The Rolling Stones announced this morning that they will play four concerts – two at London's O2 Arena and two at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey – later this year to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
The band squashed rumors of a 50th anniversary tour earlier this year, telling Rolling Stone that they'd pushed the plans off to 2013 because, as guitarist Keith Richards put it at the time, "we're just not ready."
But it looks like they eventually got their act together. The band will release GRRR!, a hits compilation commemorating their half-century together, on November 13th. That set will include two new songs, including the single "Doom and Gloom," which came out last week.
The Rolling Stones haven't performed live since 2007, so the global demand for tickets for these four shows is going to be off the charts. If you hope to catch any of them, you had better set aside a lot of money and be ready to put in a lot of effort. If you don't have that sort of cash or energy, you can resign yourself to watching the fourth show as it is broadcast live from New Jersey as a per-per-view special on cable on December 15th.
The band began rehearsing for the shows last week. According to the fan site StonesNews.com, this what the band played at their rehearsal space in France:
"It's Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It)"
"You Got Me Rocking"
"Let It Bleed"
"Sitting on the Dock of the Bay"
"Far Away Eyes"
"Doom and Gloom"
"Paint It Black"
"I Wanna Be Your Man"
"Not Fade Away"
"If You Can't Rock Me"
"All Down the Line"
"The Last Time"
"Honky Tonk Women"
"Going To A Gogo"
"Down and Gloom"
"One More Shot"
"Shine A Light"
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"
Here's the Stones' last public performance, their encore of "Brown Sugar" at the O2 Arena on August 26th, 2007.