20 October 2023

Rolling Stones stage New York club gig ahead of album release

20 October 2023

The Rolling Stones have celebrated the release of their first album of original music in 18 years with a Manhattan club gig.

Before a celebrity-strewn audience of invited guests that included Christie Brinkley, Elvis Costello and Trevor Noah at Racket NYC in New York City, the Stones made a notable racket themselves over seven songs, four from the new Hackney Diamonds disc.

Singer Sir Mick Jagger alluded to past stunts the Stones had done in New York to tout new music over the years, including performing on a flatbed truck on Fifth Avenue.

He saluted the city by opening with the 1970s-era punkish tune, Shattered, with the lyric “my brain’s been splattered all over Manhattan”.

After performing the new single, Angry, Sir Mick noted to his bandmates: “There’s a first time for everything.”

Following the death of drummer Charlie Watts in 2021, the Stones are down to a core trio of Sir Mick and guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood.

They are supplemented onstage with four other musicians.

Hackney Diamonds, coming at a time many fans wondered if the Rolling Stones would ever release new music again, has been well received by critics, with many noting the crisp energy the band displayed.

That vigour was apparent at the performance in Manhattan’s Meatpacking district.

Following an opening DJ set by Questlove, Sir Mick danced on a stage much smaller than he is used to, one that a roadie prepared for him by sprinkling powder on the floor. Now 80, he moved like a man half his age.

His tongue wagged slightly as he caught his breath after another punk-inspired tune, Bite My Head Off.

“You might be familiar with this one,” Sir Mick said, before Richards began the opening riff to Jumpin’ Jack Flash, instantly trumping the thousands of bar bands who have attempted the song in the 55 years since its original release.

This time, the bar band was the Rolling Stones.

Lady Gaga, dressed in a maroon sequined pantsuit, made an appearance to recreate her duet – duel, really – with Sir Mick on the new song Sweet Sounds Of Heaven.

“New York, the Rolling Stones!” she said before leaving, after exchanging kisses with Sir Mick and Richards.

Hackney Diamonds is out on Friday.

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