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Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones perform in the rain on the Commons in Halifax on Saturday. ((Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press))

At least 50,000 fansbraved a wet Saturdayin Halifax to seethe Rolling Stonesplay the largest rock concert in the city's history.

The Stonesheadlined themusicfestival being held inHalifax Commons, which also featured performances byhometownindie rockersSloan, Alice Cooper, and rap artistKanye West.

Earlier in the day, a lightrainfell as thousands snaked through security and on to the large inner-city park.

The rain continued to fall as Sloan played, but it eased just as Mick Jagger and the band took the stage.

Packed city

The record-breaking concert came as Halifax was alreadycrowded, with four cruiseships docked inthe harbour and a NHL pre-season game being played Saturday in the city. Barswerepermittedto stay open until 4:30 a.m. to accommodate the concert's revellers.

There were concerns that thousands of fans, a massive steel stage and dozens of tractor-trailers would chew up the sports fields in the Commons.

It took more than 100 roadies about a week to set up 78 tractor-trailer loads of equipment.

Organizers expressed surprise at the amount of opposition to the show,mostly from those who live near the site and complained about the noise and congestion it would create.

Others felt it was inappropriate for a money-making venture to be held in a public space, and some criticized the $240,000 provided by the provincial and municipal governments for extra security and post-concert cleanup.

Joe Doucette, a 54-year-old Stones fan from Dartmouth, had little patience for the critics.

"I grew up in this area, five minutes from here — just get a life," Doucette said between performances as he took cover from the rain beneath one of the grandstands.

With files from the Canadian Press