This review was first published in November 2014. It has been reproduced after news that Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has died aged 80.
It seems every Rolling Stones tour announcement for the past decade has been met with a series of ageist jokes.
You've heard the gags.
But the 18,000-strong crowd at Hope Estate on Saturday night was exposed to the cold-hard reality that, despite the four principal members having a combined age of 281 years, they are still one of the best stadium acts on the planet.
Singer Mick Jagger, guitarist Keith Richards, guitarist Ronnie Wood and drummer Charlie Watts, with extensive backing band in tow, bounded on stage and launched into Jumpin' Jack Flash and Let's Spend The Night Together.
Jagger's voice took a few songs to warm up but otherwise showed no obvious signs of the throat infection that caused the band to cancel last Saturday's Hanging Rock date.
The awe-struck Hope Estate audience was treated to a hit-laden setlist that drew largely from their classic material.
And, for only the third time in their history, Richards took lead vocals on three consecutive tracks - You Got The Silver, Before They Make Me Run and Can't Be Seen.
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Jagger then returned to the stage for Midnight Rambler, a rendition that featured former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor.
From there the show escalated with a series of crowd pleasers - Miss You, a spine-tingling performance of Gimme Shelter, Start Me Up, Sympathy For The Devil and Brown Sugar.
Lights faded up for the encore to reveal the Sydney Philharmonia choir on the wings of the stage, singing the haunting falsetto intro to You Can't Always Get What You Want before the band reappeared.
Then Richards, with a mischievous gleam in his eye, launched into the opening riff of the show's grand finale (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction.
After numerous bows, and explosions of fireworks, the band departed, leaving beaming grins around the crowd.
It's reasonable to speculate that this was The Rolling Stones' last visit to our shores, making their inaugural visit to the Hunter Valley all the more legendary.
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