Rolling Stones said it was a ‘poignant night’ without their late drummer Charlie Watts (Picture: Getty / REX)
Rolling Stones performed their first show after the death of their drummer Charlie Watts this evening, with Mick Jagger describing it as a ‘poignant night’.
Watts died at the age of 80 on August 24, surrounded by his family, and was laid to rest weeks later in Devon.
On Tuesday, Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood returned to the stage for a performance at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
Rolling Stone has reported that the private event was organised by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and said to be a warm-up show to the band’s official No Filter tour which kicks off later this week in St Louis, Missouri.
In a video clip shared on his Twitter account, the Can’t Get No Satisfaction hitmakers are seen huddled on-stage as Jagger, 78, leads tributes to Watts.
‘It’s the first show of our 2021 tour, this is it, this is a try out,’ he told the intimate audience.
‘I must say though at this point, it’s a bit of a poignant night for us and it’s our first tour we’ve done in 59 years that we’ve done without our lovely Charlie Watts, and we all miss Charlie so much.
‘We miss him as a band, we miss him as friends on and off the stage and we’ve got so many memories of Charlie and I’m sure some of you that have have seen us before have got memories of Charlie as well and I hope you will remember him as we do.
Toasting Watts with a bottle of beer, Jagger added: ‘We’d like to dedicate this show to Charlie. Let’s have a drink to Charlie.’
Wood joined in: ‘Charlie we’re playing for you.’
Jagger then said: ‘What are we going to do now…I’m all emotional,’ before resuming the show.
It was reported that the Rolling Stones were forced to miss Watts’ funeral as they were deep in rehearsals in Boston ahead of their US tour, therefore unable to travel back to the UK to pay their respects in person.
In a statement shared with PA last month, Watts’ publicist confirmed his death: ‘It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts.
‘He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family.
‘Charlie was a cherished husband, father and grandfather and also as a member of The Rolling Stones one of the greatest drummers of his generation.
‘We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time.’
A cause of death was not given.