Footage has emerged online from the Rolling Stones’ first post-lockdown No Filter concert – the band’s first tour gig since the passing of drummer Charlie Watts.
Though the legendary rock outfit performed a 14-song set as part of a private party last week organized by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, their weekend performance – which occurred at The Dome in St. Louis on September 26 – marked the first time the Stones have played in front of the public proper since Watts passed away.
As such, it was only the second time they had taken to the stage with fill-in drummer Steve Jordan since news of Watts’ death broke, with the band paying tribute to their longtime bandmate from the outset.
The start of the show saw a series of images and video footage of Watts projected onto the monitors and, after the band performed set openers Street Fighting Man and It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll, Mick Jagger took the opportunity to pay tribute to the departed drummer.
Standing hand in hand with Keith Richards, Jagger said, “This is our first tour we’ve done without him. All the reaction from you guys, and all the things that you’ve said, have been really touching and we want to thank you all very much.
“We’ll miss Charlie so much both on the stage and off the stage,” concluded Jagger, before dedicating the band’s third song of the evening, Tumbling Dice, to the late drumming icon.
Tumbling Dice was followed by Under My Thumb and 19th Nervous Breakdown, with Richards then taking out his acoustic guitar for a fan-requested rendition of Wild Horses.
A number of other Stones classics made the cut, with Honky Tonk Women, Paint It Black and Sympathy for the Devil all featuring on the main setlist, before the band reemerged for Gimme Shelter and (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.
Jordan – who has previously played with John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart and more – was already announced as the No Filter tour stand-in drummer earlier this year after it was announced that Watts would sit-out the US run of dates due to health concerns.
He also has an extensive musical history with Keith Richards, whom he played alongside as part of the guitarist’s side-project, The X-Pensive Winos.
Charlie Watts passed away at the age of 80 earlier this year. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Jagger reflected on the loss, saying that Watts was the one who “held the band together for so long”.
“He was the rock the rest of it was built around… The thing he brought was this beautiful sense of swing and swerve that most bands wish they could have,” Jagger said. “We had some really nice conversations in the last couple of years about how all this happened with the band. It’s a huge loss to us all. It’s very, very hard."
The Rolling Stones are next scheduled to play on September 30 at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.
For a full list of tour dates, head over to the official Rolling Stones website.