The Rolling Stones Riff in Spanish, Explore Their Colombian Side at Bogota Show

Xinhua/Sipa USA
The Rolling Stones perform at the Nemesio Camacho El Campin Stadium in Bogota, Colombia, on March 10, 2016.

Fans from all over Colombia -- 45,000 of them -- flew in to Bogotá, the capital, to see the Rolling Stones play in their country for the first time on Thursday, March 11.

Undaunted by hefty ticket prices (as high as 1.139 million pesos, or roughly $400) and a rainy night, they stood in awe -- children, teens, 20 and 30-somethings, and plenty of 60-year olds -- as the Stones kicked off their show with “Jumpin' Jack Flash.”

No one truly knew what to expect. In their 50-plus year career, the Stones had never set foot on a Colombian stage, and finally, they were here, in Bogotá’s Campin Stadium. Would Mick Jagger be able to do all his trademark jumping and running with the small amount of oxygen that implies being 8,660 feet above sea level?

As it turns out, Jagger can do more than perform in Bogotá’s altitude.

Thursday night, he spoke rather fluent Spanish, brought Colombian talent onstage, and wooed the locals with his domain of slang.

 “Hola, Bogotá; hola, Colombia; hola, rolos”, greeted Jagger, using the slang term (“rolos”) for people from Bogotá.

Later, he would expand -- also in Spanish -- on his Bogotá stay.

"Comimos obleas, nos bajamos un aguardiente y nos dio guayabo, luego nos llevó un carro de policía al hotel”, he said (“We ate obleas, downed an aguardiante, had a hangover and had a police car take us to the hotel.”)

The fans lapped it up.

Then along came surprise guest Juanes, who showed off his rock n’ roll vocals alongside Jagger singing “Beast of Burden,” and his guitar chops playing side by side with Keith Richards. It was an unexpected treat for Colombian fans, and definitely a side of Juanes that we want to continue seeing.

And while fans got standard Stones repertoire, there were some surprises. The group asked Colombian fans to vote for one special performance from a choice of four tracks: Sweet Virginia, Let It Bleed, Far Away Eyes y Dead Flowers.

They chose Dead Flowers, which Jagger performed with acoustic guitar.

The show began and ended with Colombian flourish. Local band Diamante ELectrico opened earlier under the pouring rain. And in another nice touch from the visiting stars, the Stones performed “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” accompanied by the chorus of Javeriana University, before launching into the finale, “Satisfaction.”

“Bogota es del putas (Bogotá rocks),” declared Jagger as he bid goodnight.

And the Stones, también son del putas.

 

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