Dressed in early days Beatles’ garb, a short length black jacket with buttons all the way up to the neck, reminiscent of a Nehru jacket, and matching drainpipe pants with heeled shoes, Sir Paul McCartney made his grand entrance to thunderous applause as the packed auditorium stood up in unison and cheered! He opened with a medley ending in ‘Jet’ as the crowd ripped their fists in the air as they chorused “Jet!” He then went on to “All my Lovin’ “ and on to many of his hits from his ‘Wings’ and ‘Beatles’ days, including perennial favourites,. ‘The Long and Winding Road’, ‘Band on the Run’, ‘Paperback Writer’, ‘Let it Be’,’ Live and Let Die’ (replete with fireworks) and many more. When he broke into ‘Ob La Di, Ob la Da’, the crowd couldn’t control themselves any longer and stood up to dance feverishly and sing along with gusto! Picking on that burst of energy, Paul rammed into ‘Back in the USSR’ sending the audience into wild ecstasy!
When he tagged Lennon’s ‘Give peace a chance’ onto a ‘Day in the Life’, the crowd sang along and swayed their arms holding their fingers up in the V sign signifying peace, as a big peace sign flashed on the massive screen behind Paul! It was the 60s revisited!
Throughout the concert, Paul paid tribute to many great musicians and his late wife, Linda. His first tribute, that brought on hoots of approval from the audience, was to guitar god Jimi Hendrix, who he said years ago in 1967 had played tribute to him(Paul). Two days after the release of the Sgt. Pepper’s album, Jimi played Sgt Pepper’s at a concert, bending every chord and lengthening every note until his guitar went out of tune. Jimi then asked Eric Clapton, who was in the audience, to help him tune his guitar and Eric backed out. Lore has it that when Clapton saw Hendrix play that night, he knew that his place as ‘God’ was just taken over by Jimi. Clapton was so nervous; he had to smoke tons of cigarettes to calm himself!
His next tribute was to John Lennon, his colossal counterpart during the Beatles’ heydays. For his tribute to George Harrison, another member of the Beatles, Paul sang ‘Something’. He then played a tribute to his late wife with the ballad ‘My Love’, which he also dedicated to all the lovers out there. He ended with the signature ‘Hey Jude’ as everybody joined in with passion.
But the crowd had not had enough! With yells and pounding feet, the animated public brought Paul back for two encore sets. He opened the first encore set by slamming into a real heavy version of ‘Day Tripper’ followed by ‘Lady Madonna’ and ending with ‘Get Back’. The second encore set saw him open up with a slow “Yesterday”, followed by ‘Mull of Kintyre’ accompanied by a string of musicians from the Parisportdover pipe band and then picking up momentum as he sent everyone’ Helter Skelter’ finally ending with ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ adding as finale ‘and in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make!’
And that brought to an end a magical concert as planet Earth’s colossus of compositions, Sir Paul McCartney, took a bow with his band, to deafening applause.