Rolling Stones' feisty Glastonbury debut
PILTON, United Kingdom - Tens of thousands of cheering revelers watched the Rolling Stones make an energetic Glastonbury festival debut Saturday, June 29, after more than 50 years in the music business.
"If this is the first time you've ever seen the band, do come again," an almost 70-year-old Mick Jagger told a crowd most of whom were not yet born when the Stones played their first gigs.
Prowling about the main Pyramid Stage with his trademark dance moves, Jagger began his set at Worthy Farm in Somerset, southeast England, in a glittering green jacket with the 1968 classic "Jumpin' Jack Flash" to a backdrop of fireworks.
In more than two hours of music, the Stones took the crowd through a series of classics as well as a country-style song, "Glastonbury Girl", which referred to the rain boots traditionally worn at Britain's most famous performing arts festival.
Jagger donned a black ostrich feather coat for "Sympathy for the Devil" as fire burst out of the top of the pyramid and a giant mechanical phoenix atop the stage came to life.
Fans had claimed their spots up to 12 hours ahead of the show, which culminated with bouncing encores of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and "Satisfaction".
Organizers had expanded the viewing area in expectation that a large proportion of the 135,000 festival goers on the sprawling 900-acre farm would seek to witness this small piece of music history.
Glastonbury, the country's most popular celebration of music and performing arts, is now in its 43rd year and organizer Michael Eavis is said to have spent several years persuading the Stones to appear.
"We've waited a long time for the Stones to play. For them to be here is brilliant," Eavis's recorded voice told the audience as he introduced the band.
The Glastonbury festival started as a hippie gathering of 1,500 people in 1970.
It now has 58 stages and formal accommodation ranging from pre-assembled tents to glamorous yurts costing several thousand pounds. It continues to sell out months in advance despite the almost inevitable mud.
British broadcasters reported that third in line to the throne Prince Harry, 28, was spotted at the festival site on Saturday, along with footballer Wayne Rooney, supermodel Kate Moss and other British stars.
The three main days of the festival conclude Sunday, June 30, with a headline set from folk band Mumford and Sons.
The Stones have been playing a series of North American dates on their "50 and Counting" tour ahead of several British concerts this summer.
Guitarist Keith Richards said before Saturday's performance that he was "looking forward to it because it is an iconic gig and it's an iconic band and finally the two meet at last".
He told BBC radio: "In a way it's kind of weird that at last we've made it to Glastonbury. It's like building Stonehenge, right?" - Rappler.com