The Rolling Stones played their first show without the late-Charlie Watts since January 1963 on Monday night (September 20th). The band performed an exclusive private gig at Gillette Stadium for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Behind the kit was longtime Stones associate and Keith Richards solo collaborator Steve Jordan, who’ll be sitting in for Watts during the upcoming dates. Among the rarities included in the band’s 12-song setlist was their recent pandemic-centric single “Living In A Ghost Town” and their cover of the Chi-Lites‘ “Troubles A-Comin’,” which will be included in the expanded 40th anniversary edition of the Stones’ Tattoo You collection coming on October 22nd.
Rolling Stone reported Mick Jagger addressed the crowd, saying, “It’s a bit of a poignant night for us. This is our first tour in 59 years that we’ve done without our lovely Charlie Watts. We all miss Charlie so much. We miss him as a band. We miss him as friends, on and off the stage. We’ve got so many memories of Charlie. I’m sure some of you that have seen us before have got memories of Charlie as well. I hope you’ll remember him like we do. We’d like to dedicate this show to Charlie.”
Although certain songs in their catalogue have been revamped over the years, Keith Richards explained that for the most part, he has no interest in changing the arrangements of the Stones’ greatest songs: “A lot of these things are in their time, and they belong where they belong. And to fiddle about with them and treat them as, y’know, they’re ‘Mona Lisa’s,’ or something would be pointless. All the big ones and the best ones that everybody knows, we’ll leave them as they are. Y’know, I won’t recall nothing and say, ‘We shoulda done this or shoulda done that.’ Y’know, ’cause they’re in their time and space. That’s where they are.”
The Stones’ Monday night setlist:
“Let’s Spend The Night Together”
“Troubles A-Comin'” – live premiere
“Living In A Ghost Town” – live premiere
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
“19th Nervous Breakdown”
“Start Me Up”
“Sympathy For The Devil”
“Jumpin’ Jack Flash”
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”