The Rolling Stones unveiled details of their biggest tour in six years on Wednesday, playing nine dates in North America as well as two British concerts after a stage comeback last year to celebrate 50 years in music.
The band said they would kick off their “50 and Counting” tour in Los Angeles on an unspecified date and then play Oakland, California, on May 5 and seven other North American cities before performing in London’s Hyde Park on July 6.
The veteran rockers, who played sell-out shows on a mini-tour of London, the United States and France last year, had already been named as headline act at Britain’s biggest musical festival, Glastonbury, on June 29 which is also a sell-out.
As part of their 50th celebrations, the band last year released a greatest hits collection, a documentary, and a photographic book and then sparked rumours about more concerts with a March 29th website post saying: “5 Days & Counting”.
“’50 and Counting’ has been pretty amazing so far,” lead singer Mick Jagger said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We did a few shows in London and New York last year … and had such a good time that we thought … let’s do some more.”
The band, working with privately held tour promoter AEG Live, will also play in San Jose, Las Vegas, Anaheim, Toronto, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia in May and June with tickets going on sale beginning April 8.
The stage design for the tour is based on the band’s tongue and lips logo, which extends out into the crowd, allowing Jagger, with his trademark swagger, to strut out into the crowd.
They will then return to Britain for the Glastonbury festival and Hyde Park.
Guitarist Keith Richards said Hyde Park held great memories for the band which played there 44 years ago, with the concert a tribute to founder member, guitarist Brian Jones, who drowned two days earlier.
“It seems like yesterday,” Richards told the BBC. “It’s going to be a great summer, man … All the gigs we haven’t done or wanted to redo are popping up.”
Live performances have emerged as the major money earner in the music business as the industry goes digital with growing numbers of veteran acts returning to stage and attracting well-heeled, ageing fans willing to pay high prices for tickets.
Concert-tracking website Pollstar said the band grossed $35.5 million from their mini-tour in late 2012 when high ticket prices ranging from 95-950 pounds ($1,500) rankled some fans.
The Rolling Stones, which are comprised of Jagger, Richards and Ronnie Wood on guitar, and Charlie Watts on drums, emerged alongside The Beatles in the early 1960s.
They became one of the most successful groups in rock and roll history with hits such as “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Sympathy for the Devil”.
The band has toured 40 times in a five-decade career, mostly across Europe and North America in the 1960s and 1970s.
They last went on the road for their “A Bigger Bang” tour from 2005 to 2007, playing 144 shows globally and grossing more than $550 million, one of the world’s most lucrative tours. DM
Photo: Ronnie Wood (L) Mick Jagger and Keith Richards perform onstage during the Rolling Stones final concert of their “50 and Counting Tour” in Newark, New Jersey, December 15, 2012. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri.