The Rolling Stones kicked off their 50 & Counting tour on Friday night (May 3rd) at L.A.'s Staples Center. The 23-song set followed the same format as the band's late-2012 shows, featuring few rarities but presenting a lean and tight arena show showcasing tunes from across the band's 50 year career. The highlights of the show -- which was preceded by the UCLA Bruins marching band playing "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" -- was undoubtedly the Stones' live premiere of their 1980 Top Three hit, "Emotional Rescue," and the band's first performance since 1997 of the Beggars Banquet acoustic classic, "Factory Girl."
Pollstar reported the concert was preceded by a film featuring such famous friends and fans as Martin Scorsese, Johnny Depp, Perry Farrell, and Cate Blanchett talking about their love for the Stones. During the show, Mick Jagger gave a shout out to Jack Nicholson and joked about the band switching its opening night to accommodate the basketball playoffs, saying: "It was either us or the Lakers, so now you got us. It doesn't matter to Jack Nicholson."
- As he had during the band's previous 50th anniversary shows, Jagger poked fun of the exorbitant $600-plus price-tag of the Stones' current concerts, which ensured all but a deep-pocketed white collar crowd finding their way into the venue, joking with the crowd: "Hello Los Angeles! Or should I say 'Hello, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, and certain parts of Santa Monica?'"
- Special guests included former guitarist Mick Taylor's single guest spot on "Midnight Rambler," Gwen Stefani -- who apparently barely knew the song -- duetting with Jagger on "Wild Horses," and country star Keith Urban sitting in on the band's Some Girls rocker, "Respectable."
- Mick Jagger reflected upon being in the same band for 50 long years: "We're glad we continued for this long. I think it's kinda good in some ways -- it's great. In some ways, it's kinda 'why bother?' (Laughs) People say, 'Why bother?! Do something else!' 'Well, okay, yeah.' But I do try and do other things apart from the Rolling Stones. At one time it was the only thing in your life. Y'know, but as you get older, you get other things that come along that take your time up. And so, y'know, now I think it's on a very level keel, so that you can be enthusiastic about it, but it's not the only thing in your life. I think that's normal."
The Rolling Stones' opening night setlist on May 3rd, 2013 in Los Angeles:
"Get Off My Cloud"
"The Last Time"
"It's Only Rock N Roll"
"Paint It, Black"
"Wild Horses" (with Gwen Stefani)
"Respectable" (with Keith Urban)
"Doom And Gloom"
"One More Shot"
"Honky Tonk Women"
"Before They Make You Run"
"Midnight Rambler" (with Mick Taylor)
"Start Me Up"
"Sympathy For The Devil"
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"
"Jumpin' Jack Flash "
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
- The Rolling Stones tour dates (subject to change):
May 8 - San Jose, CA - HP Pavilion
May 11 - Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand Garden Arena
May 15, 18 - Anaheim, CA - Honda Center
May 20 - Los Angeles - Staples Center
May 25 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
May 28, 31 - Chicago, IL - United Center
June 3 - Chicago, IL - United Center
June 6 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
June 9 - Montreal, QC - Bell Centre
June 12, 14 - Boston, MA - TD North Garden
June 14 - Boston, MA - TD North Garden
June 18, 21 - Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center
June 29 - Pilton, England - Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm
July 6, 13 - London, England - Hyde Park
CHECK IT OUT: Highlights from The Rolling Stones' tour opener in L.A. on May 3rd:
Mick Jagger On The Rolling Stones Surviving 50 Years
Read more at Ultimate Classic Rock, Rolling Stone and Billboard