Fifty years since their first London jam sessions, the Rolling Stones kicked off the U.S. leg of a brief anniversary tour with a vibrant show in New York City Saturday that belied their years -- wrinkles and nostalgia aside.

 

Drummers wearing gorilla masks warmed up the crowd packed into Brooklyn's Barclays Center as black-clad women swung their long tresses in rhythm.

 

Mick Jagger pranced, shimmied and howled his way through the two and a half hour show, pausing to reminisce about the band's history and its first New York concert at Carnegie Hall in 1964.

 

For a group whose early years were punctuated by quarrels and occasional brushes with the law, the biggest controversy ahead of Saturday's show was the price of seats -- up to $800, and as much as 10 times that amount on websites offering last-minute tickets.

 

In those days, milk was cheaper and "tickets to the Rolling Stones was -- well, I'm not going to go there," Jagger acknowledged.

A tribute video opened Saturday's proceedings featuring celebrities heaping praise on the band.

"They're great songs to do bad things to," said actor Johnny Depp.

The Stones -- average age 68 -- ripped through 20 hits that began with "Get Off of My Cloud" and closed with "Sympathy for the Devil."



Band stays together for ‘the kids’

The band’s last major tour was in 2007 and the latest reunion almost didn't happen, owing in part to a spat between Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards over comments Richards made about the singer in a 2010 autobiography.

Richards joked in a recent interview: “We can’t get divorced — we're doing it for the kids.”

The Stones started their brief diamond jubilee tour in London and are due to play twice in Newark, N.J.