Shortly after rushing onto the stage and leading off with a loud, fast and hard version of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” Mick Jagger lamented that he and The Rolling Stones had not been in St. Louis for eight years. Two hours later, Jagger left St. Louis hoping that no such drought would ever happen in this city again.
As soon as the curtain raised to reveal the ageless musicians, the crowd was on their feet, beginning the singalong that would last the entirety of the show. Jagger, who opened the show in black pants, a black blazer and a scintillating, ruby-red shirt, immediately captured the energy of the Savvis Center and ran with it.
After belting out “Jack Flash,” the Stones moved on to another classic,”You Got Me Rocking,” and the sold-out audience sang the chorus right along with Jagger, yelling out “Hey, hey, you got me rocking!” To the crowd’s delight, Jagger, along with guitarists Ron Wood and Keith Richards, brought their famous energy to the show, running along the front and sides of the stage and interacting with the fans seated along the edge of the stage. Drummer Charlie Watts also delighted the crowd by apologizing for wearing a yellow shirt that nearly matched Wood’s.
Jagger then slammed on the brakes and greeted his fans with a resounding “Hello St. Louie!” before recapping the past eight years in St. Louis history, highlighting the Rams’ Super Bowl win and the Kiel-to-Savvis name change.
The Stones kept the slower pace, moving into “She’s So Cold,” while the video screen set displayed old footage of the band in their younger days. Jagger led the band into one of their new songs called “Rough Justice,” from the 2005 album A Bigger Bang, which also lends its name to the tour. The new music seemed to be the only way to force the crowd into their seats, as members of the audience finally sat down.
“Rough Justice” moved the Stones gradually to the blues-influenced songs in their library. The set included another new favorite, “Rain Fall Down,” which saw Jagger grab a guitar and play along, the first time Jagger stood in one place for an entire four minutes.
The band followed their blues phase with a rendition of “Nighttime is the Right Time” by Ray Charles. Jagger showed off his vocal range, while backup singer Lisa Fischer too center stage and added a soulful feel to the song.
Jagger disappeared backstage after “Nighttime,” while Richards, adorned with his trademark headband, dangling earrings and cigarette, took over the microphone, singing two songs. While Richards let loose on “This Place is Empty,” Wood took a seat and grabbed a slide guitar to play along.
In a sudden flurry, Jagger returned to the stage, strapping on a microphone and leading the band into “Miss You.” As the song progressed, the center section of the stage lifted up and rolled out toward the opposite end of the Savvis floor before sitting in the middle of two wings. Jagger grabbed a guitar and played along to “Start Me Up” and “Get off My Cloud” before returning to the main stage. “Honky Tonk Woman” led off their return to the east end of Savvis, but a lights-off lead-in to “Sympathy for the Devil” that featured Jagger and the crowd screaming “Woo-Woo” at each other became the most rousing song of the night. “Sympathy” brought the remaining sitters in the audience to their feet, where they would stay for the remainder of the show.
The follow-up to “Sympathy” was the telling opening chord of “Paint it, Black” ringing out in the pitch-black stadium. An epileptic white-light strobe and spotlight show revealed Jagger and Richards dressed in black, as they passed the hour-and-a-half mark.
After “Paint it, Black,” the Stones wrapped up their main set with an energetic version of “Brown Sugar,” before running off the stage. The crowd’s standing ovation brought them back, and as the band closed out the night by singing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and a loud version of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”
“Satisfaction” ended with a bang with streamers that shot from the Savvis rafters to announce the end of the show. The audience could not quite believe that the streamers, along with an animated set of lips and tongue adorning the video screen, signified the end of the show; the sold-out crowd remained clapping until the stadium lights came back on.
With any luck, the ending ovation reached Jagger’s ears, reminding him that eight years is too long to be away.