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Saturday, February 27, 2021

The Rolling Stones offer up celebration, celebs and ‘Satisfaction’

Denise Quan

CNN

(CNN) — The Rolling Stones kicked off their “50 and Counting” tour with a marching band, guest appearances from Gwen Stefani and Keith Urban, and a double dose of “Satisfaction.”

When the lights dimmed Friday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, UCLA’s marching band paraded through the aisles, their horn section blasting the Stones’ 1965 hit, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” — to the delight of concertgoers Jack Nicholson, Eddie Murphy, Johnny Depp and Nicole Kidman.

Finally, the Stones materialized on-stage, framed by a massive pair of red lips and a runway in the shape of the band’s trademark tongue logo. For two hours and 20 minutes, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts barreled through 23 career-spanning tracks, including “Paint it Black,” “Gimme Shelter,” “Miss You” and “Sympathy for the Devil.” They even performed the disco-flavored “Emotional Rescue” from 1980, which Jagger introduced by saying, “This is a song we’ve never done before.”

In another first, Stefani stepped from the wings to duet with Jagger on “Wild Horses.” The No Doubt singer turned fashion designer sported a rather fabulous bedazzled Stones muscle shirt, which prompted the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer to quip, “Where do I get one of those T-shirts?”

Later, Urban joined the band for an appearance that was more than “Respectable.” Armed with his electric guitar, the country superstar matched licks with Richards and Woods, finishing up with a searing solo on the 1978 tune that had the crowd on its feet.

Also receiving a warm welcome was guitarist Mick Taylor, who reunited with his former band mates for “Midnight Rambler,” a song he regularly performed during his tenure with the Stones from 1969-1974.

Even with all the guest cameos, the Rolling Stones were clearly the stars of their own production. Every seat in the arena was filled, thanks to promoter AEG Live releasing a slew of unsold seats for $85 at the last minute — a bargain considering most concertgoers shelled out $150-$600 for their tickets. Friday night, it was not uncommon for fans who paid $450, $250 and $85 to be sitting elbow-to-elbow.

Fair? Maybe not. But the $85 ticket-holders were excited to be at a concert they thought they’d been priced out of, and their energy was contagious. By the time Mick, Keith, Ronnie and Charlie launched into a spirited reprise of “Satisfaction,” most fans agreed it was an appropriate song to close the concert — no matter how much they paid for their seats.

 

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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