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Rolling Stones rock Paris

Updated: 2012-10-27 10:12
( Agencies)

Rolling Stones rock Paris

Mick Jagger (right), British rock legend and frontman of The Rolling Stones, at the Trabendo concert venue in Paris on Thursday. The Stones gave their last concerts in 2007. [Photo/Agencies]

The Rolling Stones, celebrating 50 years in rock music, gave their first concert in five years at a small Paris venue on Thursday, wowing an audience who paid just 15 euros ($20) each 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.

Eric, one of those who lined up for hours to grab one of the 350 tickets on offer, was very enthusiastic after the show.

"It was crazy, the audience went mad. It's extraordinary to see them in these conditions, especially at that price," he said.

The band has announced four major concerts in Britain and the United States to mark their 50th anniversary. The Stones gave their last concerts in 2007.

Guitarist Ronnie Wood had earlier hinted at a surprise, telling Britain's NME magazine that there were "going to be little club gigs that we're gonna surprise ourselves to do as well". He said, "I don't know who we'll be billed as but we'll turn up somewhere and put a few to the test - tiny, 200, 300 people kind of places."

Wood said the band was on a grueling rehearsal schedule in Paris with their "nose to the grindstone". He added, "We wanna give 200 percent."

The group announced on Thursday that they would play "a short warm-up gig tonight" in Paris, with the tickets available from noon at the Virgin megastore on the Champs Elysees.

But the rumors had already spread like wildfire, forcing the Virgin store to open the ticket sales two hours earlier as a huge snaking line formed outside its doors overnight on Wednesday.

The 350 tickets were snapped up in minutes.

Before the concert got under way at 9 pm, the four Stones - Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts - arrived and signed several autographs for the expectant fans.

The concert itself lasted an hour and 20 minutes, far more than the advertised 30 minutes, with the band getting the evening going with a rousing rendition of Route 66.

They followed up with some of their best-loved self-penned hits, including Start Me Up and Miss You as well as Doom and Gloom - a track off their new 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 frontman.

Inside the venue, mobile phones, cameras, video equipment and recording devices were prohibited.

A security cordon was set up around the club on Thursday morning.

After the doors closed, organizers allowed some of the disappointed fans, who had failed to get a ticket, to get in for free.

"I waited two hours, but I did find myself 3 meters from Mick Jagger. It was so great to see them in such a small venue," said Sonia, one of the lucky fans granted last-minute entry.