The Rolling Stones brought their Latin American tour to a close Friday night in Cuba, with a historic show that introduced the English rockers to a Cuban audience for the first time. An estimated 500,000
attended the free outdoor show at Havana’s Ciudad Deportiva ("Sports City") stadium.
After opening with "Jumpin' Jack Flash," Mick Jagger said, "This is amazing! It's really good to be here! It's good to see you guys! Here we are finally! We are sure that this night is going to be an unforgettable night, for you and for us... We know that years ago it was difficult to listen to our music here in Cuba, but here we are, playing for you in your beautiful land. I think that finally things have changed, haven’t they?”
With Jimmy Buffett, Richard Gere and other celebrities looking on, the Stones delivered 18 of their hits over two hours. Rather than selling merchandise, the Stones' crew tossed event T-shirts, which you can buy through the band's website, into the crowd.
Friday's show, which is being called Concert for Amity, was filmed for release on DVD.
On Thursday, the Stones visited the British Embassy in Havana and mingled with invited Cuban musicians, providing words of encouragement to their fellow players. And they announced a charity initiative in which instrument manufacturers including Gibson, Pearl, Gretsch and Roland will donate equipment to local musicians.