The Rolling Stones celebrated their 50th anniversary as a band with a 50 & Counting tour, and I was lucky enough to experience a show. My sister and I bought two $85 tickets, which there were only 1,000 of and randomly selected your seats, for the first of two Philadelphia shows. We stood in line and it was finally our turn to pick up our tickets. “You guys are in the pit tonight,” the lady said to us. I almost went into shock. I was seeing THE ROLLING STONES but also seeing them front row! We ran to the “tongue pit” and stood for hours until the show began at 9.
The Stones’ 50 & Counting tour rolled into the City of Brotherly Love for a celebration of many things such as perseverance and glory. It was a night all about rock ‘n’ roll. As each member appeared onstage, I was star-struck. I was crying and screaming like a little girl from 1960s; I could not believe who was in front of me!
The evening started out with “Get Off My Cloud,” a bold song that the Stones have been performing for 48 years. The boys succeeded through a playlist of songs that have well-defined many generations. Whether gently soothing the crowd with “Wild Horses,” or tearing through a rendition of “Brown Sugar,” the Stones proved once again that they are rock’s greatest band.
Keith Richards smiled a lot during his famous guitar riffs and breaks. He said to the crowd just before he began to sing a few songs, “I’ve survived, and I’ve prospered.” And Richards wasn’t the only one smiling, the legendary stone-faced Charlie Watts could be seen smiling as he and his band stormed through “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”
Mick Jagger has always been known to be the enthusiastic and energetic front man, and he indeed pranced and strutted around like no one’s business, displaying moves that show his body hasn’t aged a bit. He sure moved the crowd. It was my first ever concert in an arena where every single person was standing up the entire concert. Jagger told the crowd twice they were singing great—during “Miss You” and the encore of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”—and strutted the tongue-shaped stage like the front man he’s always been. Later in the show, as the band broke into one of their most famous songs, “Sympathy for the Devil,” he walked on stage dressed in an overpowering, black fur cape. The crowd roared, as did I.
The Stones wouldn’t be the band they are without the dedication and perseverance of all the members. Richards’ guitar played confidentially on “Sympathy.” Ronnie Wood, after 38 years as still the new kid of the band, played his solo on “Dead Flowers” (which featured a guest appearance from country singer Brad Paisley) was an absolute delight. And Watts, one of the slickest and greatest drummers to ever live, gave the music all the power it needed and more.
The most memorable moment of the evening came when former Stone Mick Taylor, who replaced Brian Jones in 1969, strolled on stage for “Midnight Rambler,” a bluesy song on which his brilliant guitar playing prevails. Jagger played the harmonica as he and Taylor went back and forth with the instruments. Taylor never had an overbearing stage presence, but he enjoyed himself and with the crowd’s wholehearted reaction, he played happily with Richards and Wood. Taylor returned for the encore of “Satisfaction,” this time leaving the leads primarily to Richards and cheerfully basking in the song’s magnificence.
The night was full of joy, perfection, energy and pure rock ‘n’ roll. The Rolling Stones showed their audience that 50 years cannot stop their greatest. Richards recently told the press that he would be up for the 60th anniversary tour, and I will definitely be in attendance.