After appearances from Gwen Stefani and Keith Urban on opening night, the Rolling Stones brought the second show of their 50 & Counting tour through Oakland, Calif., on Sunday night with another cameo.
On their cover of Sam Cooke’s “Little Red Rooster,” the Stones welcomed the mythical Tom Waits to the stage to howl through the verses with them. Cigarettes and time have turned an already gruff baritone into something that sounds like a singing box of rocks, but it’s still incredible to witness Waits do his thing. The only thing that might make this clip better is if we could see what YouTube’s closed captioning service would come up with for Waits’ part, but I guess you can’t always get what you want.
Sadly, Waits was off after the song—no duet with Keith Richards on their “Son of Rogue’s Gallery” cut “Shenandoah“—but the guest spot should have made ticket holders feel a little better about dropping $600+ for the show, considering Waits only tours about once every election cycle.
Now that they’ve got the cameo trend going, fans in San Jose will likely expect the Stones to bring someone special out when they play HP Pavilion on Wednesday. Bieber may be out of town, but as Waits has shown, when the Stones come calling, you pretty much have to answer.
Watch the Rolling Stones perform “Little Red Rooster” with Tom Waits below.
Dylan Owens is Reverb’s indie and bluegrass blogger. You can read more from him in Relix magazine and the comment sections of WORLDSTARHIPHOP.