Mick Jagger gave an emotional tribute to long-time drummer Charlie Watts Monday night during the Rolling Stones’ first live gig since his death last month.
The Stones’ frontman, 78, shared a touching video on social media from the show where he told the audience it was a ‘poignant night’ for the surviving bandmates.
‘This is our first tour in 59 years without our lovely Charlie Watts,’ he said.
Jagger said they were dedicating the show to Watts who they all ‘miss so much’ both ‘on and off the stage.’
The moving moment came as the Stones’ took to the stage at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts on Monday night for a warm-up gig ahead of their 13-date US tour which kicks off Sunday night.
The gig marks the first time in almost six decades Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, 77, performed without their famous backbeat.
Watts died aged 80 back in August of unspecified causes. He is believed to have wanted the band to continue without him and gave Steve Jordan his blessing to take his place as drummer on the upcoming tour.
Mick Jagger gave an emotional tribute to long-time drummer Charlie Watts Monday night during the Rolling Stones’ first live gig since his death last month (above)
The show was a private event for billionaire businessman Robert Kraft and had the legendary band playing a career-spanning set of hits.
The show was held inside a tent on the pitch of the stadium where the New England Patriots NFL team play to give guests added secrecy.
‘I must say t’s a bit of a poignant night for us,’ Jagger told the audience.
‘This is our first tour in 59 years that we’ve done without our lovely Charlie Watts.’
Jagger said they all shared ‘so many memories’ of Watts and were dedicating the show to him.
‘We all miss Charlie so much. We miss him as a band. We miss him as friends, on and off the stage.
‘We’ve got so many memories of Charlie. I’m sure some of you that have seen us before have got memories of Charlie as well. I hope you’ll remember him like we do.
‘So we’d like to dedicate this show to Charlie,’ he added, as the crowd roared with cheers in support.
Richards then came on the mic, adding; ‘Charlie, we’re playing for you man, playing for you.’
The guitarist then walked to the back of the stage as Jagger let out a deep sigh and said he was feeling ‘all emotional.’
‘What are we going to do now? Now, I’m all emotional,’ he said.
The Stones’ frontman, 78, shared a touching video on social media from the show where he told the audience it was a ‘poignant night’ for the surviving bandmates
Charlie Watts (pictured left with Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood) died aged 80 in August
Jagger and Richards, along with guitarist Ronnie Wood, 74, played a 14-song setlist at the warmup show Monday night which was a private event held by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
It featured classic hits including Start Me Up, Sympathy for the Devil and (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.
The band also gave a live debut of Living In A Ghost Town, released during lockdown last year, and rarity Trouble’s a Comin’, which is yet to be released.
They also performed the live debut of the Chi-Lites song ‘Troubles a-Comin’,’ which they will release on the 40th anniversary of the Tattoo You sessions – the Stones’ album released in 1981 – October 22.
The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger (center), Keith Richards, and Ronnie Wood (left), 74, played hits including Start Me Up and (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction at the private show (pictured)
The legendary band took to the stage at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts on Monday night for a warm-up gig ahead of their 13-date US tour. Pictured: Staging for the event on-pitch
Kraft (pictured) played host on the night as the legendary band played a career-spanning set of hits
1. Let’s Spend The Night Together
2. Tumbling Dice
3. Under My Thumb
4. Trouble’s a Comin’ (first time played live)
5. Living in a Ghost Town (first time played live)
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. Jumping Jack Flash
14. Street Fighting Man
15. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
The show was session drummer Jordan’s first time performing with the band after he stepped in to replace Watts, who passed away in a London hospital surrounded by family.
His bandmates were unable to attend his funeral in Devon a week later because of COVID-19 travel restrictions for re-entering the US.
Watts had already announced he would sit out the upcoming No Filter tour of the US after undergoing emergency surgery which had been ‘successful’ and had given Jordan his ‘blessing’ as stand-in.
However as the band continued to prepare for the tour in Boston, Watts’ family sadly confirmed he had passed away.
The London-born drummer joined the then-fledgling band in 1963 after meeting Mick, Keith and Brian while playing in rhythm and blues clubs.
Along with Jagger and Richards, Watts featured on every one of the band’s studio albums. He was widely regarded as one of the greatest drummers of all time.
Known for his deadpan wit, understated conversational style and love of tailored suits, his low-key style was much at odds with the flamboyant lifestyle of band mates such as Jagger and Richards.
He had one wife, Shirley, with whom who he married in 1964 before the band shot to superstardom.
The couple, who lived together in a rural village in Devon, last year rescued a greyhound from an Oxford animal sanctuary.
Watts is the first long-stay member of The Rolling Stones to die of age-related illness.
Founder and leader of The Stones, Jones, died in 1969 from accidental drowning, shortly after being kicked out of the band.
Charlie Watts pictured in 1987. He is believed to have wanted the band to continue without him
Watts’ London publicist, Bernard Doherty, said in a statement announcing his death: ‘It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts. He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family.
‘Charlie was a cherished husband, father and grandfather and also as a member of The Rolling Stones one of the greatest drummers of his generation.
‘We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time.
The Rolling Stones will reportedly alter their world famous logo on their upcoming tour in tribute to their late bandmate Charlie.
According to The Sun, the new logo will be projected onto screens on the tour and will also be used on the band’s merchandise.
A source said: ‘They don’t want it to be a concert that is a downer because they know fans have paid good money to see them.
‘But it feels only right that they referenced Charlie’s passing because he was such a vital part of the band and it will be strange for them all to not have him there.
‘They think the plans make for a fitting tribute.’
Watts is pictured in the 1970s at a British concert and sporting a David Bowie style feather cut