As part of their SIXTY 2022 European tour, The Rolling Stones played the second of two shows at BST Hyde Park, London, on Sunday, July 3.
Their brand is tried and tested. You’d be hard pressed to find someone not familiar with the John Pasche-designed lips and tongue icon or the wheelings and dealings of band members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Ronnie Wood.
Jagger is the quintessential frontman: everyone who has come since him finds some influence in how he has commanded the stage for sixty years. Richards is the dictionary definition of a rockstar, having been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. Wood, not quite as wild, is quieter in his authority, but credit where credit’s due — he will go down in history as one of the greatest guitarists of all time.
A notable absence was, of course, Charlie Watts, who passed away last year. Shortly before the band came on stage, a touching tribute video to the drummer played on the large screens. Watts had been in the band since 1963, and the sense of loss was immeasurable when Jagger dedicated the show to his lost friend and colleague.
Opening with the 1965 single ‘Get Off My Cloud,’ the large crowd was immediately transfixed by the group, who were, in some instances, over triple the age of those watching them. You can’t dispute a band of this caliber’s pull; truthfully, there aren’t many others that can compare. ’19th Nervous Breakdown’ followed, and ‘Tumbling Dice,’ which have been mainstay’s on the band’s setlist this tour. Jagger then enlisted the audience’s help for ‘Out of Time,’ from 1966’s Aftermath, encouraging a singalong of the reprise.
This show included quite a few debuts for the tour, firstly ‘Angie,’ their cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Like a Rolling Stone,’ and ‘You Got Me Rocking.’ The Rolling Stones’ ability to still surprise their fans, to have them never know what’s coming, is a most coveted skill. It was also rather impressive that each band member seemed to change their outfit every so often (or the top half anyway), without any fanfare, causing a collective confusion for those audience members towards the back who had no sight of it happening.
As has been a standard on this tour, ‘Honky Tonk Woman’ was followed by Jagger’s introduction of the band. The Rolling Stones’ have an extensive group of touring musicians who join them on stage, including but not limited to backing vocalist Sasha Allen, bassist Darryl Jones, and keyboardist Chuck Leavell. The talents of these performers are what make every show a cohesive experience. Jagger’s last introductions were of Wood and then Richards, with the next two songs featuring the latter of lead vocals — ‘You Got The Silver’ and ‘Happy.’
The closing half of the show was a flurry of hits, from ‘Midnight Rambler’ and the haunting ‘Paint It Black’ through the definitively ’80s ‘Start Me Up’ to ‘Gimme Shelter,’ which featured incredible co-lead vocals from chanteuse Allen. The band ended their primary set on ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash,’ which had the crowd in a frenzy.
The Rolling Stones didn’t leave fans waiting long for the encore; only a few minutes later, they stepped back onto the stage as the opening notes of ‘Sympathy For The Devil,’ one of the most well-known tracks from the band’s substantial discography. This was tailed by ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,’ with Richards’ infamous hook, to bring the evening to a close with an almighty bang.
2022, the year of The Rolling Stones’ sixtieth anniversary, has seen that the band has no intention of stopping. The trio is still bouncing around the stage as they did when they were young, and the adoring crowds still pour in to witness every moment.