The Rolling Stones proved that real talent does not fade as they rocked out their audience during their Sunday, November 25 concert at London's O2 Arena. The show, which kicked off a series of performances celebrating the band's 50th year in the music business, was a triumphant event attended by an estimated 20,000 raving fans.
The two-and-a-half hour show opened with lead vocalist Mick Jagger covering The Beatles' classic "I Wanna Be Your Man". Things continued to fire up as lead guitarist Keith Richards and the rest of the blues-infused rock group performed an impressive repertoire of huge classics such as "Sympathy for the Devil", "Before They Make Me Run", and "Wild Horses".
Other surprises came in the form of Mary J. Blige singing with Jagger on "Gimme Shelter", guitarist Jeff Beck playing on the live debut of "I'm Going Down" and the London Youth Choir accompanying the band on an encore performance of "You Can't Always Get What You Want". Former bassist Bill Wyman also jammed with the Stones on "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)" and former guitarist Mick Taylor played on "Midnight Rambler".
Amidst all the screams, cheers, and blatant show of respect for the band during the show, Jagger made sure to send out the band's gratitude towards their fans and said, "It's amazing that we're still doing this, and it's amazing that you're still buying our records and coming to our shows. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
The O2 Arena gig was the first among a series of anniversary shows including another O2 concert on November 29, and performances at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on December 13 and 15, and at New York's Barclay's Center on December 8.