Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft is a loyal Rolling Stones fan. And he’s managed to form such a cozy relationship with the legendary British rock band that they agreed to perform for a few hundred of his friends in a private concert at Gillette Stadium on September 20, as they set off on their No Filters stadium tour of the U.S. which was rescheduled to 2021 from 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Stones – minus drummer Charlie Watts, who passed away on August 21 of this year – played for the Kraft family and their friends on the evening of September 20. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ron Wood were accompanied on drums by Steve Jordan, a drummer who has played with Keith Richard on his solo albums and a member of his X-Pensive Winos band, replacing the late Watts.
While Watts’ death occurred unexpectedly as the tour was being planned, the band was already preparing to perform the tour without him. The Stones had announced early on that Watts would not be joining the band on this tour, as he was recovering from a recent surgical procedure.
The Stones took advantage of Kraft’s invitation to Foxborough, and it’s rumored that they also took up his offer to use Gillette Stadium to rehearse and prepare for the tour, as many have speculated that the band spent several weeks at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston prior to the September 20th event. This makes perfect sense, given that the 13-date No Filter Stadium Tour will have them performing in stadiums across the U.S.
The Rolling Stones are also no strangers to Gillette Stadium, as this is not the first time Kraft has invited them to play a private concert there. In 2016, the band performed a two-hour set of their greatest hits at Gillette for a concert hosted by the Kraft family. The guest list at that event included former Senator John Kerry, Tommy Hilfiger, and Peter Wolf, former frontman for the Boston-based J. Geils Band, along with the owners of the Celtics and the Red Sox, as well as the Boston Globe. In the past, Kraft has also invited Elton John, who has also played a private concert at Gillette for the Kraft family and their guests.
Robert Kraft, who celebrated his 80th birthday in June of this year in the Hamptons at a party hosted by 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, is known to mingle with luminaries from the political sphere, as well as the world of sports and entertainment. The guest list at his birthday party included celebrities such as Adele, Billie Jean King, Jon Bon Jovi, Meek Mill, and Kenny Chesney. There was no apparent celebratory occasion marked by this September 20 concert, so it’s likely that the concert was simply scheduled on that date to coincide with the kickoff of the Stones’ tour.
The 13-date Stones tour launches on September 26th at The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis, Missouri, and ends at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on November 20th, spanning many of the venues originally scheduled for 2020.
Other cities on the tour include rescheduled dates in Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Nashville, Tampa, Dallas, Detroit, and Austin, with two concerts added in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. For the first time in their history, the Rolling Stones will also play the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on Oct. 13. Tickets originally purchased in 2020 will be honored at the rescheduled performances.