Fans gear up for Rolling Stones show at Comerica Park

Adam Graham and Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

Detroit — If the Rolling Stones look out from the stage into the second row at Comerica Park Wednesday night, they'll see at least four fans wearing British flags like capes.

Those fans are two couples who traveled from Larkspur, Colorado, to the show. Scott Christensen and his wife, Kendall, came to Detroit the last time the Stones played Comerica Park, in 2005, as a surprise for Scott's birthday. This time they returned with two friends, Gary and Trisha Peterson, and all four of them — who also sported matching red low-top Converse sneakers — were psyched to see the Stones rock the Detroit Tigers' home.

"By the time this show is over, you're going to be ready to give up your firstborn to the Stones," Kendall said. "It's going to be that good."

That was the sentiment around the ballpark on Wednesday, as small groups of fans lingered around the stadium, peered inside to get a look at the setup and snatched up Stones merchandise from sidewalk vendors.

Merchandise ranged from programs ($10), rally towels ($15), T-shirts (10 different styles, ranging in price from $40-$50) and Detroit-specific lithographs ($50). Ballcaps in Detroit Tigers colors were available for $40, while a range of other items in Detroit Tigers colors was set to be rolled out closer to showtime, including a baseball jersey with "Stones" and the number 15 stitched onto the back ($100).

Gary Peterson didn't need any new merch. When he knew he was coming to the concert, he dug through a box of old hockey equipment from college and found a denim Stones jumpsuit he used to sport in 1971. When he zipped it up for the first time in nearly 45 years it was a little tight, so he dieted for the last two weeks and lost six pounds and was able to slide into it for the show.

When he showed it off to his wife and friends, "they were in hysterics," he said. Turning around and showing off the Stones patch on the rear, Peterson called the outfit his "party pants."

Jim Mum snatched up three T-shirts prior to the show — two to wear, one of his "Mumseum" at home where he keeps a collection of concert memorabilia. Mum, in town from Columbus, Ohio, was part of the crew that helped build the stage for Wednesday's show, an arduous "power build" set up in two days rather than the normal five.

Mum has been a part of the Stones' crew for several tours, dating back to the Steel Wheels tour in 1989. "When you've been doing it this long, it's like a family," he said.

Wednesday's family at Comerica Park is expected to be around 40,000-strong. As of Wednesday afternoon, some scattered single tickets were still available on the field level for $350 and $175, and some lower bowl seats with potentially obstructed views were still available for $99.50.

Wednesday night temperatures are expected to be in the mid to upper 60s, and while the skies over the ballpark look somewhat iffy, no rain is in the forecast.

Doors for the concert open at 6:30 p.m. Cincinnati pop-rock group Walk the Moon, who scored a summertime smash with the bouncy "Shut Up and Dance," open the show and are expected to hit the stage around 8 p.m. The Rolling Stones are expected to go on around 9:30 p.m.

The Stones' 15-city Zip Code tour — a nod to the group's 1971 album "Sticky Fingers," with its iconic zipper cover — kicked off May 24 in San Diego and wraps July 15 in Quebec City.

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama