2 Arena on Sunday as the ageing rockers performed their first major concert in five years. Jagger made light of criticism of ticket prices for the sold-out gig - fans paid as much as $650 for a standard seat and thousands more on ticket resale sites.
“How’re you doing in the cheap seats? They’re not that cheap though, that’s the problem,” Jagger joked.
The band opened with “I Want to be Your Man”, with 69-year-old Jagger strutting around the giant stage dressed in a silver jacket and trilby, before launching into “Get Off of My Cloud”.
U.S. soul diva Mary J Blige joined Jagger on “Gimme Shelter” and guitarist Jeff Beck added a flourish to “I’m Going Down”.
The Stones welcomed another former member, guitarist Mick Taylor, to play on “Midnight Gambler”.
Jagger donned a black feathered cape to perform “Sympathy for the Devil” while a red light was trained on him, before a rousing rendition of “Jumping Jack Flash” ended the night.
Daily Telegraph critic Neil McCormick said the Stones rose to the occasion, laying claim to the title of the world’s greatest band “with some style and panache”.
Noting one of the encores, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, McCormick wrote: “Well, maybe sometimes, for the right ticket price, you actually can.”
Tickets for the two London concerts were sold out in seven minutes last month.
The London shows are the first part of the “50 And Counting” performances to mark the Stones’ half century in the music business, with a concert in New York and two in Newark to follow next month.