It’s only rock ‘n roll, but Rolling Stones fans in the region will have to dig deep for a ticket to what could very possibly be the band’s last visit.
Yesterday, the British rock legends announced a five-country, 12-concert tour of the Asia Pacific dubbed 14 on Fire. What the band had originally planned as an Australia-only tour has expanded to Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, Macau and New Zealand.
The announcement comes less than a year after the graying band celebrated its 50th anniversary with gigs in North America and the U.K., including performances at the Glastonbury Festival and Hyde Park.Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
“14 on Fire will feature the giant tongue-and-lips-shaped stage the Stones brought to indoor dates of the 50 and Counting tour, and it will include the ‘Tongue Pit,’ in which fans can stand inside the catwalk,” reported Rolling Stone magazine. “The tour will [also] feature appearances by special guest Mick Taylor, who played with the Stones from 1969 to 1974 [and] promises the hits Gimme Shelter, Paint It Black, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Tumbling Dice and It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll, as well as unexpected cover versions.”
Many fans wonder how much longer the geriatric rock stars will be able to keep the music going. The band’s flamboyant front man, Mick Jagger, celebrated his 70th birthday in July. Keith Richards, the group’s infamous guitarist, turns 70 on December 18. Drummer Charlie Watts is 72, guitarist Ronnie Wood is 66, and re-united guitarist Taylor is the youngest at 64.
The official cities, dates, and venues for 14 on Fire are listed below:
February 21: Abu Dhabi – du Arena
February 26: Tokyo – Tokyo Dome
March 4: Tokyo – Tokyo Dome
March 6: Tokyo – Tokyo Dome
March 9: Macau – Cotai Arena at the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel
March 19: Perth – Perth Arena
March 22: Adelaide – Adelaide Oval
March 25: Sydney – Allphones Arena
March 28: Melbourne – Rod Laver Arena
March 30: Woodend – Hanging Rock
April 2: Boondall – Brisbane Entertainment Centre
April 5: Auckland – Mt Smart Stadium
Tickets, which are all but guaranteed to sell out in minutes, won’t come cheap, especially for premium seats.
The cheapest general admission tickets for the Abu Dhabi show start at $107 with a pre-sale discount. No information about VIP seating is available at this time, but it is likely to cost the hardcore fan well over $500.
Japanese fans will likely face the steepest ticket prices ever seen for a Stones tour. The most basic seats at the 55,000-capacity Tokyo Dome will cost $176. However, floor seats near the stage – which the Japanese press calls the “Golden Circle” – will cost a staggering $783.
Entry-level tickets for the Macau performance will be a reasonable $75. There will also be hotel-concert packages from $140 – perhaps some Japanese Stones lovers would be better off making a vacation out of it.
Most Australian shows will offer a “Lucky Dip” ticket option for early-bird buyers – those who win the lottery will be offered $90 seats. However, the cheapest seat otherwise will cost a cool $178. A place in the sought-after Tongue Pit for the Melbourne gig drives the price up to $523.
Despite the prices, the Adelaide show already sold out of its 50,000 tickets in less than three hours.
Tickets for the New Zealand event will range from $175 to $324.
“After a similarly high-priced tour of the United States, Mick Jagger [said] that he believed ‘there’s a price for everybody,’” reported the Sydney Morning Herald. “[Jagger] also expressed concern about the presence of scalpers, saying that secondary selling of concert tickets should be illegal.”
Keith Richards, commenting on the upcoming tour, said “We all had such a ball this year and so we wanted to keep it going! The energy between the band is better than ever and we’re all looking forward to coming back Down Under. I can’t wait to get back on the stage with the boys.”