“The best bar band ever,” one woman gushed, as she and hundreds of other lucky fans emerged from the Echoplex nightclub Saturday night.
She was referring, of course, to the Rolling Stones.
The legendary British rockers played a surprise “warm up” gig at the tiny Echo Park club before officially launching their “50 and Counting Tour,” which begins at the Staples Center on Friday.
The club show was announced earlier Saturday via Twitter with a few hundred tickets selling for a mere $20. Throughout the evening, strains of such Stones classics as “Street Fighting Man” and “Jumping Jack Flash” could be heard outside the Sunset Boulevard venue.
Later, a couple of dozen people gathered on rooftops overlooking the alley behind the building, while others huddled on the street, hoping to catch a glimpse of the band as they left the club. One aging fan finally gave up. “I’ll watch it on TV,” she said, eyeing the TV news trucks parked outside. “I’m too old for this.”
Just before 11 p.m., Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts — dressed in terry cloth robes — stepped outside, followed by the rest of the band. Amid screams and flashing cameras, they jumped into a waiting caravan of luxury cars and vans, which slowly navigated their way through the alley and onto Glendale Boulevard.
“It’s like a presidential motorcade!” a fan quipped, as the rock ’n’ roll parade, with police escort, disappeared into the night.