The Rolling Stones gave a power-packed performance at the O2 Arena, where the iconic British band celebrated their 50th anniversary. The landmark concert also marked the band's first performance in London for five years. Other landmarks on the day included a 20 year reunion with former members Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor.

Meanwhile, guest performances included appearances by American American R&B singer-songwriter Mary J Blige and British guitar legend Jeff Beck, who joined the band for I'm Going Down.

"What a year it's been for British celebrations," Jagger said after the show, adding, "There was the Queen's Diamond Jubilee . . . We didn't do that. The Olympics . . . We didn't do that. James Bond's 50th anniversary . . . And we didn't do the song for that either! But I'm so glad that we're here and that you're here."

The Stones, all of whom are in their 60s and 70s, played a string of hits, starting with I Want To Be Your Man, Get Off Of My Cloud and Doom and Gloom from the album GRRR!

There was a bit of controversy though, with criticism for high ticket prices. Admission to watch 69 year old Sir Mick Jagger, 68 and 65 year old guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood and 71 year old drummer Charlie Watts, ranged from nearly £100 to over £1,000.

"It's hard to justify that kind of money but a lot of people were prepared to pay it," Jill Roberts, a 52 year old housewife at the concert, said, adding, "It's an awful lot of money but I guess it's just a one-time thing. I don't think I'll be coming again anyway. I want to experience it again, because they are such good musicians."

"The energy they had to give - it's unbelievable," 29 year old Sarah Gambetta, an architect who traveled from Switzerland to see the show, said, "A lot of people with white hair were sitting down quietly but when the music started, they jumped up."

This concert is the first of a five date tour - 50 And Counting. The second show is also at the O2, on 29 November, before the Stones leave for the United States (New York, Newark and New Jersey) next month.

The Rolling Stones perform at the O2 Arena in LondonReuters
The Rolling Stones perform at the O2 Arena in LondonReuters
The Rolling Stones perform at the O2 Arena in LondonReuters
The Rolling Stones perform at the O2 Arena in LondonReuters
The Rolling Stones perform at the O2 Arena in LondonReuters
The excited crowd went into nostalgia as footage of the band's first gig at Hyde Park back in 1969 was played out on the big screens.Reuters
The Rolling Stones perform at the O2 Arena in LondonReuters