English Classic Rockers Rule Desert Trip Weekend One

"Welcome to the Palm Springs retirement home for genteel English musicians."

By Robyn Collins

Sir Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Roger Waters, Neil Young and Bob Dylan played the first weekend of Desert Trip at Empire Polo Field in Indio, California. The three day festival (Oct. 7-9) will be repeated next weekend (Oct. 14-16).

Bob Dylan opened the festival Friday evening with a few familiar ’60s hits, including “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.”

The Rolling Stones headlined the evening. “We’re not going to do any age jokes tonight,” Jagger joked with the crowd, “But welcome to the Palm Springs retirement home for genteel English musicians.” The band played “Brown Sugar,” “Tumbling Dice,” “Miss You,” even “Mixed Emotions,” a hit from the late ’80s that Jagger said the band hadn’t played in years.

Related: The Rolling Stones Announce New Album ‘Blue & Lonesome’

Then, the Stones covered The Beatles’ hit “Come Together,” which Sir Mick introduced by saying, “We’re going to do a cover song of some unknown beat group.”

Neil Young was up first on Saturday, backed by Promise of the Real, a country-rock band featuring two of Willie Nelson’s sons. The rocker got political for a moment saying “You heard it here first: Donald Trump’s new campaign song,” after a blistering “Welfare Mothers,” to a cheering crowd.

Paul McCartney took the stage on Saturday. His two-hour set included “I Wanna Be Your Man,” which he and John Lennon wrote for the Rolling Stones in 1963. Neil Young came back to the stage to join the Beatle on “A Day In The Life,” and the duo eased into John Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance,” as a peace symbol was shown on screen.

Before playing their first US hit “I Can See for Miles,” The Who guitarist Pete Townshend joked, “We were 1967’s version of Adele or Lady Gaga or Rihanna or Bieber.” Frontman Roger Daltrey dedicated “The Kids Are Alright,” to “the young ones” in the crowd. Townshend added, “Roger and I are so glad to be out here at our age. And I couldn’t do it without Roger.”

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters closed the show on Sunday. During Another Brick in the Wall (Part II), Waters had a giant flying pig with a map of the US and the slogan “together we stand, divided we fall.”

The three day festival (Oct. 7-9) will be repeated next weekend (Oct. 14-16).


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