UPDATE: The Rolling Stones have released a limited-edition version of Sticky Fingers with the band’s rare alternate Spanish cover art. The album features an image of a woman’s hand emerging from a can of syrup and is now available at Urban Outfitters.
The Rolling Stones will return to North American stadiums this summer for the 15-city Zip Code tour. The tour will kick off May 24th at San Diego’s Petco Park, criss-crossing the country before ending July 15th at Quebec’s Le Festival D’Été de Québec. The tour name plays off the jeans-focused cover of the group’s classic 1971 album, Sticky Fingers, which it will be reissuing in a deluxe format on May 26th.
The band will play hits-filled sets, as well as selections of what it’s calling “special gems” from its catalog. The last time the group toured U.S. stadiums was in 2007.
The group intends to elevate its stadium performances with a stage that will extend deep into the audience, as well as video screens and special effects. Tickets for all U.S. shows go on sale April 13th, while the Quebec date goes on sale April 11th.
“We are excited to be back in North America playing stadiums this summer,” Mick Jagger said in a statement. “We are looking forward to being back onstage and playing your favorite songs.” The singer added in a promo video for the tour, “People say, ‘How come you’re still doing this?’ but I can’t believe I did this when I was 20.”
“We love being out on the road and it is great to come back to North America,” Keith Richards added. “I can’t wait to get back on the stage!”
The deluxe reissue of Sticky Fingers, which is home to concert favorites “Brown Sugar,” “Wild Horses,” “Dead Flowers,” “Bitch” and “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” will be released in a variety of formats, from basic standard CD reissues to lavish box sets.
The deluxe edition will include a version of “Brown Sugar” that features Eric Clapton, unreleased takes on “Bitch,” “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” and “Dead Flowers” and an acoustic version of “Wild Horses.” It will also include five tracks the band recorded from a performance at London’s Roundhouse in 1971, including “Honky Tonk Women” and “Midnight Rambler.”
A super-deluxe version will also include Get Yer Leeds Lungs Out!, a 13-track recording of the band’s concert in Leeds in March 1971. It includes the Sticky Fingers cuts “Brown Sugar,” “Bitch” and “Dead Flowers.” This edition will also contain a 120-page book with new liner notes, rare and previously unpublished photos, a print and postcard set and a cover with a real working zipper, like the album cover.
Looking back on Sticky Fingers – known for its Andy Warhol–designed cover featuring a close-up of a man’s crotch with unzippable jeans fly – drummer Charlie Watts once claimed its distinct sound came from Jagger’s unique interest in playing guitar at the time. “He plays very strange rhythm guitar…very much how Brazilian guitarists play, on the upbeat,” he said. “It is very much like the guitar on a James Brown track – for a drummer, it’s great to play with.”
The shows mark the band’s first North American dates since concluding their 50 & Counting run in 2013. Since then, the group played a number of concerts in Europe, Asia and Australia, some of which had been rescheduled following the death of Jagger’s girlfriend, L’Wren Scott last March.
The group collectively paused at the time so Jagger could mourn. “I will never forget her,” he wrote in a statement at the time. Each of his bandmates released their own statements around that time to show support for the singer and to explain how her death had forced the group to postpone Australian dates.
“This is such terrible news and right now the important thing is that we are all pulling together to offer Mick our support and help him through this sad time,” guitarist Ron Wood said at the time. “Without a doubt we intend to be back out on that stage as soon as we can.”
The band returned to performing live in May, following a memorial for Scott, for a gig near Oslo. At the show, they revisited the Steel Wheels tune “Can’t Be Seen,” which they put back in the set thereafter. Later in the month, they welcomed Bruce Springsteen onstage to sing the Exile on Main St. classic “Tumbling Dice.” Similarly, John Mayer joined the band in Rome for their Some Girls single “Respectable.”
In the time since the group’s last concert, its longtime saxophonist Bobby Keys died following an ongoing battle with liver cirrhosis. He had played with the band on its Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main St. albums, among others, as well as recordings by John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Marvin Gaye. Richards paid tribute to Keys in an essay for Rolling Stone, calling him “the epitome of the rock & roll sax-playing man.” The upcoming trek will the band’s first without Keys.
Rolling Stones Zip Code tour dates:
May 24 – San Diego, CA @ Petco Park
May 30 – Columbus, OH @ Ohio Stadium
June 3 – Minneapolis, MN @ TCF Bank Stadium
June 6 – Dallas, TX @ AT&T Stadium
June 9 – Atlanta, GA @ Bobby Dodd Stadium
June 12 – Orlando, FL @ Orlando Citrus Bowl
June 17 – Nashville, TN @ LP Field
June 20 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Heinz Field
June 23 – Milwaukee, WI @ Summerfest / Marcus Amphitheater
June 27 – Kansas City, MO @ Arrowhead Stadium
July 1 – Raleigh, NC @ Carter-Finley Stadium
July 4 – Indianapolis, IN @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway
July 8 – Detroit, MI @ Comerica Park
July 11 – Buffalo, NY @ Ralph Wilson Stadium
July 15 – Quebec, QC @ Le Festival D’Été de Québec