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September 20, 2014

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Columnist John Katsilometes: The scene at the Rolling Stones concert Friday night at MGM Grand

Is that medical marijuana I smell?

Is the person across the aisle from me Ed Asner, or just a longtime fan?

Are those who paid more than $470 for seats close to the stage upset when that stage moves to the other end of the arena for four songs (including "Get Off My Cloud" and "Honky Tonk Women")?

Did those two guys in front of me in the concession line who cranked up an $85 tab (and threw back two glasses of white wine while awaiting their change) even remember the show? Did the woman next to me who spent 20 minutes selecting a stack of concert T-shirts (for $330) believe she stumbled into Macy's instead of a rock show?

And how can it be that Mick Jagger and Dad are the same age -- 63? They have always been the same age, yet with every passing year Jagger is still that much cooler than Dad.

Those were just a few questions to ponder as I took in the Rolling Stones show on Friday at MGM Grand. The sellout audience of 14,000 apparently upper-middle-class Baby Boomers returned to adolescence for a couple of hours as the Stones mixed many classics with a few new songs off their latest album, "A Bigger Bang."

Some of the more memorable moments in an all-Stones installment of Fabulous Las Vegas:

Still kicking: Early in the show, Jagger splashed the crowd up front with a bottle of water, then kicked the bottle into the audience. The projectile landed just behind two members of the Killers, vocalist Brandon Flowers and drummer Ronnie Vannucci, who were seated several rows near the stage in the floor section. Jagger's timing was perfect -- just as the band launched into the Vegas-esque "Tumblin' Dice" ...

Still swinging: Recently retired Major Leaguer Larry Walker was spotted wearing a tie-dye Stones shirt and packing a bit more around the middle these days. That physical characteristic, coupled with his shaved head, had one observer mistake him for Red Sox pitcher David Wells ...

Rock 'n' roll: As the cameras feeding video to the big screen behind the stage panned the crowd, one particularly excited fan was easily identifiable -- comic Chris Rock ...

Shecky Jagger: Riffing off the slogan "What Happens Here, Stays Here," which has nearly ascended to cliche status, Jagger commented, "I've heard that new slogan, 'What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.' Does that mean my money, too?" ...

Eh? Not to pick on Keith Richards, who must be considered some sort of medical marvel at this point, but he took over as frontman midway through the show as Jagger took a well-deserved break. According to my meticulously crafted notes, Richards' first words to the audience were, "Beforacarrin, romanova ha ronis def." Then he threw back his head and laughed ...

Quite a pair: Palms owner George Maloof was spotted entering the show with a group of folks that included Pam Anderson ...

Lookalikes: Maloof and Vannucci ...

Why bother?: Jagger introduced each of the dozen musicians and singers assembled onstage -- including charter members Richards and Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood, who has been with the band for 33 years ...

Stats: The Rolling Stones' career spans nine U.S. presidents and 34 albums.

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