Rolling Stones deliver biggest bang in nostalgic London show

Sat Jul 6, 2013 9:37pm EDT
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By Paul Casciato

LONDON (Reuters) - The Rolling Stones blasted through the past into the present on Saturday with a rip-roaring show in London's Hyde Park that paid homage to their last concert here 44 years ago.

Frontman Mick Jagger strutted, howled and belted his way through a two-hour set that gave a nod to founding member Brian Jones, whose death in 1969 turned their last appearance at the royal park into a tribute.

"Anybody out there who was here in 1969?" Jagger called out to applause from a sea of grey hair after opening with "Start Me Up" and "It‘s only Rock and Roll".

"Well welcome back, it's nice to see you again."

Jones had already left the Stones the last time Jagger, guitarist Keith Richards and drummer Charlie Watts played the park at a gig meant to introduce his replacement, Mick Taylor. Guitarist Ronnie Wood joined in 1975.

But two days before their appearance, the 27-year-old Jones drowned in his swimming pool under the influence of drugs and alcohol, turning that concert into a commemoration.

Now the band with an average age of 69 stormed through the classics from "Brown Sugar" and "Honky Tonk Woman" to "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Sympathy for the Devil" - with rubber-lipped Jagger strumming the guitar for the latest single "Doom and Gloom".

The Stones bounded across the stage and along a catwalk stretching into the sea of 65,000 fans gathered on a sultry summer evening in 21st century central London, sipping beer. The unmistakable aroma of marijuana wafted in the air.   Continued...

Mick Jagger (R) and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones perform at the British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park in London July 6, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor