Rolling Stones Perform Private Concert Prior to 2021 Tour

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Ronnie Wood, Steve Jordan and Mick Jagger at Gillette Stadium, Sept. 20, 2021

Days before the 2021 edition of the Rolling Stones’ No Filter tour began, the group performed a private concert on September 20 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The 15-song set, the band’s first since the passing of Charlie Watts, included the live debut of 2020’s “Living in a Ghost Town,” alongside such classic rock favorites as “Sympathy For the Devil” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” See the setlist below.

The bill for the concert was paid for by New England Patriots billionaire owner Robert Kraft. It wasn’t the first time that the Stones had given a private performance for the billionaire and his friends. In 2016, they gave a 14-song set of classic rock favorites at the same venue.

The Stones’ 2021 tour, delayed from 2020 due to the pandemic, was announced on July 22. On August 4, it was revealed that drummer Charlie Watts was “unlikely” to participate due to a surgical procedure. The beloved musician died three weeks later. He was replaced on the tour by the veteran Steve Jordan.

According to a thread at the great Stones fan site,, the trimmed down, 15-song set for the private concert ran for 96 minutes. It included their cover of a Chi-Lites song, “Troubles A’Comin,” “recorded ages ago,” said Jagger, that is on their 40th anniversary edition of Tattoo You, but omitted such hits as “Brown Sugar” and “Honky Tonk Women.”

The audience, estimated by the Boston Globe to be just three hundred, stood in front of the stage. Watch some brief clips from the performance…

Listen to “Troubles A’Comin”

Jagger dedicated the show to their late drummer. “It’s a bit of a poignant night for us because it’s our first tour in 59 years without our lovely Charlie Watts. We miss him 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. So let’s have a drink… To Charlie!”

“Charlie, we’re praying for you, and playing for you,” added Ronnie Wood.

Watch “Miss You”

Watch “19th Nervous Breakdown”

Watch the two encores, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

And a bit more of “Satisfaction”

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The news of the Sept. 20 performance at Gillette Stadium was first reported by the Boston Globe on Aug. 5. (The website is behind a paywall.) The paper reported that email invitations were sent out on July 23 that read, “Time to Get Started Up.”

Mick Jagger at the Stones’ private concert at Gillette Stadium, five years earlier in October 2016

The Stones’ 2021 tour formally began six days later, on Sept. 26 in St. Louis.

Related: Our recap of opening night

Private concerts have proven to be one of the hush-hush topics among recording artists, thanks to huge paydays footed by billionaires to entertain their pals. In 2002, the Stones earned seven-figures when they played a 17-song set for a private equity billionaire named David Bonderman who threw himself a 60th birthday in Las Vegas for friends and business associates.

Rolling Stones, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA, Sept. 20, 2021 Setlist

Click on the links to watch some brief clips.

Let’s Spend the Night Together
Tumbling Dice
Under My Thumb
Don’t Stop
Troubles A’Comin
Living in a Ghost Town
You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Midnight Rambler
Miss You
19th Nervous Breakdown
Start Me Up
Gimme Shelter
Sympathy For the Devil

Jumpin’ Jack Flash
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Related: 11 private concerts by top recording artists

When the Stones tour, tickets will be available here and here.

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

Best Classic Bands Staff

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  1. sickoftickmaster
    #1 sickoftickmaster 9 August, 2021, 21:51

    Now I know why I like the Beatles.

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