The Rolling Stones hit NYC for 50th anniversary gig
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The Rolling Stones – average age 68, if you're counting – were in rollicking form as they rocked the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for 2 hours, their first U.S. show on a mini-tour marking a mind-boggling 50 years as a rock band.
And though every time the Stones tour, the inevitable questions arise as to whether it's "The Last Time,'' to quote one of their songs, there was no sign that anything is ending.
"People ask us why we've been doing this for so long,'' said Mick Jagger, the band's impossibly energetic frontman, thanking the crowd for its loyalty. "The answer is we do it for you.''
Jagger was in his usual swaggering form – strutting, jogging, skipping and pumping his arms like a man half his age. And though he briefly donned a flamboyant feathered black cape for "Sympathy for the Devil'' and later, some red-sequined tails, he was mostly content to prowl the stage in a tight black T-shirt and trousers.
Jagger was joined by his brilliant guitarists, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood, and of course drummer Charlie Watts, and Mary J. Blige, who sang a searing "Gimme Shelter'' with Jagger.
The band played a generous 23 songs, including two new ones, but mostly favorites like "Brown Sugar,'' `'Honky Tonk Woman'' and "Midnight Rambler.'' The rousing encore included "Jumping Jack Flash,'' of course, but the final song was "Satisfaction.'' And though the song speaks of not getting any, the consensus of the packed 18,000-seat arena was that it was a hugely satisfying evening indeed.
"If you like the Stones, this was as good a show as you could have had,'' said one fan, Robert Nehring, 58.
The Stones also will play two shows in Newark, New Jersey, on Dec. 13 and 15. Then next week they join a veritable who's who of British rock royalty and U.S. superstars at the blockbuster 12-12-12 Sandy benefit concert at Madison Square Garden. Also scheduled to perform: Paul McCartney, the Who, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Eddie Vedder, Billy Joel, Roger Waters and Chris Martin.