GLENDALE, AZ — For the first time in over a decade and 50 years since their Arizona debut, The Rolling Stones will return to a stage in the Valley on Monday night.
For many fans, catching a concert is a bucket list item, but one for Valley man, it's like seeing a group of old friends.
Mark Beland, who retired from ABC15, saw his first 'Stones concert as a college kid at Arizona State University when the band played at Sun Devil Stadium in 1981. He says just like sports fans camp out for tickets now, he and his buddies had to camp out in line to get the hottest tickets in town.
"They had just come out with 'Tattoo You.' It was commercially one of the most successful albums they've ever had and it was a huge show," Beland said.
He remembers people leaving the bars on Mill Avenue and coming directly to get in line, as fellow fans played music and talked about the band that was already being branded the "World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band."
"I had two finals the next day and blew those off. Passed them, barely," he laughs.
That show in Tempe would end up being turned into a rock film, Let's Spend the Night Together.
From that moment on, Beland was hooked. He would see them in concert during three more returns to Arizona, six more concerts in other states, including their 50th Anniversary tour in Las Vegas, and two shows abroad in London and Paris.
"It's not just a show, it's a production," he said, "They're great rock 'n' roll songs and Mick Jagger is still the best front man ever in the history of rock 'n' roll."
He's collected a stack of commemorative shirts from each concert, saved all his tickets as keepsakes, and now he's ready to add an 11th ticket stub to the stack and another memory of pure satisfaction.
"These last three years... they sound better than they ever have."
The parking lots at State Farm Stadium in Glendale open at 4:30 p.m., stadium gates open at 6:00 p.m. and the show starts at 8:00 p.m.
Fans can still vote on the bonus song the band will play at the show on their website, RollingStones.com.