In an intimate setting at the Echoplex, the Rolling Stones thrilled the lucky few hundred who got tickets for the surprise show in Los Angeles on Saturday night. Jane Yamamoto reports from Echo Park for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on April 27, 2013.
Before they kick off their "50 and Counting'' tour, the Rolling Stones played a surprise warm-up date at a small Echo Park club that sold out within an hour on Saturday.
The band is played the Echoplex on Glendale Boulevard on Saturday night before a crowd that was minuscule compared to 20,000 who are set to see them perform May 3 at the downtown Los Angeles Staples Center, where the cheapest seats went for $250.
The show at the 700-capacity Echoplex was announced via Twitter at 12:30 p.m.
Tickets -- being sold for $20 each -- could be purchased starting at 1 p.m. at the El Rey and were sold out by 2 p.m., according to the Los Angeles Times.
Hundreds of fans lined up at the El Rey in Mid-Wilshire for a chance at the tickets, which were dispensed through a confusing lottery system that led to much of the crowd departing even though show tickets were made available to lottery ticket holders.
Ticketholders were only be admitted only with valid identification and a wristband, in addition to the ticket, The Times reported. Cameras and smartphones were not allowed inside.
Those who scored a ticket rejoiced as they waited for the show to start, while other hopefuls just stood outside the club, hoping for some luck.
"It's crazy because it says $20," said ticket-holder Whitney Martin, pointing to her stub. "It feels like 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.' I'm serious."
The news of the show was broken early to insiders who noticed that New Build, the band scheduled to play the 700-capacity Echoplex on Saturday, was tweeting humorously on Friday that they were being displaced by the Stones. New Build confirmed the move was true on Saturday.
"Think I just got an email from Jay Leno. Crazy day. Signing off for a bit. Never experienced anything like this in all my years in showbiz," the band tweeted on Saturday evening.
The Rolling Stones performed a few dates together in London, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Newark, N.J., last winter but didn't announce a tour until earlier this month.
They will play 17 dates in the United States but say they may add more down the line.