More than 450,000 fans turned out last night (July 30) in Toronto for the Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto benefit at Downsview Park, aimed at boosting the city’s sagging economy in the wake of the SARS virus. “I think it’s the biggest crowd we’ve ever played to, so it is a fantastic buzz,” Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger said before his band’s headlining set.
The Stones, who interrupted their European tour to appear at the event, offered a 90-minute set heavy on such crowd pleasers as “Brown Sugar,” “Start Me Up” and “Ruby Tuesday.” The group also tapped into the collaborative spirit of the event, although Justin Timberlake was pelted with plastic water bottles when he joined the Stones for “Miss You.” AC/DC guitarists Malcolm and Angus Young guested on a cover of B.B. King’s “Rock Me Baby.”
AC/DC’s own set sported such classics as “Hell’s Bells,” “Thunderstruck” and “Back in Black.” Angus Young’s trademark striptease during “The Jack” found him wearing a pair of boxer shorts emblazoned with the Canadian flag.
Earlier, Canadian legends the Guess Who and Rush showered the crowd with their biggest hits. Rush even threw in an instrumental version of the early Stones track “Paint It, Black.” The show, which ran more than 11 hours, also featured sets from Timberlake, the Flaming Lips, Sass Jordan, Kathleen Edwards and Blue Rodeo, among others.
For a full review of Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto, click here.