New York • Monday, May 24, 1976

ConcertBy Wings • Part of the Wings Over the World tour
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Country:
USA
City:
New York
Location:
Madison Square Garden

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About

Paul McCartney and wife Linda at Madison Square Garden for Wings concert

May 24 & 25 (1976) marked a historical event in musical entertainment as Paul McCartney gave us one of the best concerts in the past decade.  Ten years have come and gone since he thrilled the American audience with his talent and charm.  On the evening of May 24 & 25 he returned to New York’s Madison Square Garden where thousands of tickets were sold within a matter of hours.  I was fortunate enough to get tickets for both days.  I can remember when the tickets went on sale.  Itwas shear bedlam.  There were people climbing over the rails to get closer to the ticket windown and many people were screaming.  An unruly crowd completely out of control.  The police called in an emergency squad but it didn’t help.  The crowd continued to scream, push, fight, anything to get closer to the ticket window.  I never fully realized the impact of Paul McCartney’s popularity until I saw the insane reactions of this crowd.  Glass doors were shattered, a few people were injured and I was crushed in the center of this human stampede.  However, the pleasure and enjoyment I derived from the concert had made all my efforts worthwhile. 
At 7:30 Monday night I arrived at the Garden; excited, anxious and overjoyed.  Outside there were scalpers selling tickets for $50 to $100 a piece.  I just thanked God I already had my tickets.  When we got inside my friend was kind enough to buy me a program.  The color pictures in that large booklet were beautiful to say the least.  Soon after we were directed to our seats, which were in the Orchestra section of the Garden (great seats).  A little while after we were seated, a young girl approached me and asked me where I had gotten the button I was wearing.  She liked it and wanted to buy one for herself.  I told her I had bought the button 12 years ago when Beatlemania was at its height.  The button simply and sweetly reads, “I love Paul.”  By the end of the evening four other people wanted to know where I had gotten the button.

I was sitting on pins and needles waiting for the concert to begin when I suddenly noticed a large crowd gathering around one small area in the balcony.  Someone up there was definitely attracting a lot of attention.  Later on I found out that Jacqueline Onassis was in the audience.  But, of course, the 20,000 people in the Garden came to see Paul, not her, so the excitement she generated quickly died down.  However, I am still surprised that a woman of her standing would take time out from her highly important social and political engagements just to attend a Wings concert.  It seems that McCartney’s appeal reaches even the most sophisticated people.  Then the house lights dimmed and the concert began.  My God!  I never heard so much screaming.  I thought that by the end of the evening I would be deaf from all the cheers and screams.  Paul stood in the center of the great stage, looked around and said, “Good evening New York, how ya doing?”  Bright colored lights showered down on Paul as he and his group sang their first song, “Venus & Mars Rock Show,” followed by “Jet,” “Let me Roll it,”  “Spirits of Ancient Egypt,”  “Medicine Jar,”  “Maybe I’m Amazed” “Call me back again” an old favorite, “Lady Madonna” then in a seductive Liverpool accent he said, “Oh yes, are you enjoying yourself?”  The audience response to his question was too overwhelming to put into words.  With the audience still cheering he sailing into one of his great classical songs, “The Long and Winding road” which brought me to tears.  He kept moving around the stage as he sang different songs.  Sometimes center stage playing bass guitar, sometimes side stage to play the piano, then back to the center to play the acoustic guitar, while Jim McCulloch tossed his tambourine in the air.  They seemed to be having a good time.  The next song, “Liver & Let Die” was one of the most dynamic songs of the evening.  The entire stage seemed to explode with music and smoke as thousands of fans stood on their chairs in astonishment.  Smoke filled the air in a loud blast a second time as the song came to an end, I guess you could call it a real “dynamite” song.

People couldn’t stop cheering and they were constantly standing in the aisles and on top of the chairs, and all through the concert the people in the back who couldn’t see kept yelling “sit down, sit down.”  I must have heard “sit down” a hundred times that night.

