Rolling Stones play "surprise" LA gig ahead of U.S. tour

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The Rolling Stones played a "surprise" gig for fans in Los Angeles on Saturday (April 27), a week ahead of kicking off a U.S. tour to mark 50 years in the music business.

Hundreds of fans, alerted on the band's Twitter account, lined up from as early as 5 a.m. on Saturday to get hold of the $20 dollar tickets for the concert at the 320 person capacity Echoplex club in Los Angeles.

Tickets were distributed by a lottery system and sold out quickly.

The veteran British rockers will officially launch a 17-date North American "50 and Counting" tour on May 3 in Los Angeles, after playing a handful of dates in London, Paris and New York at the end of 2012.

Tickets for the opening concert at the Staples Center arena in Los Angeles went on general sale on April 15 and were still available on Saturday at prices up to $600 each.