Rolling Stones Announce Toronto Concert
The Rolling Stones on Monday announced their only Canadian show on the No Filter tour – an outdoor concert north of Toronto.
Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and Charlie Watts will rock the Burl's Creek Event Grounds in Oro-Medonte, Ont. on June 29. Tickets go on sale Feb. 15 at 10 a.m.
Buzz about the Toronto concert began Feb. 8 when the Stones’ iconic lips popped up inside the Eaton Centre and Union Station.
The No Filter tour was announced in May 2017 and kicked off that September in Germany. Last November, the band announced it was doing stadiums in 14 U.S. cities starting this April 20 in Miami.
Watts, who is 77, said last year he would be cool with No Filter being the farewell tour. “I love playing the drums and I love playing with Mick and Keith and Ronnie, I don’t know about the rest of it,” he told The Guardian. “It wouldn’t bother me if the Rolling Stones said that’s it ... enough.”
Richards, 75, echoed the sentiment in an interview published by Rolling Stone last November. “Maybe this will be the last one, I don’t know,” he said of the tour. “I just haven’t gotten around to thinking in that head yet. I don’t know if you never know.”
Boris Horvat / AFP/Getty Images
The June 29th concert will be the Stones' 19th official tour show in Toronto in 54 years and their first since the 50 & Counting Tour in June 2013.
The band made its debut in the city on April 25, 1965 at Maple Leaf Gardens and returned there for a second show on Halloween night. They were back at MLG on June 29, 1966 and played the arena four more times up until 1975.
By 1989, the Stones were filling stadiums in Toronto. Both 1989’s Steel Wheels and 1994’s Voodoo Lounge tours included two nights at the former Exhibition Stadium. On Dec. 3, 1994 the band played what is now the Rogers Centre for the first time – and returned there on April 26, 1998, Oct. 18, 2002 and Sept. 26, 2005.
The Stones played what is now Scotiabank Arena four times between 1999 and 2013.
The band’s biggest concert was on July 30, 2003, when they headlined Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto, an outdoor show at Downsview Park that drew an estimated 500,000 people. The day-long festival, which included AC/DC, Rush and Justin Timberlake, was staged to help Toronto’s economy bounce back from a SARS outbreak.
Toronto fans have also been rewarded with intimate Stones shows at small venues over the years. The band warmed up for the Licks tour with a surprise gig at the Palais Royale in August 2002 and for the Bigger Bang tour in 2005 with a show at The Phoenix Concert Theatre.
There were also surprise Stones shows at the now-defunct RPM Club in 1994 and at the Horseshoe Tavern in 1997.
The band’s March 1977 gig at the El Mocambo – where they recorded songs for the Love You Live album – was legendary because it took place less than a week after guitarist Keith Richards was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking, after cops found heroin in his room at what is now the Westin Harbour Castle. (He pleaded guilty in October 1978 and, as part of the deal, the Stones performed a pair of benefit shows in Oshawa, Ont. in April 1979.)
The El Mocambo is re-opening and new owner Michael Wekerle has made no secret of the fact that he would love for the Stones to christen the stage of the newly restored club.
Over the years, the Stones have set up shop in Toronto to rehearse for world tours: In 1989 for Steel Wheels, 1994 for Voodoo Lounge, 1997 for Bridges to Babylon, 2002 for Licks, and 2005 for A Bigger Bang.
Jagger and his bandmates practiced their moves inside Crescent School and Greenwood College as well as in the former Masonic Temple and Maple Leaf Gardens before testing out each tour’s stage set-up in an airport hangar.
The Rolling Stones have been working on new music for an album that could be released before the end of the year. It will be their first studio album since 2016's covers collection Blue & Lonesome and their first album of new songs since 2005's A Bigger Bang.
Last month, the 75-year-old frontman shared on Facebook: "2019 – all about writing, recording....and a tour!"