Global Spectrum's Ike Richman (left) with Billboard's Ray Waddell (Photo: Teri Waddell)
The final show of the Rolling Stones' "50 & Counting" mini-tour at the Prudential Center in Newark Saturday night brought out a diverse mix of artists and industry heavyweights. Apart from the special guests who performed with the band -- Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, John Mayer, the Black Keys, Gary Clark Jr. and former Stones guitarist Mick Taylor -- Elvis Costello and Billy Squier were seen at the Virgin VIP pre-show party, along with Stones keyboardist and "keeper of the charts" Chuck Leavell.
L-R: Pioneer Coach's Lucinda Rountree with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Teri Waddell (Photo: Ray Waddell)
On the industry side, Bon Jovi manager Paul Korzilius spoke with Billboard.biz about the upcoming Bon Jovi "Because We Can" tour, an early contender for the highest grossing jaunt of the year in 2013. Live Nation's Atlanta president Peter Conlon came to Jersey to support his friend and fellow Georgian Leavell.
Nashville was represented by Big Machine/B.A.D. Management honcho Scott Borchetta, who is stoked for the first Big Machine record from Tim McGraw, "Two Lanes of Freedom," due Feb. 5.
Billboard's Ray Waddell with Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell (Photo: Teri Waddell)
Also in the house were New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, PR king Ike Richman of Philly-based venue management firm Global Spectrum, Pioneer Coach president Doug Rountree, and the host with the most Rich Krezwick, president of Devil's Arena Entertainment, which oversees the Prudential Center for NHL tenant the New Jersey Devils.
Outside the venue, Bravado tour merch vendor Andrew Zolov told us Stones merch was flying off the shelves, and one source put merch per-caps at an unheard-of $37.
Billboard's Ray Waddell with Stones promoter Paul Dainty (Photo: Teri Waddell)
Up in promoter Paul Dainty's suite, the Australia impresario was relaxed but highly pleased with the performance of the run, and Dainty/Virgin Live hospitality coordinator Natalie Forsythe was coordinating the good times on behalf of Dainty and sponsor Virgin Live.
Front-of-house, the boomer-dominated crowd was celebratory, cheering every slinky Jagger shimmy, fluid Ronnie Wood fret run, and piercing Keith Richard swing of the axe -- but you can read more about that right here.