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Paul McCartney Liverpool Sound Anfield Stadium Sunday June 1, 2008


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I recently arrived back across the Atlantic Ocean from my pilgrimage from the United Kingdom where I saw Sir Paul McCartney play the Liverpool Sound at Anfield Stadium on June 1, 2008.

To see Macca perform in Liverpool was one of the most powerful musical moments in my life, no pun intended. In the set that was filled with the Beatles and Wings hits that have been heard in his last several tours there were a few surprises. Including the set opener "Hippy, Hippy Shake" by Chan Romero, made famous by the Swinging Blue Jeans, which Paul had not performed since 1963 with John, George and Ringo.

The set also marked the debut of a couple of songs, one of which was a rock and roll version of "In Liverpool" which first saw the light of day in McCartney's 'Liverpool Oratorio' which marked his first foray into classical music released in 1991.

The biggest debut of the night was the first performance by any Beatle of "A Day in the Life.†Paul did the first John Lennon verse as well as his middle section of one of the most significant songs off of one of the most critically heralded albums of all-time ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.’ June 1st, interestingly also marked the forty-first anniversary of the United Kingdom release of 'Sgt. Pepper's.' Though Macca flubbed his own line "Woke up got out of bed, made the bus in seconds flat, made the bus in seconds flat" he did it without missing a beat and even put up his two fingers and looked at them and lipped out the word “twice?â€

After "A Day in the Life" Paul and his touring band of the past two tours went straight into Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance" with a giant peace sign on the screen behind them. It was a beautiful tribute to John and his wife Yoko Ono who was in attendance with the other 35,000 plus fans in Anfield. Paul had performed "Give Peace a Chance" before in Liverpool in a medley tribute to his song writing partner who together helped changed the world.

June 1st not only marked the anniversary of the release of 'Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band' it also marked the fifth anniversary of McCartney's last performance in his hometown of Liverpool. Paul introduced one song by saying "Here's a song I wrote about a road that is not too far from here" and then the band false started into "Penny Lane" and then Paul said "That's okay, now you know it's live."

To hear "Let it Be" played in Liverpool with the line "When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom ‘Let it Be’" with his mother Mary buried just a few kilometres away was another powerful moment in a night full of them.

Though I myself and I am sure many others were hoping that Ringo Starr would make an appearance at Anfield with McCartney, instead we got Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters and Nirvana who played guitar and vocals on the Wings hit “Band on the Run†and played drums on the Beatles “Back in the U.S.S.R.†and again got behind the kit with the set closer “I Saw Her Standing There.â€

Fellow Liverpudlian band the Zutons opened the show along with the Kaiser Chiefs, who both put on good sets, but the day belonged to Sir Paul McCartney, perhaps along with Bob Dylan the most significant living musician in popular music.

After the fireworks ended above Anfield Stadium my friends and I made a walk from the stadium to the city centre of Liverpool to Matthew Street where we went to the Cavern Club which was packed with others who made the same mini pilgrimage from the concert and we listened to two Liverpudlian’s play an assortment of Beatles songs. Lennon and McCartney they were not, though I could not think of a better way to end my night seeing Sir Paul McCartney in Liverpool.

Paul McCartney

Liverpool Sound

Anfield Stadium

Sunday June 1, 2008

Start time: 9:08PM

1. Hippy, Hippy Shake

2. Jet

3. Drive My Car

4. Flaming Pie

5. Got to Get You Into My Life

6. Let Me Roll It (tease “Foxey Ladyâ€)

7. My Love

8. C’Moon

9. The Long and Winding Road

10. Dance Tonight

11. Blackbird

12. Calico Skies

13. In Liverpool

14. Follow the Sun

15. Eleanor Rigby

16. Something

17. Penny Lane

18. Band on the Run (with Dave Grohl on guitar and vocals)

19. Back in the U.S.S.R. (with Grohl on drums)

20. Live and Let Die

21. Let it Be

22. Hey Jude

23. Yesterday

Encore: 24. A Day in the Life

25. Give Peace a Chance

26. Lady Madonna

27. I Saw Her Standing There (with Grohl on drums)

End time: 10:56pm (Total time 1 hour 48 minutes)

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