Watch the Rolling Stones Play ‘Harlem Shuffle’ for First Time in 29 Years
“We haven’t done it for ages,” Jagger told the New Jersey crowd before resurrecting the 1963 Bob and Earl classic. “Be forgiving if you can”
The Rolling Stones were four songs into their show at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium on Monday night when Mick Jagger addressed the crowd. “Has anyone crossed two rivers to get here tonight?” he asked. “Anybody here from Queens? Anyone from Manhattan? Westchester? Staten Island? The Bronx? Hartford? Anyone here from New Jersey? We’re going to do a song sort of locally, vaguely, based. It’s called ‘Harlem Shuffle.’ ”
The Stones released that Bob and Earl cover as the lead single from their 1986 LP Dirty Work; it hit Number Five on the Hot 100 thanks in part to an animated video that got a lot of play on MTV. But prior to Monday night, they hadn’t performed it live since August 25th, 1990, at London’s Wembley Stadium. “We haven’t done it for ages,” Jagger told the crowd at MetLife. “Be forgiving if you can.” Check out fan-shot video of the performance right here.
The concert was the 11th stop on the Stones’ 2019 No Filter tour. They also played MetLife Stadium last Thursday night, but this show featured five songs not performed at that gig, including “You Got Me Rocking,” “Monkey Man,” “Let It Bleed,” and “You Got the Silver.” (Intentionally or not, they played six of the nine songs on Let It Bleed.) Every show on the tour features one song selected via an online fan vote, a methodology that has resulted in relative rarities like “She’s a Rainbow,” “Rocks Off,” “Under My Thumb,” and “Bitch” over the past few weeks. They’ve also played Don Covay’s “Mercy, Mercy” for the first time since 1969, and “Sad Sad Sad” for the first time since 2002.
The tour — which was delayed for about a month so that Jagger could recover from heart surgery — resumes August 10th at Denver’s Broncos Stadium at Mile High and wraps up August 31st at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium. Their plans after that are unclear, though they’ve slowly been picking away at an album of original songs (their first since 2005’s A Bigger Bang) for the past couple of years.