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Paul McCartney pulls our all the stops at Anfield Stadium.

It looks like Paul really did put on a really big show for his hometown.  This was not just another concert stop for him, it truly was a homecoming filled with lots of surprises.  There were new songs that Paul hadn’t played out before, homages to his bandmates, singalongs, and special guests.

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It seems that Paul’s live sets just grow and grow with more depth.  It seems that a splendid time was had by all.  We wish we could’ve been there.

Here’s what we’ve read.

As promises go, it was a modest one that Paul McCartney issued before his first Liverpool show in five years. “We’re going to have a good night out, that’s all I ever aim to do,” he said. Nevertheless, the 36,000 people who gathered to watch the biggest single event of this year’s European Capital of Culture celebrations couldn’t help but harbour high expectations.

Within seconds of his arrival in a collarless suit, it was clear that McCartney would be dusting down a few songs that hadn’t featured in his set for a long time.

Hofner bass to the fore, he dispensed a Hippy Hippy Shake which, for clattering abandon, matched the Beatles’ 1963 version – then a few minutes later, he dusted down Got To Get You Into My Life, the 1966 come-on to marijuana that John Lennon later referred to as “one of Paul’s best”.

If Macca has always underplayed his 60s’ legacy by repeatedly referring to the Beatles as “a good little rock’n’roll band”, he has long since adopted the opposite approach with Wings. And not without good reason. Armed with a PA better able to do justice to the heaviness of songs like Jet and, later, a pyrotechnically-abetted Live And Let Die, Anfield was a perfect place to unleash them. No less effective though, was Blackbird – which, 40 years after McCartney wrote it, commanded a sort of mass, rapt stillness. Eleanor Rigby should have done the same. But just as McCartney had rehearsed these songs, it felt like we should have rehearsed our reactions. Nevertheless, those who saw fit whooped and punched the air to the single most haunting song in Macca’s canon.

However, it was hard to deny the potency of songs about Liverpool, songs which changed Liverpool, and which returned to Liverpool in such an emphatic fashion. Penny Lane fitted the bill perfectly, of course. Only the response which met a version of George Harrison’s Something – performed on George’s beloved ukelele – exceeded that of McCartney’s own songs.

Radiating a canine sense of glee at his moment of wish-fulfilment, a guesting Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters chorused along with Band On the Run, and bashed at the drums like Animal from the Muppets on Back in the USSR. Over the last decade, Hey Jude has been a staple McCartney set closer, almost to the point of overfamiliarity. On this occasion though, Liverpool saw to it that no such accusations could be levelled – bringing a fervour to it that propelled it closer to prayer. And if – until that point – promised “surprises” didn’t quite come on the scale some had hoped, there was no denying the communal shudder that took hold during A Day in the Life and, better still, a joyous I Saw Her Standing There – which, at least for two minutes, took a few thousand revellers to Shea Stadium in 1965.

Source: Times UK


4 Responses

  1. A Day In The Life was amazing! You made me cry Paul. I Love you forever!

  2. God i wish i could have been there. paul please go on tour soon so the rest of the world can see you live!

  3. I was there and it was awesome!

    A really great set-list. Who would have expected 2 songs from Flaming Pie? Magic.

    I’ve seen Paul McCartney perform ‘A Day In The Life’ live. If I say it often enough maybe it’ll sink in.

    Thanks Paul.

  4. I was there too!!!! I flew in from Milan and my friends came from Canada just for Macca. Wonderful performance, his voice is still great and you could feel how excited and emotional he was to be back home. The high point for me was when he sang Something on George’s ukelele, A Day in the Life and My Love. I’ve seen him live three times and this was by far the most thrilling performance. And to see him in Liverpool… well, I’ll never forget it for as long as I live!

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