Rolling Stones Doesn’t Disappoint In 50th Anniversary Tour

The Rolling Stones began their 50th anniversary tour with the biggest possible concert on Sunday night, as a host of special guests joined them for a hit-packed show in London’s O2 Arena.

Former Stones band members Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor returned to the ranks, while Mary J. Blige and Jeff Beck were also on hand to help with the celebrations.

Wyman — who left the Stones in 1992 — was greeted with warm applause and a handshake from Keith Richards as he returned to play bass on “It’s Only Rock and Roll” and “Honky Tonk Women.” But the biggest cheers came for Taylor, who hasn’t been a Stone since 1974 — he played trademark blues guitar solos on an extended version of “Midnight Rambler” and looked like he was enjoying every second of the reunion.

Blige brought a gospel feel to “Gimme Shelter,” trading vocal acrobatics with Mick Jagger, and Beck did a flashy guitar turn on 1969′s “I’m Going Down.” But, despite the headline-grabbing special guests, the evening remained very much about the Stones’ core members and their remarkable career, with the set spanning from their second-ever single, 1963′s “I Wanna Be Your Man” to their latest, 2012′s “Doom and Gloom.”

In fact, it ended up pretty much like anyone else’s 50th birthday party: there were some old friends, some laughs, some tears, plenty of memories and a lot of embarrassing dancing — plus it was all over in time for everyone to get the last train home.

Jagger, however, was in vintage showman form. In between pumping up the crowd with regular forays down a runway that ran around a central “lips” pit full of hardcore fans, he brought plenty of funnies, at one point even joking about the controversy over the cost of tickets for the show, which started at $90.

“Everybody alright in the cheap seats?” Jagger asked. “They aren’t so cheap though, are they? That’s the trouble … ”

Richards, while seemingly content to let Ronnie Wood do some of the heavy lifting on guitar, was in similarly jocular form. “It’s good to see you all,” Richards grinned as he took the mic for a two-song stint.

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