Photos: The Rolling Stones Return to The Rose Bowl in Pasadena

Legendary Rockers Pack The Rose Bowl, Announce ‘Rolling Stones’ on Mars

By DONNA BALANCIA

The Rolling Stones played their most memorable songs at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl, gave props to some local venues, and got the crowd’s OK on their own brand of NASA Mars Rock on Thursday night.

The No Filter tour dates had been rescheduled because of frontman Mick Jagger’s heart operation. But Jagger showed no signs of slowing down with athletic dance moves and a powerful voice that got the crowd of 55,000-plus to its feet and cheering for most of the night.

Mick Jagger in front of more than 55,000 fans at The Rose Bowl – Photos by Donna Balancia

The dapper Jagger had several wardrobe changes, and many times ran the length of a catwalk that extended out into the Rose Bowl crowd, singing tunes like opener “Street Fightin’ Man,” “Tumbling Dice,” crowd selection “She’s a Rainbow,” and “Honky Tonk Women.” The band opened the show with “Street Fighting Man.”

The Rolling Stones – Street Fighting Man @ Pasadena

The beloved Keith Richards, who is often the subject of playful jokes and quips for his resilience in the face of maturation, took center stage for “You Got the Silver” and his well-known “Before They Make Me Run,” off the 1978 classic album Some Girls.  

Mick introduced all band members during the night as fans applauded wildly for each, with the gentleman Charlie Watts, stepping out from behind the drum kit to acknowledge the crowd.

Mick Jagger The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones Mick Jagger flings his jacket on stage at The Rose Bowl during No Filter tour – Donna Balancia

The evening was interesting enough with suspense put forth by “Ironman” star Robert Downey Jr. on his social media Thursday, hinting at a collaboration between NASA-JPL and The Stones. It turned out a rock that was displaced during the landing of the Insight Lander on Mars would be forever known as “Rolling Stones Rock.” It was an announcement that was met warmly in Pasadena, where JPL as well as Caltech are based.

The Rolling Stones Rose Bowl
Charlie Ron Keef and Mick perform acoustic versions of ‘Dead Flowers’ and ‘Sweet Virginia’ – Photo © 2019 Donna Balancia

Jagger said he loved Los Angeles and some of the venues he appreciates and gave a shoutout to were Brennan’s in Santa Monica, which recently brought back its famous Thursday night turtle races, and upscale Spago’s restaurant.

The Rolling Stones brought some acoustic revelry to the show as the four took a long walk out to the end of the catwalk where they played the beloved tunes “Sweet Virginia” and “Dead Flowers.”

The Rolling Stones play Pasadena
Ron Keef and Mick in Pasadena – Donna Balancia

If would-be show-goers had not purchased tickets at the beginning of the year when they originally went on sale, they were either out of luck or had to pay astronomical prices. But some fans spent the money as a “bucket list” chance to the longest-running rock band of our time. As Downey pointed out in making his Mars Rock announcement, the Stones’ first, self-titled album was released in 1964.

The Rolling Stones in Pasadena – Donna Balancia

The Rolling Stones in Pasadena’s Rose Bowl drew young and old, most of whom were wearing some version of a T-shirt bearing the band’s famous logo. It had been 25 years since the band last played the Rose Bowl. Friends and VIPs were treated to beverages and snacks and shared photos and laughs with band members before and after the show.

The Rolling Stones - Donna Balancia
The Rolling Stones – Donna Balancia

The night ended with an encore of “Gimme Shelter” and “Satisfaction” as well as a spectacular fireworks display.

The No Filter tour and its many trucks and buses hits the road en route to its next stop, Glendale, Arizona, and then finishes up in Miami.

The Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil

More Photos:

The Rolling Stones play Pasadena
Ron Keef and Mick in Pasadena – Donna Balancia