(May 1, 2013) – The Stones pulled off one of their patented nightclub gigs the other night for 700 lucky fans in Los Angeles. It was a preview of their upcoming tour, which kicks off this Friday, May 3, at the Staples Center. (Tour itinerary below.)
The Stones have been in L.A. since mid-April, conducting rehearsals. (Mick was already out there, but Ronnie and Charlie flew in from London. Keith came in from New York, fresh off his April 13 guest spot at Madison Square Garden – photo below left – where he sang and played “Key To The Highway” and “Sweet Little Rock ’N’ Roller” with Eric Clapton.)
Thanks to daily Tweets from Ronnie, the public has been kept abreast of the Stones’ progress. Ronnie’s informed us that, yes, the band’s been rehearsing some well-worn classics, but they’ve also been toying with “Emotional Recue” and “Moonlight Mile.” And as for r & b covers, they’ve been running through Marvin Gaye’s “Heard It Through The Grapevine” and Solomon Burke’s “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love.”
But the most exciting news for Stones fans – many of whom shelled out 600 bucks face-value for a ticket to this tour – is that Mick Taylor will be joining the festivities. It hasn’t been revealed how long he’ll be onstage each night, but it’s guaranteed to be longer than his guest appearances last December (photo below right), when he performed only “Midnight Rambler.” This time, with “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” “Sway,” “Shine A Light,” “Loving Cup,” “Rip This Joint,” and “If You Can’t Rock Me” having been rehearsed, it’s possible each concert will feature a four or five-song Mick Taylor segment (if not a brief “Sticky Fingers” or “Exile” set).
Mr. Taylor arrived for rehearsals in L.A. (technically Burbank) on April 24. He then joined the four Stones as they surprised the L.A. neighborhood of Echo Park on Saturday night (April 27) with the warm-up gig at the Echoplex dance club. Tickets were given out Saturday afternoon via lottery, as announced on the Stones’ Twitter feed. About 700 people won the “golden ticket” and paid the princely sum of $20 for admission. Johnny Depp was among the attendees, as were other deserving celebs, like the Olsen twins. (How many Stones songs can they name?)
“I’m glad you’re here to welcome an up-and-coming band,” Mick joked from the stage. The group kicked off their 14-song set with “You Got Me Rocking” and concluded it with an encore of “Brown Sugar” and “Jumping Jack Flash.” In between, they offered rockers like “Respectable” and “She’s So Cold,” as well as some familiar cover tunes: Otis Redding’s “That’s How Strong My Love Is,” Chuck Berry’s “Little Queenie” and the Temptations’ “Just My Imagination.” Mick Taylor emerged for yet another cover, “Love In Vain,” as well as for “Midnight Rambler.” (At some of the rehearsals, he’s been featured on “Street Fighting Man,” but the Stones performed it this night without him.) Fans were prohibited from bringing cell phones or cameras into the club, but some brief video clips, like this one, have been posted on the Stones’ YouTube channel.
The Stones shifted their operations to Sony Studios this week for some final dress rehearsals. But now it’s practically showtime. Following the official debut at Staples this Friday, they’ll remain out west for another couple weeks (Oakland, San Jose, Vegas, Anaheim) before hitting Chicago and the East Coast (Toronto, Montreal, Boston and Philadelphia). Then it’s across the pond for three outdoor shows in the U.K.
Stay tuned to this page for occasional updates or, better yet, check with our friends at the Shidoobee, Rocks Off and It’s Only Rock ’N’ Roll message boards for timelier concert reviews and set-list postings.
It’s hoped and expected that the Stones will hit the road again in the fall, but, for now, they got us rocking till July.
North American and British Tour:May 3 – Los Angeles – Staples Center
May 5 – Oakland – Oracle Arena
May 8 – San Jose – HP Pavilion
May 11 – Las Vegas – MGM Grand Garden
May 15 – Anaheim – Honda Center
May 18 – Anaheim – Honda Center
May 20 – Los Angeles – Staples Center
May 25 – Toronto – Air Canada Centre
May 28 – Chicago – United Center
May 31 – Chicago – United Center
June 3 – Chicago – United Center
June 6 – Toronto – Air Canada Centre
June 9 – Montreal – Bell Centre
June 12 – Boston – TD Garden
June 14 – Boston – TD Garden
June 18 – Philadelphia – Wells Fargo Center
June 21 – Philadelphia – Wells Fargo Center
June 29 – Glastonbury, England – Glastonbury Festival
July 6 – London, England – Hyde Park
July 13 – London, England – Hyde Park
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