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From paulmccartney.com, May 8, 2013:
Paul McCartney shows are known for attracting multi-generational audiences but on Monday night in Brazil he attracted a different kind of crowd all together. The Hey Jude singer, who started his new world tour in Brazil this week, was joined on stage in Goiania by a swarm of Grasshoppers.
The Esperanca Grilo, literally translated as ‘hope’ grasshopper, at times covered Paul from head to toe. The famous animal activist remained unfazed by the situation as he performed a near three hour set.
One of the grasshoppers took a particular liking to Paul and remained on his shoulder for the majority of the show. The former Beatle introduced his new friend to the 47,000 strong crowd as ‘Harold’. Whilst performing Hey Jude, Paul turned to Harold whilst singing, “the movement you need is on your shoulder,” and said to the crowd, “It certainly is now”.
Brazilian audiences are incredible so that’s why we keep coming back. All of the shows this week were incredible. The crowds were just amazing and of course in Goiânia we had the grasshoppers join us, which was unbelievable. No one could see that coming!Paul McCartney – From paulmccartney.com, May 10, 2013
From For Whom The Bell Tells, May 17, 2013:
“Unless you live on the planet Mars, you will not have missed the fact that Paul McCartney brought his show to the Serra Dourada Stadium. Although it is possible that the media noise and local excitement around this show did reach Mars! Never before in the history of this city had a musical visit been so important.”
O Hoje – 7th May
On my journey from the hotel in Goiânia to the venue early in the morning on show day, the driver told me that he’d been listening to a radio show earlier in the day where they had been discussing who is the most important person to ever visit the city, Paul McCartney or Pope John Paul II! It was safe to say that the city was bracing itself for one big party. As one local paper reported, “McCartney still explores stages and places that many others avoid, too afraid of the local infrastructure or simply because they don’t want to go to the effort. Our city is honoured by his presence.”
No one who works on “Out There” will ever forget Goiânia and the show’s special guest Harold the grasshopper! In fact, probably no one in the world will forget. It seems to be the thing I’ve been asked about most by media since this show. People calling to ask if Paul is ok. Just to check he didn’t get bitten by anything! I’m happy to report each time that Paul is very well and was unharmed.
As the sun went down it was clear there were a few more bugs than normal in the stadium but no real concerns. What could a few bugs do? As it grew darker it was obvious that the giant screens were starting to attract a fair bit of attention. When Paul hit the stage and the lights shifted up a gear we could see now that there was a lot of insect action going on at the back of the stage but still no real concerns. It was only when Paul moved to the piano for the first time in the show to perform My Valentine it became clear that something was going on here that didn’t normally happen at a Macca show. The odd grasshopper started to appear on the piano and then on Paul. Along with the audience I double took as a second, then third and even a fourth settled on Paul. Looking at Paul it seemed to take a lot of concentration for him not to laugh uncontrollably!
Meanwhile backstage a low level of panic set in. What could be done about this? This can’t happen. What if… what if more come? Will the show have to be stopped? Well, more did turn up and with this more hurried activity backstage and more panic set in. This was a new situation for sure.
The Esperanca Grilo, literally translated as ‘hope grasshopper’, at times covered Paul from head to toe.
Whilst the panic was going on, what was being missed was that on stage Paul had befriended a grasshopper, named him Harold and introduced him as his friend to the audience – looking totally at home with the situation. Paul wasn’t going anywhere. Neither was Harold incidentally, remaining proudly on Paul’s arm or shoulder for the majority of the show. Including a truly unforgettable moment in Hey Jude when Paul turned to Harold whilst singing the line, “The movement you need is on your shoulder,” and then saying to the crowd, “It certainly is now”.
The next day Brazilian paper O Estado De S Paulo reported, “McCartney performed a three hour show that surprised Goiânia with a new setlist and a ballet of grasshoppers. Harold (the grasshopper) did a high jump on to the legend’s shoulder. Smart grasshopper. We’d all like to have been in his position! Paul and Harold made history inside what is already a history that will never end.”
I’m not sure how many people would have just rolled with this situation. The words Kings of Leon and pigeons spring to mind!
After the show, when Paul was having a little post-show party and well deserved margarita with the band and crew, I asked him if there was a moment when he felt any kind of panic?
Paul told me, “It was hysterical, that’s the truth of it. Out of nowhere suddenly this plague of locusts! I got to the piano to start ‘My Valentine’ and I see one little grasshopper and he’s landed right in front of me and then I look down and there was one on the keyboard. I need to find the chords so I need to move our friend without hurting him. Then there was one on my shoulder, then another, then one on my back. At this stage I’m thinking I really don’t want one in my mouth so I just try and keep as tight to the microphone as possible and not give them room. So I was thinking, either you walk off or you keep going. Well we kept going and it just became more hysterical. When we did ‘Live and Let Die’ it was incredible. During the show more and more moths gathered on our giant screens as they were attracted to the lights. When the explosions went off they were scared off the screens and then all the grasshoppers made a dive for them. It was unbelievable. It looked like a scene out of Dante’s Inferno! It was astonishing.”
Last updated on November 5, 2020
Serra Dourada Stadium
This was the 1st and only concert played at Serra Dourada Stadium.
Setlist for the soundcheck
Setlist for the concert