Last night, September 26, The Rolling Stones played in public for the first time since the death of their longtime drummer, Charlie Watts, last month.
Taking the stage at The Dome at America's Center in St. Louis, Missouri with Steve Jordan (who has worked with Stones electric guitar legend Keith Richards for decades in the X-Pensive Winos) behind the kit, the band delighted the assembled masses with a 19-song set packed with hits, some new material, and a deep cut or two.
Before things kicked off though, the band – with the stage lights down – showed a tribute video celebrating Watts, who played with the band for 58 years, and was beloved for his cool, no-nonsense playing and demeanor.
Before the band's third song of the night – the Exile on Main St. classic "Tumbling Dice" – frontman Mick Jagger, hand-in-hand with Richards and guitarist Ronnie Wood, offered another tribute to Watts.
"This is our first tour we’ve done without him," Jagger said. "All the reaction from you guys, and all the things that you’ve said, have been really touching and we want to thank you all very much.
“We’ll miss Charlie so much both on the stage and off the stage.”
Prior to last night's show, The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World played a private, 14-song set as part of a party last week organized by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
That evening, the band covered The Chi-Lites' "Troubles a Comin'" for the first time ever, and played "19th Nervous Breakdown" live for the first time since 2005.
The band also played their 2020 single, "Living in a Ghost Town," that evening, before giving the song its live-to-the-public debut in St. Louis. Other setlist highlights from the St. Louis show included a by-special-request performance of the classic ballad, "Wild Horses," and a rendition of Steel Wheels' "Slipping Away" with Richards on vocals.
You can check out some fan-filmed footage of those songs below.
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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.