By Daniel Kreps (www.rollingstone.com)
Before the McCoys’ version of “Hang On Sloopy” became the official rock song of Ohio, the single was a staple of the Rolling Stones‘ concerts in 1966, popping up on nearly a dozen setlists before being dropped entirely from their arsenal. The Rolling Stones brought their Zip Code tour to Columbus, Ohio Saturday night, and to mark the occasion, Mick Jagger and company performed “Hang On Sloopy” live for the first time in nearly 50 years.
Since being named Ohio’s official rock song in 1985, “Hang On Sloopy” has become an anthem at sporting events throughout the Buckeye State. In Cleveland, the Indians, Cavaliers and Browns all play the 1965 McCoys single at some point during home games, and “Hang On Sloopy” has been a marching band fixture at Ohio State Buckeyes football games for 50 years. The Rolling Stones’ Columbus gig took them to Ohio Stadium, home of the Buckeyes, so it was only natural that the band would dust off the classic for the first time since 1966, when the Stones played it frequently during a European tour.As is custom, every time Jagger sang the “Hang On Sloopy” chorus, the audience erupted by spelling out “O-H-I-O” in unison. Keeping with the spirit of the venue, the Rolling Stones also welcomed the Ohio University Singers from Athens, Ohio to join them onstage during the encore for “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” “So we just sang in front of 50,000 people #choirgoals,” the OU Singers wrote on Facebook after their big performance.
The Rolling Stones’ Zip Code trek kicked off May 24th with a rock-solid performance at San Diego’s Petco Park. The jaunt will wrap up July 11th in Buffalo, New York. The band will also play Quebec City’s long-running Festival d’été de Québec on July 15th.