The Rolling Stones dug out a deep cut for their recent tour stop at Nissan Stadium in Nashville over the weekend, performing ‘Connection’ for the first time in a decade and a half.
The song, lifted from 1967 album ‘Between the Buttons’, was last played by the band during a Vancouver performance in November of 2006.
“It’s great to be back. It’s great to be anywhere,” Keith Richards told the crowd in Nashville midway through the set as he took over on lead vocals before launching into the song.
“Hey, blessings on us all. Gold rings on us. I’m going to start off with something I haven’t done in years, but this should be fun.”
Watch fan-shot footage of the performance below:
‘Connection’ was penned primarily by Richards, and alludes to the heavy scrutiny the Stones were facing by both the media and authorities around their recreational drug use by early 1967.
“My bags, they get a very close inspection / I wonder why it is that they suspect them,” Richards sings on the second verse of the song – released just weeks before an infamous drug bust that took place during a party at Richards’ home that resulted in charges for both he and Jagger.
A highly-publicised trial followed, with Richards’ sentence eventually overturned and Jagger’s amended to a conditional discharge.
Elsewhere in the setlist during the band’s Nashville stop were favourites like ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’, ‘Honky Tonk Women’ ‘Tumbling Dice’, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ and more. The band also performed the Chi-Lites’ ‘Trouble’s a-Comin” and 1971 cut ‘Dead Flowers’, which was selected by fan request.
One long-standing staple of the Stones’ live sets that wasn’t performed was 1971’s ‘Brown Sugar’, which has been pulled by the band after being played at every one of their concerts for the last 50 years.
Comments made by Richards in a recent interview around the song’s omission suggested its withdrawal may be related to its slavery-referencing opening lyrics, with the guitarist saying he didn’t “want to get into conflicts with all of this shit”.
The Stones’ current US tour – their first since the death of longtime drummer Charlie Watts in August – is set to continue over the coming month with stops in Los Angeles, Tampa, Detroit and more before wrapping up at the Circuit of the Americas F1 track in Austin on November 20.
- READ MORE: Charlie Watts, 1941 – 2021: the ballast that kept The Rolling Stones tempered and on-track
Jagger recently opened up about touring without Watts, whom he called the band’s “heartbeat”.
“Every time we get together now and rehearse, we say, ‘Oh, Charlie would say this, then he would do that’,” the singer said during an interview with Howard Stern late last month.
“We did so many shows with him and so many tours and so many recording sessions, it’s strange being without him. When he was sick, he said, ‘You’ve gotta just carry on and do this tour. Don’t stop because of me.’ So we did.”