May 26th, 2024

The Rolling Stones show no signs of slowing down as they begin their latest tour with Texas show

By Juan A. Lozano, The Associated Press on April 29, 2024.

HOUSTON (AP) – Time marches on and all good things must come to an end. But don’t tell that to The Rolling Stones.

What many believe to be the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world showed no signs of slowing down anytime soon as they kicked off their latest tour Sunday night at Houston’s NRG Stadium.

The Stones have been touring for more than 60 years. Frontman Mick Jagger and lead guitarist Keith Richards are both 80, with guitarist Ronnie Wood not far behind at 76. Their tour is being sponsored in part by AARP.

But during a vibrant two-hour show, the Stones played with the energy of band that was on tour for the first time.

“It’s great to be back in the Lone Star State,” Jagger told the packed stadium, filled with longtime fans, many wearing faded concert shirts from previous tours.

Jagger often strutted up and down the stage with seemingly boundless energy while Richards and Wood played many familiar guitar riffs beloved by fans. Jagger often led the audience in sing-alongs.

“The energy level is up and it’s always up with them. The age doesn’t show,” Dale Skjerseth, the Stones’ production director, said Friday before the concert.

The Stones have hit the road to support the release of their latest album, “Hackney Diamonds,” the band’s first record of original music since 2005.

Houston was the first stop on the band’s 16-city tour across the U.S. and Canada. Other cities on the tour include New Orleans, Philadelphia and Vancouver, British Columbia. The tour ends on July 17 in Santa Clara, California.

During Sunday’s 18-song concert set list, the Stones played several tracks off the new record, including lead single “Angry.” They also played classics including “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Gimmer Shelter,” Honky Tonk Women” and “Start Me Up.”

After playing “Beast of Burden,” Jagger said that concertgoers in Houston had voted to include it on the set list.

“You can’t go wrong with that,” one man in the audience could be heard screaming.

The Stones also played some unexpected choices, including “Rocks Off,” from their 1972 double album “Exile on Main St.” and “Out of Time,” a 1966 song that Jagger said during the concert had not ever been played by the band in the U.S.

With the 2021 death of drummer Charlie Watts, the Stones are now comprised of the core trio of Jagger, Richards and Wood. On Sunday, they were backed by various musicians including two keyboardists, a new drummer, backup singers and a brass section.

While the stage was surrounded by a large collection of video screens projecting images throughout the show, the main focus of the concert was the band and their songs

Before Sunday’s concert, Jagger spent time on Friday touring NASA’s Johnson Space Center in suburban Houston, posting photos on his Instagram account of him with astronauts inside Mission Control.

“I had an amazing trip to the space center,” Jagger said.

When asked if the band might be thinking about retiring, Skjerseth said he doubts that will happen.

“This is not the end. They’re very enthused,” he said.

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Follow Juan A. Lozano on X, formerly Twitter.

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