JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Rolling Stones wowed fans from across the globe who packed TIAA Bank Field in downtown Jacksonville Friday evening for the much-awaited show.
After months of delays as Mick Jagger recovered from heart surgery, the man himself took center stage about 9:30 p.m. in front of the crowd of more than 50,000 and showed he's still got the moves.
It was the first time in nearly 30 years that the Rolling Stones had been in the River City, and the legendary British rockers didn't disappoint.
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Fans finally got their "Satisfaction" as the Stones played all their hits during more than two-hour-long set in Jacksonville, one of only 13 American cities on the No Filter Tour.
"I’m always in the pit," fan Robin Levin said. "That is the only way to watch the Stones is in the pit. You have to be right up there."
Despite storms that rocked Northeast Florida in the afternoon, the weather cooperated and fans weren't yelling "Gimme Shelter" as they lined up hours before the gates opened to see the hottest ticket in the state Friday night. But for a few who couldn't, a man named James Ollie was there to help. He was paid $20 an hour to sit in line.
"Some people were coming from out of town and they did not want to be at the end of the line, but they paid me to come out here at 12 o’clock and ... hold their spot until they get here," Ollie said. "It’s that important to them."
Concertgoers, some of whom forked out more than $500 for tickets, came from as far away as South America and Europe, and included new and old Stones fans alike.
Paul Crichtona had already attended 34 Stones concerts, but the previous ones didn't diminish his excitement for Friday's show.
"This’ll be my 35th Rolling Stones show ... Started in 1973," Crichtona said. "There is nothing else like the Rolling Stones."
Though not quite as many, Friday marked Glenn Ponder's 21st Stones show.
"They’re the greatest band in the world," Ponder said. "It’s my hobby."
By the end of Friday night, the legends had "Painted(ed) It Black" and left diehard fans wanting more. The smiling faces leaving TIAA Bank all agreed the show was worth the wait and one for the memory books.
Friday marked the third time in 44 years that the Stones had played an arena concert in Jacksonville. The first one was in 1975 and the other was Nov. 25, 1989, when the Stones played a 2½-hour concert at the Gator Bowl, which was also as part of a stadium tour.