The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY)
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Rolling Stones open American tour, pay tribute to late drummer
ST. LOUIS » The Rolling Stones are touring again, this time without their heartbeat, or at least their back beat.
The legendary rockers launched their pandemic-delayed “No Filter” tour Sunday at the Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis without their drummer of nearly six decades. It was clear from the outset just how much the band members — and the fans — missed Charlie Watts, who died last month at age 80. Except for a private show in Massachusetts last week, the St. Louis concert was their first since Watts’ death.
The show opened with an empty stage and only a drumbeat, with photos of Watts flashing on the video board. After the second song, a rousing rendition of “It’s Only Rock ’N’ Roll (But I Like It),” Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood came to the front of the stage. Jagger and Richards clasped hands as they thanked fans for the outpouring of support and love for Watts. Jagger acknowledged it was emotional seeing the photos of Watts.
“This is our first-ever tour we’ve ever done without him,” Jagger said. “We’ll miss Charlie so much, on and off the stage.”
The band then dedicated “Tumbling Dice” to Watts.
The concert itself featured the same driving beat personified by Watts, thanks to his replacement, Steve Jordan. The drummer has performed for years with Richards’ side project, X-pensive Winos, along with many other leading acts.