The Paul McCartney Project

Tokyo • Tuesday, April 28, 2015

ConcertBy Paul McCartney • Part of the 2nd Asian leg of the Out There Tour
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Nippon Budokan
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From, March 19, 2015:

Paul McCartney to get back to the Budokan. Very special additional Japanese ‘Out There’ tour date added

With just over one month to go until Paul returns to Japan with his ‘Out There’ tour, Paul announces today a special one off show at the Nippon Budokan on Tuesday 28th April.

The special show was originally planned for last year but for reasons beyond his control Paul was forced to cancel his Japanese tour dates.

Almost 49 years since The Beatles began the Asian leg of their 1966 tour at the Budokan, Paul will return to the legendary venue with his current tour.

Speaking about his return Paul said: “It’s very exciting to be returning to the Budokan because it is a very special place and was the first place we played in Japan. There was a lot of controversy at the time but I now know that it is a regular venue for a lot of people. But for me it has a very special place in my memory.”

A combination of fans and protestors meant that the 1966 shows were heavily guarded and the only people allowed on the venue floor for the concerts were security and accredited journalists. At the time Paul and the band couldn’t even leave the hotel they were staying in.

From, March 28, 2015:

“What was the most memorable thing about playing the Budokan concert [with The Beatles] and why did you decide to return to the venue?”

Paul told us,

“The most memorable thing about the concert was the fans, who were sensational. But what struck us as being just as memorable were the security arrangements that were put in place. The whole front row of the balcony was police, and we saw them all walking in. And as we were going to the show, all the fans were corralled on each street corner and guarded by police. So as we went by they went, ‘Eeeeeeehh!!’ And then there’s nothing for the next block or two. And then ‘Eeeeeeehhh!!’ It was zany because we’d come from England and the US where it had been mayhem. So when I think of the Budokan show I think of the fans first, and then security second.

“Why go back and play there again? Just because it was such a special venue to play and I have a particularly special feeling about it. So when someone said there was a possibility of playing there again I jumped at the chance for old times’ sake.”

From NME, April 30, 2015:

After 49 years, Paul McCartney returned to Tokyo’s Budokan venue this week. Almost half a century after he played an iconic gig there with The Beatles, he marked the special comeback by airing a song his old man never performed live, ‘Another Girl’ from the ‘Help!’ album. […]

It was sensational and quite emotional remembering the first time and then experiencing this fantastic audience tonight,” said Macca straight after the show. “It was thrilling for us and we think it was probably the best show we did in Japan and it was great to be doing the Budokan 49 years later. It was crazy. We loved it.

From For Whom The Bell Tells, July 6, 2015:

BUDOKAN, Tokyo (April 28, 2015)

Today is one of those days that will stay with me, and the rest of the crew, for our entire lives. There have been so many highlights over the years to pick from, but today easily ranks as one of the best. We’ll be talking about this until we are drawing our last breaths. Paul McCartney is back at the Budokan, to make history yet again. To set the scene, Paul and The Beatles became the first pop act to play this martial arts venue back in 1966, a performance which, it is fair to say, ruffled a few feathers of those who did not think rock and roll was quite the thing to have in such a venerated spot. Anticipation for his return has heightened even more because Paul had to postpone his return (which had been due to take place last year) because he was poorly. But now it is all systems go. The significance of this show in Japan is huge, and in fact, its importance goes well beyond these shores to make headlines around the world.

Britain’s biggest newspaper The Sun will say of the show: “His return to The Budokan was not so much a concert as a pseudo religious experience. It felt like Beatlemania had returned.”  There is a buzz in the air all day around this particular location all day. Fans lining the streets from the early hours, along with the media. Even those that couldn’t get tickets turn up en masse with the hope of simply finding a great position to hear the concert outside the venue. 

