The Rolling Stones unofficially kicked off their 50th anniversary tour with a secret show at a small Los Angeles club last week, but Friday’s real opener at the Staples Center was anything but quiet or modest. The Stones opened their more than two-hour set with the UCLA marching band coming through the crowd (which included various celebrities, including Jack Nicholson in his usual Lakers spot, natch) playing the familiar chords of “Satisfaction.”
The Stones put on a show that included guest spots from Gwen Stefani and Keith Urban, as well as former Stones guitarist Mick Taylor. Proving that they’ve still got the moves, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and Charlie Watts (age total combined: 274) strutted their stuff on a stage that jutted out from a pair of lips into their unmistakable tongue logo that allowed the band to walk into the crowd, or in Mick’s case, skip.
Celebrating 50 years as a band is no small feat and the show opened with a video montage of famous fans reminiscing about their favorite Stones albums and shows, from Iggy Pop (“I’d never seen people with teeth like that!”) to Pete Townshend to Cate Blanchett (“Just how skinny they are really pisses me off”).
Ticket prices for the show were astronomical, ranging from the steal of a pit ticket for $85 to more than $600 for better seats in the sold-out 20,000 capacity venue (although last-minute tickets were reportedly available under face value on ticket broker StubHub). Jagger didn’t let the price factor go unnoticed, greeting the crowd with a tongue-in-cheek jab at his wealthy clientele: “Good evening, Los Angeles — or is it really just Beverly Hills, Brentwood, and parts of Santa Monica?”
The Stones may be getting up there but they are no strangers to the Web. If you want to feel like you’re really at every show, following @rollingstones on Twitter is a sure-fire way to get addicted. The feed tweeted the entire set list — which barely missed a beat of the hits, from “Paint It Black” to “Start Me Up” — in real time. While a Stones show is always a special occasion, the show’s set closely followed their show in Brooklyn late last year, with deep cut departures and special guests to set the night apart.
Below, a look at the show’s biggest highlights:
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