Mick Jagger chokes up as he dedicates Rolling Stones live return to Charlie Watts

22 September 2021, 09:30 | Updated: 13 September 2023, 14:47

Mick Jagger in concert with The Rolling Stones
Mick Jagger in concert with The Rolling Stones. Picture: Getty

By Mayer Nissim

The Rolling Stones frontman posts a video clip of his emotional tribute to drummer Charlie Watts.

Mick Jagger paid emotional tribute to Charlie Watts last night (September 21) as the Rolling Stones played their first live show since their drummer's death.

Watts had pulled out of the No Filter tour dates earlier in August due to ill health, but his death at the age of 80 on August 24 still came as a shock to his bandmates.

The Rolling Stones played Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, last night, their first live show in two years after the COVID-19 pandemic put the final leg of their tour on a long-term pause.

The show was a private concert hosted by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and the first with the lineup of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, Darryl Jones, and Steve Jordan on drums.

"It's the first show of our 2021 tour, so this is it. This is the tryout..." Jagger said from the stage, captured in a video posted to his Twitter account.

"I must say though, at this point, it's a bit of a poignant night for us because it's our first tour in 59 years that we've done without our lovely Charlie Watts."

He added: "And we all miss Charlie so much. We miss him as a band, we miss him as a friend on and off the stage and we've got so many memories of Charlie.

"And I'm sure some of you who have seen us before have got memories of Charlie as well. I hope you will remember him like we do.

"So we'd like to dedicate this show to Charlie... let's have a drink to Charlie!"

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Guitarist Ronnie Wood added: "Charlie, we're playing for you, man – we're playing for you."

Jagger then said: "What are we going to do now? Now I’m all emotional..."

The full Rolling Stones setlist was as follows:

  1. Let's Spend the Night Together
  2. Tumbling Dice
  3. Under My Thumb
  4. Troubles A-Comin'
  5. Living in a Ghost Town
  6. You Can't Always Get What You Want
  7. Midnight Rambler
  8. Miss You
  9. 19th Nervous Breakdown
  10. Start Me Up
  11. Gimme Shelter
  12. Sympathy for the Devil
  13. Jumpin' Jack Flash
  14. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

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Mick, Keith and Ronnie were forced to miss Watts's private funeral in Devon this month due to COVID-19 travel and quarantine restrictions, as they were in Boston, MA rehearsing for their tour.

They are paying tribute to their bandmate during their shows and are said to be planning a further memorial when they return to the UK.