He also made fun of the sky-high ticket prices, which had exposed the band to some criticism in the London press.
"How are you doing up in the cheap seats," he said, motioning to fans in the upper rows of the cavernous 02 Arena. "Except they're not cheap seats, that's the problem."
But Jagger seemed more mellow than usual, chatting a bit about the good old days and asking if there was anyone in the crowd who had seen them in 1962, when they first took to the stage.
He said 2012 had been a terrific year for Britain and that the Stones nearly missed the boat, playing no role in the celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the London Olympics, or the new James Bond film.
"We just got in under the wire," he said. "We feel pretty good."
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