The Rolling Stones Welcome Bill Wyman & Mick Taylor At London Return
The Rolling Stones welcomed former members Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor back on stage at their 50th anniversary kick-off concert at London's O2 Arena last night (November 25th). The show also featured guest spots by Jeff Beck and Mary J. Blige. Although Wyman and Taylor weren't onstage at the same time, the show definitely showed a small amount of nostalgia for the Stones, with the band tipping it's hat to the Beatles for the opening number by performing "I Wanna Be Your Man" -- which John Lennon and Paul McCartney finished for them in 1963 giving them their first Top 20 UK hit. The Stones followed it with a triple punch of '60s classics -- "Get Off My Cloud," "It's All Over Now," and "Paint It, Black" before settling into the set. Blige stepped up to sing the Merry Clayton part in "Gimme Shelter" and Jeff Beck joined the band for the 1969 Let It Bleed outtake, "I'm Going Down."
Bill Wyman made his first appearance with the Stones since June 27th, 1990 in Basle, Switzerland, sitting in on "It's Only Rock N' Roll" and "Honky Tonk Women." Taylor was featured on the band's 1969 classic, "Midnight Rambler" -- a cornerstone of the legendary shows he played with the band between 1969 and 1973. Although he hasn't played live with the band since sitting in with them on December 15th, 1981 in Kansas City, Missouri, he added new guitar work to the 2010 expanded reissue of Exile On Main Street.
Other highlights included the live debut of the new "One More Shot," Keith Richards' take on the Some Girls favorite "Before The Make Me Run," and a full choir joining the Stones onstage for "You Can't Always Get What You Want," which kicked off the encores. Amazingly, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" was set to close the show, but went un-played when the Stones' concert ran too long.
Mick Jagger explains that every night on tour is a new crowd, which is all the more reason to always bring his 'A-game': "Oh, yeah, every night y'have to do your best to prove to yourself you've done your best for yourself, y'know? You set yourself a certain standard, y'know, that you wanna reach every night. And obviously some nights, really, you think, 'Oh, for some reason, that's better than normal.' You never want to dip underneath a certain level."
Keith Richards admits that he's amazed that people are still curious why the Stones even want to be performing at this stage of their lives: "Y'know, people, they go, 'Why're you still doing it at your age?!' 'Why not?!' Y'know, let's see, y'know, if someone can come along and take over the crown, or the mantle, or whatever -- cool. It wouldn't stop me from playing the music."
The Rolling Stones' setlist on November 25th at London's O2 Arena:
"I Wanna Be Your Man"
"Get Off My Cloud"
"It's All Over Now"
"Paint It, Black"
"Gimme Shelter" - with Mary J. Blige
"All Down The Line"
"I'm Going Down" - with Jeff Beck
"Out Of Control"
"One Last Shot"
"Doom And Gloom"
"It's Only Rock N' Roll" - with Bill Wyman
"Honky Tonk Woman" - with Bill Wyman
"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" - with choir
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
The Rolling Stones tour dates (subject to change):
November 29 - London, England - O2 Arena
December 8 - Brooklyn, NY- Barclays Center
December 13, 15 - Newark, NJ - Prudential Center
Photo Courtesy of PRPhotos.com