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— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) April 28, 2014
Ecuador – what a night! Thank you. pic.twitter.com/x9a91uiVUK
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) April 29, 2014
A first visit by Paul to a new country is always a very special occasion. I felt like I had a front row seat to a very historic moment for Quito. In the last ten years we’ve seen lots of gestures from cities marking the occasion of Paul’s visits. We have seen roads renamed after Paul’s songs, we’ve seen Paul McCartney days declared in honour of his presence, we’ve seen landmark buildings cover themselves in pictures of Paul, in Uruguay (as mentioned) we saw the new born lions named after The Beatles, massive flash mobs of fans…the list goes on. But Quito did something quite incredible.
To mark Paul’s visit as a national event, local authorities teamed up with the Ecuadorian Beatles fan club to greet Paul by creating a giant logo for his latest album (NEW) on the Pichincha Mountain, an Ecuadorian landmark. The logo could be seen across the entire city. It was very cool!
Paul arrived in Quito the night before the show so the sign couldn’t be seen, but I showed him some pictures on my iPhone and he was clearly very moved.
On the day of Paul’s arrival, the team had been setting up at the stadium when the clouds opened giving way to torrential rain. For hours the rain pounded down putting the equipment and staging at serious risk. When the rain did eventually subside the crew had to rely on hair dryers to try and bring their gear back to life, thankfully it worked!
The trip to Ecuador also marked another first for Paul – at an elevation of 9,350 ft (2,800 metres above sea level) it was the highest concert Paul has ever performed. This brought potential issues with it. Upon arriving in Quito many of the crew felt the immediate impact of the altitude.
Paul took this in his stride though as he performed his epic set with his usual amount of energy showing no sign of slowing up, whilst many of us watching from the wings were breathless singing along! At the end of the show Paul added a special rendition of ‘All You Need Is Love’ on the piano. The song ‘All You Need Is Love’ is currently being used in a global tourism advert for Ecuador.
The day of the show itself had been quite testing too, another sign that this was the first time someone of Paul’s stature had played here. Special mention must be given to our venue security guy Brian ‘Swalley’ Riddle – he seemed to be in a hundred different places at once and had issue after issue to contend with throughout the day.
The local security presence was unreal and a little unsettling. It seemed that almost every hour another bus load of armed guards turned up and it wasn’t exactly clear what they were all doing.
When Paul arrived at the venue ahead of soundcheck and got out of his car, with a wink, he said to me, “I think we could do with a bit more security here!”
“Paul gave Ecuador a fantastic time, what a night!”
“Loud and bright, but also emotional and historical, Paul McCartney took the crowd on a journey of the best moments of his life, the same moments that were also the soundtracks of our lives.”
“In spurts of improvisation and spontaneity, McCartney was the complete embodiment of an English gentleman and a showman too. His words and actions caused intermittent explosions of euphoria.”
“He retains a unique energy and strikes the perfect balance between both his classic and new hits.”
“There are not enough adjectives to describe the joy Paul McCartney generated in Ecuador.”
“Charismatic McCartney hits a new high! It was a magical night in which the protagonist was constantly interacting with the public. So what was the crowning moment? So many! The pyrotechnics in the rain during ‘Live and Let Die’? The ‘Hey Jude’ anthem? Or perhaps the tributes to Nancy Shevell, his wife; Linda, his first wife; John Lennon or George Harrison? Could it be the Ecuadorian flag flying next to the English one?
“It is impossible to choose only one standout moment in a concert by Paul McCartney. In fact, it does not even seem possible to know who enjoyed it more, Paul or the 36,000 fans from three generations who came to Quito on Monday night. Paul felt at home and, with evident joy, performed a catalogue of songs so extensive that after nearly three hours one is left with the feeling of still wanting more! The British multi-instrumentalist has so many songs that he would need at least six hours to perform and, even then, that probably wouldn’t be long enough!
“The public paid tribute to the former Beatle chanting, ‘Olé , olé , olé … Sir Paul, Sir Paul’. It was a versatile show too. McCartney is able to rock with songs like ‘Helter Skelter’ and ‘Get Back,’ offer some psychedelia with ‘All Together Now’ and simultaneously tug the heartstrings of his fans with songs like ‘Maybe I’m Amazed.’
“The finale included confetti and fireworks and the kindest of gestures as Paul autographed a Höfner bass for a fan. That could be another crowning moment, but with a show like this, it is difficult to pick just one.”
Last updated on May 17, 2014
Estadio de Liga
This was the 1st and only concert played at Estadio de Liga.
Setlist for the concert