Where were you on Dec. 5, 1981? If you were one of the 87,500 people at the Superdome to see the Rolling Stones, you remember making music history. This week marks the 35th anniversary of the show which broke the record for the largest attendance at an indoor concert - 87,500. The Rolling Stones concert - which featured opening acts The Neville Brothers and George Thorogood and the Destroyers - came near the end of their three-month U.S. tour. According to online set lists, the Stones opened with UNDER MY THUMB and included classics such as LET’S SPEND THE NIGHT TOGETHER, START ME UP, JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH and their version of the song also associated with New Orleans’ own Irma Thomas, TIME IS ON MY SIDE. They closed with SATISFACTION and THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER.
“Clad in a red and white Hawaiian shirt with sweat pouring off, Mick Jagger danced and gyrated across the stage of the Superdome Saturday night as the stadium shook with the deafening music of the Rolling Stones,” reported THE TIMES-PICYAYUNE front page the next morning. A few days before the concert, columnist Betty Guillaud chronicled a private party hosted for the Stones aboard the riverboat President, catered by Paul Prudhomme and featuring music from The Meters, Deacon John Moore, Clarence “Frogman” Henry and The Neville Brothers. In all, the Stones have played the Superdome four times during its history (1978, 1981, 1989 and 1994). The 1981 attendance record held for 33 years, only to be topped by a June 2014 George Strait concert in Dallas that drew 104,793 people.