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Rolling Stones rock Allegiant in 1st Las Vegas show in 5 years

Updated November 7, 2021 - 12:56 pm

His body echoed his words, hips and lips synchronized like the hands of a clock — a clock he could turn back at will, seemingly.

“Don’t see the time flashin’ by,” Mick Jagger sang with young-dude vigor, as if time was just another one of his many sparkly jackets to be tossed aside when the mood struck — note: the mood strikes often.

The song was “Tumbling Dice,” a boogie-woogie bedhopper’s anthem, a gambling metaphor about never settling down — fits this city as snuggly as Jagger’s chinos, doesn’t it?

But it took on a new meaning as it roared from the stage at Allegiant Stadium on Saturday evening.

“Roll on!” a pair of backing singers exhorted as the song worked its way to an eruptive conclusion.

Rolling on — that’s what this night was all about.

“In 1962, we met this great drummer called Charlie Watts,” Jagger said by way of introducing the tune in question. “Since those days, we’ve never done a tour without him.”

And then he dedicated the band’s current “No Filter Tour” to his late friend.

It was the band’s second nod to Watts: before they began their 19-song, two-hour set, images of the drummer flashed on the quartet of massive video screens towering above the dark stage.

Once the Stones knifed into a show-opening “Street Fighting Man,” though, it was clear the band intended to honor their deceased bandmate the best way — maybe the only way — they knew how: by keeping the show going.

With Watts’ replacement Steve Jordan — all gold chains, sunglasses at night and steady-handed rhythmic oomph — locking in with bassist Darryl Jones and powering the band forward, the Stones acknowledged their age, playing some tunes that dated back fifty-plus years, while simultaneously defying it.

As with tours of the recent past, the centerpiece of the show has become an increasingly epic reading of “Midnight Rambler,” a sort of blues-rock Sermon on the Mount that just seems to grow in scope, heft and aplomb with each passing year, now stretching well past the 10-minute mark.

Near the midway point of the show, the band aired a new tune, “Living in a Ghost Town,” written during the pandemic.

“We’re gonna do our lock-down song for you,” Jagger explained.

“Once this place was humming / And the air was full of drumming,” he sang on the reggae-informed slow-burner. “The sound of cymbals crashing / Glasses were all smashing / Trumpets were all screaming / Saxophones were blaring.”

And then those saxophones blared once more in song.

The Stones were back at it.

“Roll on!”

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