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Golden Oldies in the sun - The Stones roll back the years on Lyon's hottest ever day

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The Rolling Stones' singer Mick Jagger, guitarists Keith Richards and Ron Wood, and US drummer Steve Jordan perform during a concert in Decines-Charpieu's Stadium near Lyon
The Rolling Stones' singer Mick Jagger, guitarists Keith Richards and Ron Wood, and US drummer Steve Jordan perform during a concert in Decines-Charpieu's Stadium near Lyon   -   Copyright  AFP
By Rita Palfi

The Rolling Stones returned to Lyon this week after 15 years and gave 50,000 rock fans good reason to leave their homes and get to Groupama Stadium on one of the hottest days ever recorded in the French city. 

The mini-tour named Sixty is the British rock band's first one since their original drummer Charlie Watts died last August. They start all of their shows by paying tribute to him.

The Stones have always had a special relationship with the French public since the start of their six decade long career - and some in France considered them much more hip and entertaining compared to The Beatles.

They also won a place in some people's heart for recording one of their greatest albums, Exile On Main Street, at a villa on the French Riviera. Although others may remember their sejourn for the police raid which resulted in charges against Keith Richards for heroin possession and his subsequently ban from France for two years.

Mick Jagger bought a property in Pocé-sur-Cisse in central-France in the '80s and he even chose to spend lockdown there, just as you can see in the video below of when he played on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Having spent so much time in France, Jagger spoke in French during the brief breaks during songs. He also knew how to gain the sympathy of the "gones", by praising the capital of the gastronomy of the world, and telling them they sing better than the people from neighbouring city St Étienne with whom they have an age-old rivalry.

But the band showed off all its crowd-pleasing talents by playing some ot their biggest hits from the '60s and '70s like Angie, Satisfaction and Honky Tonk Woman. If you watch the above video, you might find it hard to believe the people singing, shouting, dancing and jumping were defying record heatwave temperatures. 

Glacing around Lyon's Groupama Stadium, it certainly seemed to me that most people around me weren't even born when all those songs were recorded.

And even though Jagger made everyone sing along as the band performed "You can't always get what you want," it seemed like on this night he could not have been more wrong. 

Next stop for The Rolling Stones will be Paris this Saturday and the last gig on this European tour will be in Berlin on 3 August.