Rolling Stones give satisfaction despite high prices

Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:39am EST
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - The Rolling Stones pranced, swaggered and laughed through the first of five concerts, celebrating their golden jubilee with a performance that critics said helped justify high ticket costs.

Virtually every reviewer at the first of two shows in London's O2 Arena on Sunday night mentioned the controversy over high prices, but almost all of them said it was worth it.

The two-and-a-half hour set by one of the biggest acts in rock and roll history took a crowd of 20,000 on a trip down memory lane, opening with the 1963 "I Wanna Be Your Man" hit penned by Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney right up to "Doom and Gloom" which is only a few weeks old.

The rest of the 23-song setlist was classic Stones from "Gimme Shelter", "Wild Horses", "Honky Tonk Women" to "Start Me Up" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want" rocking the crowd. The one surprising omission was "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction".

And, while the lines on their faces traced their advancing years and long careers of rock and roll hedonism, lead singer Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts on drums and Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood on guitar still delivered the goods.

"As Jagger left the stage, still jogging and shaking his maracas after two and a half hours and 23 songs, it was clear that even at these ticket prices, the Stones' 50th anniversary shows deliver value for money," wrote Mark Sutherland in a review for the Rolling Stone music magazine.

Jagger, whose lithe frame still allows for some of the trademark swagger at 69, sought to laugh off criticism of prices ranging from 95-950 pounds ($1,500) for a VIP seat.

"Everybody all right there in the cheap seats?" he asked as he looked up high to his left. "They're not really cheap though are they? That's the trouble."   Continued...

Mick Jagger (C), Keith Richards (L) and Charlie Watts (R) perform with the Rolling Stones at the O2 Arena in London November 25, 2012. The Stones took to the stage on Sunday after a five-year hiatus to celebrate the golden jubilee of one of the most successful and enduring bands in rock and roll history. Now in their mid-60s to early 70s, lead singer Jagger, guitarists Richards and Ronnie Wood and drummer Watts were joined by former members Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor for concerts in London and the United States. REUTERS/Toby Melville