The Rolling Stones were forced to discount tickets on the first two dates of their North American tour, leading some to speculate that they'll be forced to renegotiate their guarantee — the hefty amount the rock'n'roll legends take home at the end of the night. Their "50 and Counting" tour kicked off at Los Angeles' Staples Center arena on Friday, May 3. It was a packed house, but only after the high price to enter was slashed.
As Huffington Post reports, tickets in the $250 to $600 range were discounted in the days leading up to the show and a batch of $85 seats were released, which sold out quickly. Similar cuts had to be made for the Stones' Oakland, California stop on Sunday, May 5. The band is booked at arenas instead of stadiums for this run, making for a more intimate experience but more expensive tickets. VIP packages have been priced as high as $2,000. But hey, they sold out L.A.'s genuinely intimate Echoplex handily, so maybe they can book a tour opening indie venues for Twin Shadow or something.
The Guardian implies that the band will have to take a hit on their purported $20 million promised gross, which, you know ... duh. All of this despite the fact that the band has been stocking its set with little gifts for their fans. As Consequence of Sound points out, the Los Angeles show included the first live performance of 1980's funk-dappled "Emotional Rescue" ever (watch that below), plus appearances from Gwen Stefani ("Wild Horses"), Keith Urban ("Respectable"), and Mick Taylor ("Midnight Rambler"). The Oakland gig included a rendition of the old blues "Little Red Rocket" featuring Tom Waits on vocals. Check that out above.