And just before that, the Stones will join a veritable who's who of British rock royalty and U.S. superstars at the blockbuster 12-12-12 Superstorm Sandy benefit concert at Madison Square Garden. Also scheduled to perform: Paul McCartney, the Who, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Eddie Vedder, Billy Joel, Roger Waters and Chris Martin.
In a flurry of anniversary activity, the band also released a hits compilation last month with two new songs, "Doom and Gloom" and "One More Shot," and HBO premiered a new documentary on their formative years, "Crossfire Hurricane."
The Stones formed in London in 1962 to play Chicago blues, led at the time by the late Brian Jones and pianist Ian Stewart, along with Jagger and Richards, who'd met on a train platform a year earlier. Bassist Bill Wyman and Watts were quick additions.
Wyman, who left the band in 1992, was a guest at the London shows last month, as was Mick Taylor, the celebrated former Stones guitarist who left in 1974 and replaced by Wood, the newest Stone and the youngster at 65.
The inevitable questions have been swirling about the next step for the Stones: another huge global tour, on the scale of their last one, "A Bigger Bang," which earned more than $550 million between 2005 and 2007? Something a bit smaller? Or is this mini-tour, in the words of their new song, really "One Last Shot?"
The Stones won't say. But in an interview last month, they made clear they felt the 50th anniversary was something to be marked.
"I thought it would be kind of churlish not to do something," Jagger told The Associated Press. "Otherwise, the BBC would have done a rather dull film about the Rolling Stones."
There certainly was nothing dull about the band's performance on Saturday, a show that brought together many middle-aged fans, to be sure, but also some of their children, who seemed to be enjoying the classic Stones brand of blues-tinged rock as much as their parents.
Yes, a Stone's average age might be a bit higher than that of the average Supreme Court justice. (To be fair, the newest justices bring the average down). But to watch these musicians play with vitality and vigor a half-century on is to believe that maybe they were right when they sang, "Time Is On My Side." At least for a few more years.
Associated Press writer David Bauder contributed to this report.