The most iconic rock 'n' roll band of all time, their first gig on Irish soil since 2007, a sunny (if unexpectedly chilly) night at Croke Park... what could possibly go wrong? As it happens, very little. Even the most casual fan of The Rolling Stones would have been hard-pressed to find fault with the foursome and their glut of backing musicians last night as they rolled their bones into town for two hours of hits.

They swagger onto the stage just after 8.30pm to the rumblings of 'Sympathy for the Devil', Mick Jagger looking every inch the icon in his long, glittering coat. And so what if Ronnie Wood looks like he bought his sparkly trainers in the kids' section of Penneys? He's Ronnie Wood – the 'Kildare boy', as Jagger latter introduces him, nodding to his Irish home – so he gets a pass.

That's a salient point. Given the band's legacy and the fact that they have performed these songs thousands of times over the years – not to mention that they are all now in their seventies - it's easy to 'give them a pass' and overlook the fact that The Rolling Stones are still damned fine musicians. They burn through 'Paint It, Black' and even those its pace is more of a canter than a gallop, it's thrilling to hear. There's a lull when a smattering of new songs (covers of old blues songs 'Just Your Fool' and 'Ride 'em On Down') take the pace down, but 'Wild Horses' soon has the crowd back onside before the triple threat of 'You Can't Always Get What You Want', 'Honky Tonk Women' and 'It's Only Rock 'n' Roll' well and truly gets the comfortably-full stadium bouncing.

For those of us who have never seen the band live before, it's a surprisingly energetic performance from the foursome, who loom large over Croke Park at various intervals thanks to the massive screens on the stage backdrop. The 74-year-old Jagger has lost none of his charm, vivacity or louche dance moves in the 53 years since the Stones first played Dublin (at the Adelphi Theatre in 1963, he reminds us), bounding up and down the runway to goad the crowd either side of the stadium into action. At one point, he even claims that the band had gone into Temple Bar last night for 'just the one'. “And we ended up sharing a spice bag afterwards,” he said, at last revealing the true reason for their collectively slim frames. C'mon, Mick - who shares a spice bag?

There's much more to come, too. The uber-cool Keith Richards takes the lead on 'Before They Make Me Run' and 'The Worst' as the sun goes down; 'Start Me Up' is a punchy gem, while 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' and 'Brown Sugar' keep the momentum going into the encore. Of course, 'Satisfaction' had to be in there somewhere, and after an impassioned 'Gimme Shelter' it's the perfect note to end on as fireworks explode behind the stage and the band and their supporting musicians take a well-deserved bow.

As we file out of Croker shoulder to shoulder with smiling faces of all ages – some of whom were longstanding fans, many of whom simply wanted to 'tick them off' their musical bucket list - the screens say 'See you soon'. But even if we don't, tonight has been one to remember.