Rolling Stones surprise at small LA club
For one night only, the Rolling Stones were an up-and-coming band again.
The legendary group rocked a small club in Los Angeles for a minuscule crowd compared with the thousands set to see them launch their "50 and Counting" anniversary tour on Friday at the Staples Center, The Associated Press reports.
The band kicked off Saturday's hush-hush 90-minute concert at the Echoplex with "You Got Me Rocking" before catapulting into a mix of new and old material, as well as their bluesy covers of classics from Otis Redding ("That's How Strong My Love Is"), Chuck Berry ("Little Queenie") and The Temptations ("Just My Imagination").
"Welcome to Echo Park, a neighborhood that's always coming up -- and I'm glad you're here to welcome an up-and-coming band," lead singer Mick Jagger joked after the second song of the evening, "Respectable." Despite clocking in several decades as a band, Jagger, drummer Charlie Watts and guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood showed no signs of slowing down Saturday.
Jagger, who ditched a black-and-white track jacket emblazoned with the band's logo after the first few songs, worked the crowd into a sing-along frenzy with "Miss You," complete with a harmonica solo from the strutting frontman.
Tickets to the Echoplex concert were sold earlier in the day for $20 each -- a fraction of what tickets to the tour cost.
Hundreds of fans lined up outside the El Rey Theatre across town earlier Saturday for a chance to attend the show. Buyers were limited to one ticket, and they were required to pay with cash, show a government-issued ID, wear a wristband with their name on it and be photographed. Their names were verified at the venue, which has a capacity of about 700.
Cameras and smartphones weren't allowed inside the Echoplex, which usually plays host to hipster bands and mash-up dance parties.
Toward the end of Saturday's show, the band was joined by former Stones guitarist Mick Taylor for their version of Robert Johnson's "Love in Vain," as well as "Midnight Rambler." "[This is] the first show of the tour, probably the best one," Jagger said at the end.
Bruce Willis, Gwen Stefani and Skrillex were among the famous faces in the crowd. Rumors of the show spread across social networks last week after the band teased the appearance on their Twitter accounts.