Stephen M. Silverman
September 04, 2002 11:00 AM

Life began at 40 for the Rolling Stones in Boston Tuesday night. Make that their 40th anniversary, as the aging rockers kicked off their 25-city “Licks” tour with “Street Fightin’ Man” and some glowing reviews.

“There’s nothing so exciting as starting an American tour and there is nothing so exciting … as starting here in Boston,” Mick Jagger, 59, told the crowd at the SRO FleetCenter.

As rock critic Jon Pareles wrote in his positive review in the New York Times: “The prospect of a band whose charter members are pushing 60 or past to ‘rip up this joint’ might be pathetic if it were any other band but the Rolling Stones. But without pretending to be any younger than they are … the Stones defy time and derision by pleasing themselves first.”

Keith Richards and Ron Wood, described as “grizzled” by some other reviewers, accompanied the newly knighted Sir Mick onstage.

According to the Associated Press, tickets to see the Stones, which sold for as much as $350, were scooped up across the country as the band prepares to make stops in stadiums, arenas and clubs. The AP also says that it’s quite an elaborate show, too, with “eye-popping special effects.”

Tour director Michael Cohl tells the news service that like their “Voodoo Lounge” and “Bridges to Babylon” tours of the 1990s, the Stones’ stadium shows will be heavy on such staples as “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Honky Tonk Woman,” and “Brown Sugar.” Most of the classics also will be on “Forty Licks,” the new greatest-hits compilation hitting stores in October.

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