The Rolling Stones played, not surprisingly, a hits-heavy set for the 150 or so folks invited to the private party thrown by Patriots owner Robert Kraft at Gillette Stadium Tuesday night.
The band performed for a crowd that included Secretary of State John Kerry (and a phalanx of Secret Service agents), designer Tommy Hilfiger, J. Geils frontman Peter Wolf, Celtics owners Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca, Red Sox (and Boston Globe) owner John Henry and wife Linda Pizzuti Henry (the Globe’s managing director), hair stylist Pini Swissa, Combined Jewish Philanthropies boss Barry Shrage, restaurateur Ed Kane, former Bain Capital managing director Paul Edgerley, Davio’s owner Steve DiFillippo, Patriots receiver Julian Edelman, former Pats linebackers Jerod Mayo, Tedy Bruschi, and Andre Tippett, and the Kraft kids and grandkids, including Jonathan Kraft’s daughter, Sadie, who turns 18 this week.
While most of the VIPs arrived at the party in long black cars, guests reported seeing several helicopters land next to the stadium, leading to speculation that the Stones may have flown to Foxborough, bypassing the beautiful I-95 corridor.
Guests were plied with plenty of food — steak, fish, risotto — and high-end liquor before walking through a tunnel onto the field, which was enclosed for the evening by a huge temporary structure. In introducing the band, Jonathan Kraft pointed out that the Rolling Stones were, in 2002, the first band to play a concert ever at Gillette Stadium. Following a brief video retrospective that included a clip of one of the band’s early performances on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood, and Charlie Watts strolled on stage.
Assuming the Krafts shelled out a few million dollars to hire the Stones for the evening — a safe assumption considering it cost former Hewlett-Packard chairman Ralph Whitworth $3 million to have them play at his private party last year — it’s hard to imagine the hosts got their money’s worth. But judging from the clips posted on social media, the band didn’t mail it in, and played for nearly two hours. (The set included classics such as ““(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Brown Sugar,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” and “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It).”)
As party-goers departed at 11 p.m., they were each given a bag containing a gray long-sleeve shirt with the band’s lips-and-tongue logo on the front. (The shirt reads: “The Rolling Stones 10.25.16 Gillette Stadium.”) Also in the bag was a note that said “Thank you for rocking with us.”