Rolling Stones play historic rock concert in Cuba

Veteran British band are the first major international rock act to perform on the island

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The Independent Culture

The Rolling Stones have rocked Cuba with an historic free concert in the island's capital, Havana.

Mick Jagger's band are the first major international rock act to perform on the island, where for decades most Western rock and pop music was forbidden by the communist government.

"We know that years back it was hard to hear our music in Cuba, but here we are playing. I also think the times are changing," Mick Jagger said in Spanish from the stage, drawing a roar of approval from the crowd. 

The landmark gig took place at the Ciudad Deportiva, a massive open-air sports complex with a capacity of 450,000. 

In a video message released in the days before the concert, the veteran British rockers said: "We've performed in many incredible places, but this concert in Havana is going to be an historic event for us."


During a two-hour set, the band blasted out 18 of their best-known songs, including "You Can't Always Get What You Want", "Start Me Up", "Gimme Shelter", "Honky Tonk Women" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction)".

The Rolling Stones' historic Cuban concert took place in the same week Barack Obama became the first US President in 90 years to visit the island

“After today, I can die," 62-year-old night watchman Joaquin Ortiz told the Associated Press following the concert. "This is like my last wish, seeing the Rolling Stones."