Billed as the concert of a lifetime, Desert Trip Indio saw 75,000 attendees descend upon the Empire Polo Fields — the site of Coachella and Stagecoach — for the first of three nights of what’s an incomprehensibly mind-blowing classic rock lineup. Bob Dylan was Friday night’s opening act; see our review here.
Walking through the crowd, it was clear with nearly 70 percent sporting their iconic tongue logo, the Rolling Stones were the draw. Wearing a multi-colored button-down that covered a Stones logo shirt, Mick Jagger, as he does, oozed with sexiness that had women screaming like it was 1971. Somehow, the singer, who does not look his 73 years, has aged seamlessly while performing shimmying and sliding with the ease of someone half his age.
With the announcement of their first new studio album in over a decade, Blue & Lonesome, the Stones performed Jimmy Reed’s “Ride ‘Em on Down” for the first time since 1962. Even with the 54-year layoff, the song sounded crisp and fluid and was nestled at home after power anthems “Start Me Up,” “You Got Me Rocking” and “Out of Control.”
Watch the Stones perform “Ride ‘Em on Down”…
“We’re not going to make any age jokes, but we’re going to play a song we haven’t played in a long time,” Jagger told the crowd. To the surprise of many, that ended up being “Mixed Emotions” from Steel Wheels, played for the first time since 1990.
If longtime Stones fans were surprised by that, then there’s no doubt, judging by the oohs and ahhs of the crowd, it didn’t compare to their cover of the Beatles’ “Come Together.” With Paul McCartney looking on, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood slogged through the psychedelic classic.
The Stones may not be the baddest band in the land anymore — despite Jagger and Wood’s efforts — but they still know how to put on a spectacle. Finishing their set with muscular versions of “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Brown Sugar” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” it was easy to tell with Richards’ scorching guitar leading the way, that the band was cooking all night.
Watch the Stones perform “Start Me Up”…
By the time the fireworks display erupted during “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” smiles were aplenty, and even as the traffic issues that plagued the event from earlier in the day continued, fans left the dusty venue buzzing about how Neil Young and Paul McCartney could possibly top an epic day one. Best Classic Bands will have those reviews.
Rolling Stones Setlist
Start Me Up
You Got Me Rocking
Out of Control
Ride ‘Em on Down
It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll
Honky Tonk Women
Sympathy for the Devil
Jumpin’ Jack Flash
You Can’t Always Get What You Want
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
Watch the Stones perform “Midnight Rambler”…