The long-awaited concert is the first of two London shows and three US shows
The Rolling Stones tonight (November 25) played the first of two long-awaited shows at London’s O2 Arena to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band.
As well as previously announced guests and former members Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor, the band were also joined by Mary J Blige, who added vocals to ‘Gimme Shelter’, and rocker Jeff Beck, who played guitar on 1969’s ‘I’m Going Down’. Bassist Wyman played with the Stones from 1962 until 1992 while guitarist Taylor was with them from 1969 to 1974. This is the first time the two have played with the band since that time.
The show began half an hour late at 8.30pm. A video showed clips of Stones fans including Iggy Pop, Elton John and AC/DC’s Angus Young explaining what the Stones mean to them. One of the talking heads, actor Johnny Depp, described their songs as “music that makes you want to do bad things”. Next, a tribe of percussionists wearing gorilla masks – a nod to the new compilation ‘GRRR!’ – paraded around the arena, before the band launched into the Lennon-McCartney-penned ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’.
During ‘All Down The Line’, the backdrop showed footage of Stones heroes, from Chuck Berry to Elvis Presley. The setlist spanned the band’s 50-year career, with tracks ranging from 1963’s ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ to this year’s ‘One More Shot’ and ‘Doom And Gloom’, which Jagger introduced by saying it was time for “Their Satanic Majesties… in full,” jokingly pretending the band would play the divisive 1967 psychedelic album.
Keith Richards took guest vocals on ‘Before They Make You Run’, from 1978’s ‘Some Girls’ album, and ‘Happy’, from ‘Exile On Main St’. A full choir joined the band for an encore of ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’, and the show ended with ‘Jumping Jack Flash’. ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ was reportedly also on the setlist, but was not played due to the venue’s curfew.
At one point, singer Mick Jagger jokingly addressed one of the most-discussed aspects of the show – the price of tickets, which ranged from £90 to nearly £400 – saying “How’s everyone in the cheap seats? The problem is they’re not so cheap!”
Some tickets were being touted outside the venue – also the scene of the last UK Stones shows – for upwards of £3000. The Rolling Stones at The O2 – five mightiest moments
The Rolling Stones played:
‘I Wanna Be Your Man’
‘Get Off Of My Cloud’
‘It’s All Over Now’
‘Paint It Black’
‘Gimme Shelter’ (with Mary J Blige)
‘All Down The Line’
‘I’m Going Down’ (with Jeff Beck)
‘Out Of Control’
‘One More Shot’
‘Doom And Gloom’
‘It’s Only Rock’N’Roll’ (with Bill Wyman)
‘Honky Tonk Woman’
‘Before They Make Me Run’
‘Midnight Rambler’ (with Mick Taylor)
‘Start Me Up’
‘Sympathy For The Devil’
‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ (with choir)
‘Jumping Jack Flash’
The Rolling Stones will play the O2 Arena again on Thursday (November 29). They will also perform at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on December 8 and at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on December 13 and 15.