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Rolling Stones Rock Hyde Park; Memories of 1969 Concert Rush Back

Image: Rolling Stones Rock Hyde Park; Memories of 1969 Concert Rush Back

By Clyde Hughes   |   Monday, 08 Jul 2013 08:06 AM

The Rolling Stones made a triumphant return to London's Hyde Park on Saturday, playing in front of a sellout 65,000 fans, reminiscent of the free concert they played there back in 1969.

"A big hi to London, England, and Hyde Park!" Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger said to a screaming group of fans, NME.com reported. "Anyone here that was here in 1969? Well hi. It's nice to see you again."

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The band last played the London venue 44 years ago on July 5. In a tribute to that concert, a montage of footage from that show played out on the big screens around the stage before the band performed.

Critics as well as fans seemed pleased with the Stones' performance. The Guardian's Michael Hann said the band gleefully played to its well-worn bad boy persona.

"There are no fancy props on stage, but the band are enveloped on huge screens, which during 'Sympathy for the Devil' portray the trees of Hyde Park in flames, while firepots belch orange flame and drape the front 30 or 40 yards of the crowd in smoke," Hann wrote in his review. "It's thrillingly effective, and only the delighted whoops of 65,000 or so prevent it feeling suitably demonic."

Billboard's Paul Sexton said the band members seemed to even be enjoying the spotlight more than they did during its first gig at Hyde Park. 

"In a quarter-century of watching the Stones, I don't think I've ever seen them all smile so much on stage, nor maintain quite such momentum throughout two hours of classic hits," Sexton wrote. "On a glorious summer's evening, all of Hyde Park gazed in awe at Mick Jagger's boundless showmanship on the vast video screens, behind the giant model trees that framed the stage, and had a collective I'll-have-what-he's-having moment."

The Rolling Stones' 1969 concert was a tribute to their guitarist Brian Jones who had died a few days earlier. The show was the debut of guitarist Mick Taylor.

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