Stones return to play at Hyde Park
July 08, 2013 10:50 AM

LONDON — The Rolling Stones returned to London’s Hyde Park after 44 years with a concert that saluted both the band’s past and the fleetingly idyllic English summer. Mick Jagger even donned a frock for the occasion.

The band played an outdoor gig for 65,000 people Saturday in the same venue as a landmark 1969 show performed two days after the death of founding member Brian Jones.

It’s most often remembered for the vast crowd of more than 200,000, for Jagger quoting Percy Bysshe Shelley as eulogy to Jones — and for the white dress Jagger wore onstage. Jagger took the stage in a similar white smock Saturday for a rendition of “Honky Tonk Women,” a song the band also played in 1969.

“Just something I found in the back,” he said.

Much else has changed since 1969. Then, the concert was free. On Saturday, some fans had paid $300 a ticket. Jagger turns 70 this month, drummer Charlie Watts is 72, and guitarist Keith Richards is 69.

“It’s taken a while, but we got back,” Richards said.

And the Stones seemed genuinely glad to have returned. Fresh off a headlining slot at the Glastonbury Festival last week, the band was in relaxed but rousing form during a set that kicked off with “Start Me Up” and “It’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll (But I Like It).”

“Anybody here that was here in 1969?” Jagger asked, getting at least a few affirmative shouts. “Welcome back — it’s nice to see you again.”

The band played on a stage surrounded by fake trees and foliage — “like a cross between Wimbledon and a pantomime forest,” Jagger said — but it was scarcely necessary. The park was already a leafy idyll on a rare London day of bright sunshine and soaring temperatures.

“This time of year in England, it’s the best place to be in the world,” Jagger said, before quoting Shakespeare: “Summer’s lease has all too short a date.”

The show featured some songs that had yet to be written in 1969, including “Beast of Burden” and the recent “Doom and Gloom,” as well as 1960s favorites like “Sympathy For the Devil,” “Paint It Black” and “Gimme Shelter.”

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NORMAN, Okla. — Some of country music’s biggest stars, including Garth Brooks, Toby Keith and many others with ties to Oklahoma, played a sold-out show Saturday at the University of Oklahoma to raise money for the victims of the recent tornadoes that strafed the state.

Organizers of the concert, which was held in the school’s Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, estimated that nearly 65,000 people braved the searing heat to watch the show and show their support for the victims, the Tulsa World reported.

The money raised from ticket sales benefits the United Way of Central Oklahoma, which established a fund to aid victims of the May storms that killed dozens of people.

A separate benefit concert last month hosted by Oklahoma native country music star Blake Shelton raised more than $6 million in donations and pledges.

Saturday’s concert was organized by Keith, who was still playing to a packed house seven hours into the show.

Brooks, who was the biggest draw, took to the stage Saturday afternoon to a rousing ovation.

“Today the healing begins,” said Brooks.

Brooks played “Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House” and “Papa Loved Mama.” His wife, Trisha Yearwood, joined him for a duet, “In Another’s Eyes.”

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