In the same week they released their first new studio recording in seven years (Doom & Gloom) and premiered their HBO documentary film, Crossfire Hurricane, the biggest band in rock & roll history continue to celebrate their half-centenary with the announcement of a brand new tour entitled "50 & Counting: The Rolling Stones Live."
The last time they took to the stage in 2007, they were concluding their mammoth 147-date "A Bigger Bang" world tour, having played in front of 45 million people in 32 countries over two years in the second most profitable tour of all time. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given that they now have a combined age of 273, they are now taking things a little easier, with only two dates at London's O2 Arena (Nov. 25 and 29) and Newark's Prudential Center (Dec. 13 and 15) penned in for the time being.
However, while the crowds are smaller, with both venues' capacity just under 20,000, the ticket prices certainly aren't. Starting from a face value of $115 and going up to an astonishing $813, many of their fans have voiced their disgust at having to fork out a small fortune to see a band that will reportedly receive $25 million for just four nights' work.
Of course, Rolling Stones tickets have always been at the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to cost. Their 1965 gig at NYC's Academy of Music may have only set crowds in the upper level seats back $4.50, but by 1989's Shea Stadium show, they were charging up to $34.25 for a similar view, while that price had risen to $74.80 for the 2005 date at Giants Stadium.
The band themselves, meanwhile, don't appear too concerned with the outrage, with guitarist Ronnie Wood arguing that the stage set-up, likely to include their famous tongue and lips logo, will cost millions alone. While a spokesman for the concert promoters, Virgin Live, claimed that the price tag merits such a "unique occasion and milestone in Rolling Stones history" and that it's comparable to other events of the same magnitude.
Despite the accusations that tickets companies -- who are siphoning tickets out of general primary sales and into 'preferred primary' -- are taking advantage of the Stones' loyal audience, their four scheduled dates still sold out in minutes.
The average price for the 4000+ tickets currently available for the U.S. leg of the tour is $1477, with the first date coming in at $1397 and the second at $1577, although again, there are cheaper seats to be found with some listed as low as $450 for the first night and $537 for the second.
As for the gig itself, then the full line-up of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts is also expected to be joined by guitarist Mick Taylor (who quit in 1974) and bassist Bill Wyman (who left in 1993) for the odd number, whilst the likes of Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck are just some of the names touted as guest stars for the second Newark show, which is to be broadcast on pay-per-view.
Jagger has already revealed that the group have been practicing several rarely played songs during their Parisian rehearsals including "Lady Jane" and the Lennon/McCartney-penned "I Wanna Be Your Man." While more familiar favorites expected to make the set include "Paint It Black," "Brown Sugar" and "Miss You." For a look at some more Rolling Stones' "50 Years & Counting" tour ticket data, check out the image here.
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