The Rolling Stones in Brooklyn: Who’s Crashing?

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The Rolling Stones in Brooklyn: Who’s Crashing?

As the Rolling Stones barrel through the longest, loudest birthday bash ever—a.k.a their 50th Anniversary tour—one question remains: who’s crashing the party in Brooklyn? Last week in London, the O2 Arena hosted the Rolling Stones for two nights, with Florence Welch and Mary J. Blige lending their talents to “Gimme Shelter” (on Sunday and Thursday, respectively) while Clapton took the solo on “Champagne and Reefer.” It’s already been confirmed that Gary Clark Jr. will join the band, but as the Stones approach the States, it’s time to start placing friendly bets as to which standards will boast the added bonus of a cameo or two. Based on hunches, hopes and dreams and the touring schedules of a few likely candidates, here are some select educated/creative guesses as to who may be challenging Mick to a walk-off come Saturday night.

Our Money’s On: Beyoncé
Potential contenders: Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes)
Not happening: P!NK, Fergie

I tweeted something along the lines of “THE SKY WILL ERUPT INTO AN EXPLOSION OF SHOOTING STARS AND RAINBOWS IF BEYONCÉ DOES THE ‘GIMME SHELTER SOLO’” the other night, and The Rolling Stones hit the good ol’ “Favorite” button on that statement. See?


I don’t know if that’s an official endorsement or what, but given the fact that she’s married to one of the owners of the venue and happens to be one of the most meteoric voices to grace modern music, it’d be a shame if anyone but Beyoncé were to scream “it’s just a shot away” at the Barclays Center. That being said, it’s a bit of a reach, but Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes is seemingly available as she doesn’t hit the road again until January. The success of The Truth About Love and her current spot at #18 on the Billboard chart for “Try” shed P!NK in a favorable light for the solo, but she’s playing in London that night. Fergie’s out because a) she already sang “Gimme Shelter” alongside Mick, Bono and The Edge at the 25th Anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and b) she’s Fergie.

Our Money’s On:   Lou Reed  
Potential Contenders: John Mayer, Jack White 
Not Happening: Bruce Springsteen 
Reed was previously scheduled to perform Saturday night at Miami’s UR1 Festival, which was recently canceled in light of inclement weather and the residual effects of Hurricane Sandy. The former Velvet Underground frontman still plays out regularly, is a Brooklyn native and, y’know, just your neighborhoods local rock n’ roll icon, so he’d be an exceptional addition to “Start Me Up.” Springsteen joining the Rolling Stones here would be fantastic, but it makes no sense for him to play the Brooklyn set when they’re heading to Newark to play two shows next week. John Mayer would elicit nothing more than a “meh” (it’s a shame that “Body is a Wonderland” song will follow him for the rest of his life because the man can play guitar) and Jack White has a few dates in California but could feasibly hop a red eye to play the show. But not if Lady Gaga’s playing. (Kidding.)

Our Money’s On:   Aretha Franklin  
Potential Contenders: N/A
Yeah, sorry—Mick is sharing the spotlight with Aretha on “Satisfaction” or no one at all. Aretha’s performing in Philadelphia on 12/14, so hopefully she’s in the city the week before and will be making her way to Brooklyn.

Aretha Franklin, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction:”

Our Money’s On: The PS22 Chorus
Potential contenders: … No, really, please let it be the PS22 Chorus.

Let’s get serious for a second: if Mick leads straightaway into “I saw her today at the reception…” this will be an opportunity squandered by the Rolling Stones. Gregg Breinberg teaches his chorus at Staten Island’s PS22 classic pop songs and hits pulled from the Top40. He’s been posting tapes of their performances on YouTube since 2006, and the clips of the kids rocking out to “Someone Like You,” “Just Dance,” “Firework” and “Somebody That I Used To Know” went viral, with everyone from Stevie Nicks to Kylie Minogue to Carrie Underwood popping up to sing along with the kids. To have the Rolling Stones hitting the stage so close to home without calling up PS22 would be a bummer and a half, as they’d be a poignant, perfect choice.

Our Money’s On:   Billy Joel  
Potential Contenders:   Lady Gaga  
Not Happening: Alicia Keys

Originally, I thought Alicia Keys would be a sensible fit for a cameo here, but alas, Lady of the Empire State of Mind will be playing in Germany on Saturday night and therefore out of the running. This leaves two options, and both of them are native New Yorkers: the Piano Man or the Gaga. Billy Joel’s next scheduled date is next week for The Concert for Sandy Relief at Madison Square Garden, so no conflicting tour dates there. Lady Gaga is currently touring Europe and is scheduled to hit Moscow on 12/9, so unless she’s feels like spending a day and a half on a plane jetting back and forth between Mick and Mother Russia, the odds aren’t ideal.

Our Money’s On: The Roots
Potential contenders: N/A

Unlikely happening—they didn’t play it in London—but wouldn’t it be the absolute best to see Charlie Watts and ?uestlove decimating the bridge while the two bands create the loudest, most moving rendition of “Shine A Light” since the release of Exile on Main Street? I might be getting carried away here—or I may have watched that Fallon/Roots/Mariah Carey Christmas love fest too much yesterday—but regardless, that’d be a feat worthy of a 50th anniversary tour for sure.