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The Rolling Stones in Nashville: A History


Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones Exhibit may be their longest run in Nashville, but it’s certainly not the first time The Stones have made their presence known in Music City.

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When a band has been touring the world for six decades, it’s inevitable that they’ve visited all the major (and some not-so-major — we’re looking at you, Auburn) cities at least a few times. Music City has been no exception. Nashville has been a tour stop for The Rolling Stones five times, and each time, they brought down the house.

Check out our highlights of the Stones’ visits to Nashville.

Municipal Auditorium, November 16, 1965

The Rolling Stones’ first visit to Nashville was during their second American tour. They played 41 dates across the country to promote their album “Out of Our Heads”.

Photo Courtesy of Nashville Municipal Auditorium

Municipal Auditorium, June 29, 1972

For their American Tour 1972, the Stones started off with a bang. At the first show in Vancouver, B.C., 31 police officers were treated for injuries when 2,000 fans tried to crash the Pacific Coliseum. Nashville fans minded their southern manners and no such incidents were reported for our concert, unless you count all the ladies swooning at the presence of their rock and roll dreamboats.

Photo courtesy of The Tennessean

Vanderbilt Stadium, October 26, 1997

The Rolling Stones’ 25-year hiatus from playing Nashville ended when they came to Bridgestone Arena during their 97-date worldwide Bridges to Babylon Tour. And we didn’t hold a grudge — over 45,000 fans welcomed the band back, and the show grossed $2.5 million!

Gaylord Entertainment Center, November 25, 2002

For the Nashville engagement of the Licks Tour, despite years of touring and this tour’s 117 shows around the world, the Rolling Stones still came to play, and attendees sang and danced along through all 20-plus songs. (Really, don’t these guys ever get tired?!?)

Licks Tour poster by Joe Whyte

LP Field, June 17, 2015

During the band’s most recent visit to Music City, they played to the sweaty masses. For this outdoor concert, fans braved the 90-degree heat to see the iconic rockers play their classic hits for The Zipcode Tour.

Though it wasn’t an official Rolling Stones tour date, Mick Jagger showed up just a few months after their last Nashville concert to perform “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” with Taylor Swift at her Bridgestone Arena concert. Even Mick knows there’s nothing more “Music City” than a surprise appearance by a superstar at another superstar’s concert.

Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones Exhibit, Musician’s Hall of Fame and Museum, April 2018 – June 2018

Sure, the Stones made their rounds of the entire planet while touring for five-plus decades, but Nashville clearly has VIP status with the band. This exhibit is touring a limited number of cities and includes the Rolling Stones’ personal archives and a truly multifaceted look at the band’s history. From the early years playing cover songs at small clubs to their recent multi-million dollar tours, this exhibit gives an exclusive look at the band’s success and inner workings.

Rolling Stones Exhibit

Since you missed all the killer concerts, do yourself a favor and get to Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones exhibit and be a part of the awesomeness!

Get Your Tickets Now!


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Julie Holt
Julie Holt
Julie Holt is a freelance writer and magazine editor in Nashville. When she's not writing or reading, she spends her time yelling at her three children, drinking coffee, hiking and avoiding laundry.
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