Next came “Picasso’s Last Words (drink to me)”, “Richard Cory,” “Bluebird,” “Blackbird.”  In between songs a young lady walked up to Pau on stage and handed him a bouquet of red roses, in turn Paul handed the roses to Linda and she placed them on top of Paul’s piano.  Paul then treated us to an old Beatle Masterpiece, “I’ve just seen a Face.” Then the “piece de resistance” Paul with one solitary ray of light shining on him in the mist of the darkened stage sat solo and sang “Yesterday.”  That was what I consider a historical moment and I’ll never forget it.  I consider myself fortunate for having seen it.  On to “You gave me the answer” and “Magneto and Titanium Man.”  Then as an introduction to his next song Paul asked the audience, “Do any of you have lovers out there?”  The question prompted another outburst of cheers while Linda took center stage to sing “My Love.”  He continued the concert by explaining what a “music box” was only I couldn’t hear everything he said because of the undying cheers from the fans, the cheers just kept getting louder and louder as Wings took off with the next song, “Listen to What the Man said,” “Let Em In,” “Time to Hide”.  He then ran his finger through his hair, looked out to all ends of the Garden and said “You’re making me very proud to be here,” a statement which brought the house down.  Again he looked around to all ends of the Garden and asked, “Do you love my Rock n roll?”  A thunderous applause from the audience constructed a unanimous yes answer to his question.  While the audience continued to applaud, Wings swirled into their next song, “Silly Love songs.”  Onto “Beware my love” and “Letting Go.”This bliss lasted 2 hour 15 minutes (8:30 to 10:45) and I was shocked at how quickly time went by.  They say time always goes quickly when you enjoy yourself and I must admit time never flew so fast before.  I was really stunned when he announced the last song, “Band on the Run.”  All I kept thinking was “Paul, don’t leave!”  The girl behind me was in tears.  You just had to see this concert to believe it.  He gave two encores, very lavishly done with a green laser projecting all through the Garden.  I’ve never seen that before.  Very impressive, however, I didn’t think he needed to have a laser light in his concert for a good reason – his talent outshines the laser.  He sang “Hi Hi Hi.”  The audience screamed for more and Paul came back and for a second encore, “Soily” was his very last song.

All through the concert I kept looking at Paul through my opera glasses.  Being in the orchestra section I was very close to the stage and looking through opera glasses at such a close distance made it seem like I was right next to him.  I could see him so well, all I can say is that he is, indeed, beautiful   His facial bone structure and facial features are so perfectly arranged; he was a pleasure to look at.  Once I a while I looked over at Linda who was wearing a long dark colored dress which didn’t do a thing for her figure, however, I thought she looked nicer in person than in her pictures.  Paul wore black satin slacks with a black shirt and a pendant around his neck.   Matching black jacket with sparking designs on the shoulders and pink trim around the edges.  His hair was long and beautiful and as I said before, he was a pleasure to look at. 

It was a concert to remember.   We screamed till our throats were raw; applauded till our hands were sore; stamped our feet till they were numb and continued to beg Paul for more, more, more.  Flash bulbs were popping constantly and the radiating joy of excitement never let up for a moment.  It was shear bliss.  This bliss repeated itself a second time on May 25th.  But all good things must come to an end and so did Paul’s concerts.  I remember thinking to myself “Paul don’t leave,” but he did leave.  After the two encores he left the stage for the last time and did not return, but he left us all feeling so overjoyed that his presence lingered on even though he wasn’t there.Just before he left he stood in the center of the stage, and with sincerity in his voice, looked out to the audience and said, “I Love ya, love ya, love ya.”

When the concert was over there were people outside the Garden selling all kinds of T-shirts, buttons, 8 x 10 glossies.  I bought a few glossies, a button, a poster, a magazine and a t-shirt.  In the way home I could still envision Paul in my mind.  I could still see him there, in the center o the stage, as he looked out to his audience, waved his hand and said “I love ya, love ya, love ya.”  What a beautiful way to end a concert.

Review of the concerts at Madison Square Garden written by Valeria Lambiase for MacLen fanzine that was taken out of the June 1976 issue. – From Meet the Beatles for Real: I love ya, love ya love ya
From Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 25, 1976
From Billboard Magazine – From Jesse Tedesci (@JTedesci) / Twitter
From Billboard Magazine – From Jesse Tedesci (@JTedesci) / Twitter
From Cashbox Magazine – From Jesse Tedesci (@JTedesci) / Twitter
From “Wings Over America” tour book – From Jesse Tedesci (@JTedesci) / Twitter

Last updated on May 24, 2022

Madison Square Garden

This was the 1st concert played at Madison Square Garden.

A total of 18 concerts have been played there • 1976May 24thMay 25th1989Dec 11thDec 12thDec 14thDec 15th2001Oct 20th2002Apr 26thApr 27th2005Sep 30thOct 1stOct 4thOct 5th2012Dec 10thDec 11thDec 12th2017Sep 15thSep 17th

Setlist for the concert










9.





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16.

blackbird

Written by Lennon - McCartney


17.

yesterday

Written by Lennon - McCartney







23.








Going further


Wings Live - On tour in the 70s

This is the first detailed study of Paul McCartney's Wings on tour in the 1970s. It covers every single concert from the University Tour of 1972, ending with the abandoned tour of Japan in January 1980. A wide variety of primary sources have been consulted, including all available audio and video recordings; press reviews; fan recollections; newspaper reports and tour programmes.

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