(hennemusic) The Rolling Stones played a warm-up show at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA on September 20 ahead of this weekend's launch of their rescheduled No Filter US Tour, marking their first performance since the recent passing of drummer Charlie Watts.
As Rolling Stone notes, a tiny crowd of invited guests witnessed the band's 14-song set at private event at the venue that was organized by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Watts passed away .on August 24 at the age of 80 while recovering from a recent medical procedure that was set to have him sit out the band's 2021 concert series.
"It's the first show of our 2021 tour, so this is it...this is a tryout," Mick Jagger told the crowd, as seen in video footage shared by the singer. "I must say, at this point, it's a bit of a poignant night for us: this is our first tour in 59 years that we've done without our lovely Charlie Watts. We all miss Charlie so much. We miss him as a band. We miss him as friends, on and off the stage.
"We've got so many memories of Charlie. I'm sure some of you that have seen us before have got memories of Charlie as well. I hope you'll remember him like we do. We'd like to dedicate this show to Charlie," he continued, before raising a toast to his late bandmate. "Let's have a drink to Charlie!"
"Charlie, we're playing for you man, we're playing for you," added guitarist Ronnie Wood.
Watts' friend and hand-picked stand-in, Steve Jordan, was on drums for the gig and will be in the lineup for the US tour, which will open in St. Louis, MO on September 26.
Fan-filmed, partial clips of a few songs from the warm-up show have surfaced online following the event. Watch some here.