The Rolling Stones resumed their 60th anniversary tour in Milan, Italy Tuesday night after being forced to postpone two gigs last week when Mick Jagger came down with Covid, but they took the stage without backup singer Sasha Allen. In her place was Chanel Haynes, a veteran gospel singer that recently portrayed Tina Turner in the UK production of Tina – The Tina Turner Musical.
Rolling Stones superfan Matt Lee was in his standard spot near the front of the stage, and he captured a stellar video of “Gimme Shelter” where Haynes showed off her amazing pipes after presumably a minimal rehearsal period. “Take a bow,” Jagger said at the conclusion of the song. “Chanel Haynes, everybody! Oh la la.”
“Gimme Shelter” has been part of the Stones’ live show ever since they wrote the song in 1969, but they didn’t use backing singers to recreate Merry Clayton’s original vocal part until the Steel Wheels tour in 1989 when Lisa Fischer joined the group. She stayed with them until 2015, and was replaced by Allen the following year.
The rest of the set was standard for this tour, though they did take the somewhat unusual step of playing two ballads in a row when “Dead Flowers” went right into “Wild Horses.” And if Jagger was still suffering the lingering effects of Covid, he showed no signs of it onstage. He glided across the stage with ease from the opening notes of “Street Fighting Man” to the conclusion of “Satisfaction” two hours later.
The tour continues June 25 in London’s Hyde Park and is slated to wrap up July 31 in Stockholm, Sweden. They managed to reschedule the Covid-delayed Amsterdam, Holland show for July 7, but the gig in Bern, Switzerland was cancelled since they couldn’t secure a makeup date.