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Published: 2013/06/30

The Rolling Stones Try Out New Material, Old Rarities at Glastonbury

Photo via The Rolling Stones’ Facebook page

The Rolling Stones made their long-awaited debut at Pilton, England’s Glastonbury last night. Though part of the band’s current 50 & Counting Tour, the show took on special significance for several reasons: The Rolling Stones have shied away from playing modern music festivals and have repeatedly turned down offers to play Glastonbury in particular for decades. The festival is also deeply tied to their native UK’s cultural history. Approximately 135,000 attended the show, causing festival promoters to expand their viewing deck for the performance.

Glastonbury grew out of the ‘60s and early ‘70s hippie-bred, classic rock culture The Rolling Stones once helped symbolize, and the self-proclaimed World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band inspired countless bands on this year’s festival bill. By agreeing to play Glastonbury, in many ways, the Stones have given their seal of approval to the modern festival landscape that has helped shape the modern music world in recent years. They have also fulfilled the dream of Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis, who called their appearance a “high point” in the festival’s 43-year history. As Stones guitarist Keith Richards said in a pre-show interview with the BBC, “I’m looking forward to it because it is an iconic gig and it’s an iconic band and finally the two meet at last. I think the only pressure we feel is that it is the first time we’ve done an outdoor show for yonks and English weather.”

Though the Stones have welcomed special big name guests at almost every one of their shows since reuniting this past fall, last night’s show remained noticeably celebrity guest-free. Though countless musicians were onsite—including founding Stones bassist Bill Wyman, who sat in with the group at two shows this fall, the band made a concerted effort to focus on their catalog instead of special sit ins. The exceptions were onetime Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, who has been on the road with his old band all year, as well as The Voice Chamber and London Youth Choirs. Taylor appeared on three songs that he has played on previous occasions this tour: the oft-requested “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” his now trademark guest song “Midnight Rambler” and the show-closing “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” The Voice Chamber Choir and London Youth Choir sang on the gospel-intro to “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

Partway through the night, The Rolling Stones busted out the Their Satanic Majesties Request rarity “2000 Light Years from Home” for the first time since 1990. They also interspersed a bit of the new original “Glastonbury Girl” during “Factory Girl.” Mick Jagger mentioned that he wrote the song after meeting a girl in the crowd during an Arctic Monkeys show at the festival. He also jokingly thanked the festival—who have tried to nab the band for years—for “finally inviting them” to play.

Here’s a look at last night’s setlist via Setlist.fm

Saturday, June 29, Glastonbury Festival, Pilton, England

Jumpin’ Jack Flash
It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)
Paint It Black
Gimme Shelter
Factory Girl (“Glastonbury Girl” interpolation)
Wild Horses
Doom and Gloom
Can’t You Hear Me Knocking (with Mick Taylor)
Honky Tonk Women (followed by band introductions)
You Got the Silver (Keith Richards on lead vocals)
Happy (Keith Richards on lead vocals)
Miss You
Midnight Rambler (with Mick Taylor)
2000 Light Years from Home (first since 25 Aug 1990)
Sympathy for the Devil
Start Me Up
Tumbling Dice
Brown Sugar

E:
You Can’t Always Get What You Want (with The Voice Chamber Choir and London Youth Choir)
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
(With Mick Taylor)

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