[Update, Wednesday, May 20: The Rolling Stones have confirmed that they will be playing a "Los Angeles club show tonight, Wednesday, May 20. Tickets will go on sale at Noon today at www.rollingstones.com.]
[Update, Wednesday, May 20, 12:50 p.m.: To no one's surprise, tonight's gig sold out almost instantaneously. Check back here tomorrow for a review of the show.]
See also: Our review of the show
With The Rolling Stones' Zip Code tour coming to San Diego's Petco Park on Sunday, fan boards have been abuzz about possible “secret” warm-up shows in L.A. the past couple months. By last Friday, the rumors seemed a little more like real possibilities, with a few blogs getting in on the speculation, and sharing details that insiders have been gossiping about for some time: The Stones will play an intimate show at the Fonda Theatre this Wednesday, May 20.
Nobody in the Stones camp will confirm this yet, but we’ve been hearing the same rumors from multiple sources since early last week. The band previously scheduled at the Fonda on May 20, Shakey Graves, abruptly moved their show to the Belasco Theater due to “logistics at Fonda Theatre.” According to the Graves' press release, all tickets purchased for their Fonda show will be honored at the Belasco, or refunds are available at point of purchase.
We initially heard that the Fonda show would be invite only, meaning that non-VIPs can’t buy tickets at all. Then we heard that it might be a benefit for Nepal, meaning only Stones pals like Johnny Depp will probably be able to afford them. We also heard Hollywood Bowl was being considered as an additional warm-up venue so that non-rich-and/or-connected L.A. fans can see them, too. (Yeah, you kind of have to be rich to be a Stones fan these days regardless, with tickets usually in the hundreds and the "super-deluxe" box set version of their latest Sticky Fingers reissue retailing for $149.99.)
Of course, The Stones' last surprise show, at the Echoplex, was only $20. So who knows? Of course, that time, many of us did pay in hours (and hours) standing in line at the El Rey the day of the show, only to find out it was a lottery ticket sale and those who arrived last minute got in. (We live blogged about the experience and backlash here).
How tickets would be acquired if the Fonda gig does actually happen remains to be seen, but let's hope it's not online. L7's recent warm-up date at the Echo sold out in minutes, leaving lots of fans frustrated and prompting the band to add some Fonda dates as well.
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At this point, everything here is conjecture. But a surprise warm-up show is to be expected, as the band rehearses in L.A. and Stones sightings keep fans on the lookout. Our spies have reported sightings around town just this weekend: Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood at Musso & Frank in Hollywood and Mick Jagger at La Poubelle on Franklin. Meanwhile, everyone has a chance for an online Stones sighting today, when the band does their first ever Twitter Q&A. Use the hashtag #AskTheStones to submit questions and track the band's answers — including, we hope, more info on a possible Fonda show.