THE last time The Rolling Stones played Southampton was the year England won the World Cup.

More than 50 years later the legendary rock band returned to the city for a knock-out performance on the pitch at they thrilled more than 30,000 music lovers at St Mary’s Stadium.

Despite earlier downpours of rain, it stayed dry and nothing was going to dampen the excitement, enthusiasm and energy on and off the stage.

These rock icons might have a combined age of 294 years but Mick Jagger, 74, Keith Richards, 74, Charlie Watts, 76, and Ronnie Wood, 70, certainly showed how to hold back time with an explosive set of back-to-back hits and crowd-pleasers.

Jagger – who became a father for the eighth time last December when his 30-year-old girlfriend Melanie Hamrick gave birth to their son, proved he’s still an unstoppable force of nature from the moment he burst on stage in his skinny black jeans, rhinestone shirt and blue satin bomber jacket.

Launching into opener Start Me Up and maintaining the tempo with Let’s Spend the Night Together followed by Tumbling Dice and It’s Only Rock ’N’ Roll it was clear we were watching the ultimate frontman of the greatest ever rock band still at the very top of their game.

Not only does Jagger have an incredible voice but his energy and moves were something to behold as he constantly ran up and down the huge stage and into the crowd along the T-shaped jutted runway, often skipping and looking every inch a young dancer or top athlete.

The weaving double playing of guitarist Ronnie Wood with Keith Richards was incredible, and even drummer Charlie Watts still performs with vigour.

All the on-stage action was also transmitted on four huge LED video screens, along with stunning visual artwork. This was a massive, spectacular production which was “in the millions of dollars” to put on. It was part of the second leg of the Stones’ No Filter tour and the third of 14 UK shows, coming after London Stadium and Croke Park in Dublin. Some 725,000 people will see the Stones over these dates.

With such an epic back catalogue of hits from the band that started in 1962, the set list has been different for each show. It was exciting speculating what would come next.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want became an extended singalong with the crowd, followed by the thrilling Paint It Black and Honky Tonk Women.

Jumpin’ Jack Flash was another highlight with Jagger leading all the arm-waving and dancing in the crowd, followed by the icing on the cake, Brown Sugar, where the energy became superhuman closing the set. This was followed by the encore with Gimme Shelter and the ultimate smash hit (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.

All the band seemed in high spirits, loving every minute as much as the crowd. Jagger shared lots of good humoured banter with the fans throughout.

"I guess there are lots of Southampton fans here - I've got to congratulate you on another great escape!" he laughed.

He also told them "I had just enough time to have a kick around with Matt Le Tissier" before making reference to a time he spent "at a prison up the road" and saying there were two prison cells at St Mary's which were good for putting away fans in.

He recalled their first Southampton gig at The Gaumont in 1963 and most recent in 1966.

“That was the World Cup year and we’d like to thank you for coming back to see us after all this time,” he said. The feeling was mutual.


  • Start Me Up
  • Let's Spend the Night Together
  • Tumbling Dice
  • It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)
  • Just Your Fool
  • (Buddy Johnson and His Orchestra cover)
  • Under My Thumb
  • Sweet Virginia
  • You Can't Always Get What You Want
  • Paint It Black
  • Honky Tonk Women (Followed by band introductions)
  • The Worst (Keith Richards on vocals)
  • Before They Make Me Run (Keith Richards on vocals)
  • Sympathy for the Devil
  • Miss You
  • Midnight Rambler
  • Jumpin' Jack Flash
  • Brown Sugar


  • Gimme Shelter
  • (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction