Rolling Stones at BST Hyde Park review: After 60 years Mick still has moves like Jagger as band deliver satisfaction
Posted by  badge Boss on Jul 04
Sixty years on, Rolling Stones still have it (Picture: PA)

A Rolling Stones appearance at BST Hyde Park was never going to be a lacklustre affair, but Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and co. delivered satisfaction – and then some.

For more than two hours Sir Mick – who turns 80 this month, may I add – jumped and jived around the expansive stage, titillating tens of thousands of hit-thirsty punters through their updated setlist, changing his outfit several times and joking the event was a ‘covid super spreader’.

‘Welcome to the American Express British Summer Time Covid super spreader event,’ he shouted, in his telltale Sir Mick expression, to chuckles from the crowd, and with no mention of the fact .

Having had the crowd warmed up by Courtney Barnett and Sam Fender, fresh from his Glastonbury appearance, the band’s for British Summer Time started with a tear-jerking tribute to drummer Charlie Watts, who died last August, as an emotional crowd cheered and whistled as footage of the beloved musician was beamed onto large screens.

Sir Mick told the packed-out crowd, basking in the London sunshine with ominous grey clouds thankfully holding out: ‘We played with Charlie for 60 years and we really, really miss him, so we dedicate this show to him.’

Mixing things up, the band began proceedings with a rogue – but welcome – opener in Get Off My Cloud, which marked one of several changes to the setlist not only from last week, but the usual order of tunes they’ve been banging out on their European Sixty tour.

A mesmerising and energetic Sir Mick dazzled (Picture: PA)
The set began with a tribute to the late Charlie Watts (Picture: PA)

New additions also saw Sir Mick slow things down with a rare performance of Angie, while, in another delight for the crowd, the band played Bob Dylan’s Like A Rolling Stone, as the ever-charismatic singer joked there was a man they knew ‘who won the Nobel Prize for Literature and he wrote us this song’.

Several times throughout their set Sir Mick was forced to ask ‘what’s next?’ which was hardly a sign of his age but more a nod at how different last night’s order of service differed from a set list that must be muscle memory for these artists by now.

Their BST gig marked the band’s fifth performance in Hyde Park (with a talkative Sir Mick musing their first – in 1969 – was free) and their 203rd in London.

Sir Mick and Keith’s camaraderie was evident, 60 years on (Picture: PA)
It was a joy to witness in the flesh (Picture: Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Knowing those sorts of figures, it’s mesmerising to witness in the flesh just how glaringly happy the band appears to be as they continue to rock out together on stage after all this time.

While some bands crash and burn in the harsh lights of fame, Sir Mick and his merry troupe of men came alive on stage together, with Ronnie and Keith gravitating towards one another at multiple moments during the set, guitars in hand, while Sir Mick and Keith shared a microphone, and some laughs, while exchanging cheeky grins across the stage in what may be one of the music business’ most enduring musical relationships.

It’s a delight to witness as an accoutrement of sorts to their showstopping tunes.

The ultimate showman (Picture: Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Sir Mick and a few thousand of his closest friends (Picture: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

The camaraderie was evident in Sir Mick’s comedic interludes, as he introduced Keith as having come ‘all the way from Dartford’, and Ronnie as ‘the Botticelli of Belgravia’, while joking, seemingly in a nod to the latter’s six-year-old daughters: ‘Buy his setlist – he has a young family to support.’

Not missing a beat throughout, with the sound tuned to perfection and Sir Mick, who’s performed some of these songs for six decades now, giving no hint of the fact they were forced to cancel their recent Amsterdam date on account of his Covid, charged through an extended rendition of Miss You seamlessly into Midnight Rambler, before he busted out the acoustic guitar for You Can’t Always Get What You Want.

Elsewhere, the crowd roared for the likes of Paint It Black, Start Me Up, Jumpin’ Jack Flash and classic Gimme Shelter, which featured a tribute to Ukraine, its flag beamed onto giant screens as images of bombed buildings added a poignant touch to what is already a powerful song.

After a rousing set, with the sun finally setting on Hyde Park, the performance drew to a momentous crescendo with an encore of Sympathy For The Devil and (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, with the latter drawing thousands of, I’m going to say it, satisfied fans in for a singalong.

From jokes directed at his ‘sparkly dress’ collection (more than Adele’s worn, apparently) to enough lengths of the stage to send his Fitbit into meltdown, Sir Mick was on vibrantly brilliant form alongside a band that, sixty years on, still don’t miss a beat – their joy at still performing radiating to music lovers that can’t always get what we want, but, last night at least, got what we need.