NEW YORK – Those miracles of modern science, the Rolling Stones, celebrated the release of their first album of original music in 18 years with a Manhattan club gig on Thursday.
Before a celebrity-strewn audience of invited guests that included Christie Brinkley, Elvis Costello and Trevor Noah at Racket NYC, the Stones made a notable racket themselves over seven songs, four from the new “Hackney Diamonds” disc.
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,” Jagger noted to his bandmates: “There's a first time for everything.”
With the death of drummer Charlie Watts in 2021, the Stones are down to a core trio of Jagger and guitarists Keith Richards and Ron Wood. They're supplemented onstage with four other musicians.
“Hackney Diamonds,” coming at a time many fans wondered if the Rolling Stones would ever bother again with new music, has been well received by critics, with many noting the crisp energy the band displayed. It's out Friday.
That vigor was apparent at the performance in Manhattan's Meatpacking district. Following an opening DJ set by Questlove, Jagger pranced and prowled a stage much smaller than he's 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,” Jagger said before Richards began the opening riff to “Jumpin' Jack Flash,” instantly trumping the thousands of bar band versions attempted in the 55 years since the song's release.
This time, the bar band was the Rolling Stones.
Lady Gaga, dressed in a sequined maroon pantsuit, made an appearance to recreate her duet — duel, really — with Jagger on the new “Sweet Sounds of Heaven.”
“New York, the Rolling Stones!” she said before leaving, exchanging kisses with Jagger and Richards.