The Rolling Stones played their first show of 2021 last night (September 20) and dedicated it to drummer Charlie Watts – watch the footage below.
During the show, Mick Jagger addressed the audience and said: “This is our first show of our 2021 tour, so this is it, it’s a try out, it’s the debut night for us.”
He then added: “I must also say, it’s a bit of a poignant night for us because it’s the first tour we’ve done in 59 years without our lovely Charlie Watts,” who died last month aged 80.
“We all miss Charlie so much. We miss him as a band, we miss him as friends on and off the stage.”
— Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) September 21, 2021
“We’ve got so many memories of Charlie and I’m sure some of you who have seen us before have memories of Charlie as well. I hope you will remember him like we do. We’d like to dedicate this show to Charlie,” continued Jagger, during the speech he later shared on Twitter. “Let’s have a drink to Charlie.”
“Charlie, we’re praying for you man and playing for you,” added Ronnie Wood.
The gig, a private concert at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, comes ahead of The Rolling Stones’ 13-date run of US shows which kicks off on September 26 in St Louis.
At the start of August, it was confirmed that Watts wouldn’t be joining The Rolling Stones on their ‘No Filter’ tour due to an undisclosed illness. It was later announced that longtime Stones associate Steve Jordan would be filling in for him.
Watts then sadly died on August 24, prompting tributes to pour in from across the music world.
“In a band where the spotlight would go to especially Mick and Keith, a lot of people truly didn’t understand how valuable he was,” said Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich.
According to Royal Blood’s Ben Thatcher: “He influenced every rock’n’roll drummer. None of us would be doing what we’re doing without him. He evolved rock’n’roll music. He brought the shuffle and the swing to rock music. He brought the roll to rock’n’roll.”