Celeb stakes were high at the Rolling Stones show in Vegas, while APLA's party had wild palms.

I paid $500 for my ticket,” declared Elisabeth Shue at The Rolling Stones‘ Feb. 15 concert at Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, ”and I’m expecting to get every penny’s worth!” She wasn’t the only celeb to shell out big bucks to get some satisfaction. In the first rows of the Hard Rock’s 1,400-seat concert hall were Brad Pitt, Chris O’Donnell, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Rock, Drew Barrymore, and Johnny Depp, among others—though not all of the deep-pocketed celebs had to ante up (not counting some lost wagers). ”It was a freebie night for me,” confessed O’Donnell. After opening act Sheryl Crow, Mick Jagger and company took the stage for nearly two hours, performing old favorites like ”Brown Sugar,” ”Honky Tonk Women” (a duet with Crow), and ”Jumpin’ Jack Flash” — a tune that so jazzed rocker Tommy Lee that during the song, he hosed down some nearby fans with a bottle of champagne. The star consensus on the show: definitely worth the price of admission. ”I can’t explain how incredible it was,” gushed Jenny McCarthy. ”I was blown away. And you know what? Mick sticks out his tongue more than me.”

From the City of Stars to the City of Angels: Money was also on the minds of the celebrities at the AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) gala at the Universal Amphitheatre, Feb. 12. But this time, Hollywood was on hand to help raise funds for AIDS-related programs. Among those who joined cohosts Jodie Foster and Jason Alexander were Jim Carrey, who accepted an award for his support of APLA (”Jeffrey Katzenberg said [in lieu of accepting], ‘you could just cut a check,”’ Carrey joked. ”So I freed up my evening and decided to accept this honor like the true saint I’ve become”), Joely Fisher (who sang Cole Porter’s ”It’s All Right With Me”), and the grande dame of AIDS benefits, Elizabeth Taylor, who gave a heartfelt speech. ”It’s a big show, very intimidating,” said Alexander. ”I was standing next to Dustin Hoffman and Katzenberg going ‘Why am I here? I’m just a little Jew from New Jersey.”’

(Additional reporting by Carrie Bell)