"Hey, hey, you, you, Get Off Of My Cloud!" And with that the Rolling Stones steamrolled through a 23-song set celebrating a staggering 50 years as a rock band.
"People say, why do you keep doing this?" mused Mick Jagger, 69, before launching into "Brown Sugar." ''Why do you keep touring, coming back? The answer is, you're the reason we're doing this. Thank you for buying our records and coming to our shows for the last 50 years."
The grizzled quartet featuring guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood and drummer Charlie Watts, were joined on "Gimme Shelter" by Mary J. Blige, who traded vocals with Jagger and earned a huge cheer at the end.
The sense of nostalgia at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn was heightened by projections on a huge screen of footage of the early days. At one point, Jagger reminisced about the first time the band played New York — in 1964.
What's next for the Stones? Another huge global tour, on the scale of their last one, "A Bigger Bang," which earned more than a half a billion dollars between 2005 and 2007? Something a bit smaller? Or is this mini-tour, in the words of their new song, really "One Last Shot?"
The Stones won't say. But in an interview last month, they made clear they felt the 50th anniversary was something to be marked.
"I thought it would be kind of churlish not to do something," Jagger told The Associated Press. "Otherwise, the BBC would have done a rather dull film about the Rolling Stones."
Here, in images, are the Stones performing on this historic night: