The Rolling Stones, celebrating 50 years in rock music, have given their first concert in five years - at a small Paris venue, wowing 350 fans who paid just US$20 to see the surprise gig.
"I can't believe we're all still standing up - you'd think by now one or two of us would be sitting down, but we're not," lead singer Mick Jagger told the small crowd at the Trabendo club in northeast Paris on Thursday night.
The band has announced four major concerts in Britain and the US to mark their 50th anniversary. The Stones' last concerts were in 2007. Guitarist Ronnie Wood has said the band is on a gruelling rehearsal schedule with the "nose to the grindstone … We wanna give 200 per cent".
The Paris concert lasted an hour and 20 minutes, far more than the advertised 30 minutes, with the band getting the evening under way with a rousing rendition of Route 66. They followed up with hits including Start Me Up and Miss You, as well as Doom and Gloom, off their 50th anniversary anthology album.
"It was extraordinary," said former French tennis star Henri Leconte, who was in the audience. "I hope I can move as well as Mick and be as enthusiastic when I am his age," he said of the 69-year-old front man.