Production inside is stripped back. A show that is normally produced for huge outdoor audiences is, for one-night-only, squeezed into a venue that for most artists would be a pretty big concert, but by PM standards it is the equivalent of a club gig, with little over a quarter of the capacity of our home for the previous three nights. The set-list is trimmed back from 39 songs to 28. Mind you, that’s quite an improvement on The Beatles’ original performance, which stretched to just 11 songs. The atmosphere is electric and everybody feels that something special is happening. As a surprise Paul adds the song ‘Another Girl’ from the Help! album to the set – the first time a Beatle has ever performed the track live, which makes news in its own right. 

Before Paul takes to the stage, I ask him about his thoughts from the first time he came here. He says: “It was very interesting because we didn’t know what to expect. We’d come from the west and didn’t really know anything about the Japanese culture. We were very surprised with things like, you’d go into a room and there’d be women sitting there and they’d jump up and give us their chair. And we never saw that in the west – you know, women don’t do that. But the main thing was the show and it was a great show. It was very interesting to see the Japanese audiences, because then they were very polite. You know, Japanese society is a very polite society and we loved that. It was very interesting to see it. You know, they loved what we did but they waited. They waited until we had finished the song then they clapped very politely. It’s changed over the years, because now people are much more used to western shows and they like to rock out a bit more. But I think we enjoyed it, I think the audience enjoyed it just as much. It was very exciting. Great memories.” 

Well, I wasn’t there on that visit in 1966 but as a witness to Paul’s 2015 show I can confirm this time round the audience did not wait until the end of the songs to show their appreciation. They were up for it – so much so, it felt like the venue was shaking with the crowd reaction. And frankly, we were all shaking with the gushing press reaction afterwards. Here’s a taste:

Paul back at the Budokan after 49 years (SANKEI SPORTS)  
Paul McCartney “got back” to the Budokan last night with a special show that included a world premiere performance of an early Beatles number. He appeared moved by a wild response reminiscent of his first appearance there with The Beatles in 1966, telling the audience in Japanese that it “brought back memories”. Paul McCartney returned last night to the hallowed ground with the same Hofner bass he played 49 years ago. Greeting the crowd in Japanese with “Welcome to the Budokan’, his two-hour show was a legendary concert that included songs from the original set in a venue which he transformed from a martial arts temple to a shrine to rock. 

It’s good to be back, Budokan (NIKKEI SHIMBUN)
Paul McCartney delighted some 10,000 fans last night in a concert at the Budokan, played some 49 years after he originally stood there on stage with the late John Lennon in 1966. The set featured several classic Beatles numbers which were greeted with rapturous cheers that shook the ground at the end of each song. 

Paul revives the mania and creates a new legend (SPORTS NIPPON)
Half a century on, Paul McCartney got back to the Budokan last night, yeah, yeah, yeah! Returning to a place he had made into hallowed ground, the start of his concert was delayed by an hour and a half due to the volume of fans all round the building, but McCartney told the audience in Japanese that it was “good to be back” as he thrilled them with 28 numbers in fine voice. The Beatles were the first ever rock band to play in the Budokan when they came here in 1966, creating a sensation with many kids playing truant to go to see them. Paul was due to play here last year but had to cancel due to illness but he made up for it in style last night with a legendary concert that delighted his fans, both of those that remembered him from before, and those that were not even born at the time. 

From Twitter – Paul snuck back into the Budokan #OutThere
From Twitter – Paul getting #OutThere at the Budokan in Tokyo last week. Photo by MJ Kim
From Twitter – Paul on stage at the Budokan earlier this week. Photo by MJ Kim. #OutThere
From Paul at the Budokan, April 2015 | – Paul McCartney Out There tour 2015, Budokan, Tokyo, Japan.
From Paul at the Budokan, April 2015 | – Paul McCartney Out There tour 2015, Budokan, Tokyo, Japan.

Last updated on February 11, 2021

Nippon Budokan

This was the 6th concert played at Nippon Budokan.

A total of 7 concerts have been played there • 1966Jun 30thJul 1stJul 1stJul 2ndJul 2nd2015Apr 28th2017Apr 25th

Setlist for the soundcheck

Setlist for the concert




Foxy Lady

Written by Jimi Hendrix




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