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From Liverpool Echo, May 28th 2015:
I’ve seen Paul McCartney a few times now, and every time is better than the first, like seeing an old friend who you don’t see often enough, and each time you’re reminded how much you miss them. […]
In a set which mixed songs from across his 50 year (and the rest) career, he played the tunes casual fans knew and loved, while still serving up album tracks and less familiar material for the more committed fans.
Kicking off with the upbeat Eight Days A Week, he jumped straight into new track Save us, one of a number of recent tracks on the extensive set list.
In a set lasting almost three hours he swapped between his six and twelve string acoustics, he played the darkly tinged I’m Looking Through You from Rubber Soul and then the upbeat Wings number Another Day, which went down just as well.
With an old electric guitar that was clearly a right hander strung the left hand way slung round his neck, he talked about Jimi Hendrix covering Sergeant Pepper at the Marquee club two days after the record was released. This followed a little burst of Foxy Lady at the end of Let Me Roll It.
To hear him talk about Hendrix – who has been dead for more than 40 years – you realise not only that McCartney has been everywhere and seen everything, but he’s lasted, relatively unscathed, doing it for such a long time.
Before the gig, as you felt the excitement of the crowd build, you knew he would be equally excited to be back stage, waiting to perform in front of a Liverpool audience. While he plays in cities all round the world, he only comes from one of them, and that’s here. […]
Ever cheerful, slightly humble, he talked fondly about growing up in Liverpool, the childhood memories which have inspired him all these years.
It’s hard, seeing him live, to reconcile the jolly man on the stage with the musician who wrote some of the best pop songs the world has ever seen.
He segued from stories about him and George getting the bus into songs that are as tightly stitched into our cultural fabric as nursery rhymes. Songs that I can’t remember when I didn’t know. Songs that, really, no mere mortal should have been able to write.
There were tributes to George and to John, with songs too for late wife Linda and his current love Nancy. He has a knack for opening up his life to thousands of people (including a young couple who he let propose and accept marriage on stage). There’s nothing cynical about a McCartney gig, no clever reinterpretations of the songs, just what people want to hear.
That’s why we all keep coming back. Just don’t leave it so long next time.
From For Whom The Bell Tells, July 17, 2015:
Paul’s homecoming feels like a big deal because it is a big deal. You need only walk around the city to feel that it is bursting with pride about his return, and there must have been very few people who were not aware he was playing. Huge ”Welcome Home” posters are plastered across the city and overlooking the Mersey, the Liver Building displays a “Macca” flag which has been hoisted high. It clearly means a lot to Paul too. That afternoon, he says: “It’s been a little while since I’ve performed here – we’ve taken this tour all over the world but there’s nothing quite like rocking out with your home audience.”
Prior to the show I see one of the most remarkable things I’ve ever seen in my entire life. After soundcheck, in his dressing room, Paul is being quizzed by the Daily Mirror newspaper about his fitness routine. He mentions to the writer, Clemmie, that his party trick in the gym is doing a headstand – yes a headstand! “No way,” Clemmie says, and Paul knows exactly how to respond to such a challenge. He jumps up from his seat, empties his pockets and well, before we’d really had time to take it all in, there he is – feet in the air, standing on his head. Simply astonishing; we are rendered speechless. “That’s thrown you,” Paul teases as he becomes upright once more and returns to his place on the sofa. Clemmie admits it takes a little time to pick up the thread of the conversation (when I tell the guys back in the office about this gymnastic feat, we all try to give it a go to no avail, except for picking up headaches and minor injuries!).
It is estimated more than 2,000 people in the sold out audience have travelled to Liverpool from all corners of the world. It certainly feels like the world is united inside the arena with flags from Japan, Australia, Brazil, Germany and many, many more places being waved. A couple from France also have a mega surprise when Paul invites them up on stage for an impromptu proposal. The audience includes Kasabian front-man Tom Meighan who hangs out backstage like a school kid about to see his idol for the first time. Paul brings out that sort of childish devotion in almost everyone.
Reviewer Jade Wright sums up how a lot of us feel when she writes in the Liverpool Echo:
“Seeing Macca should be compulsory, or at least should be available on the NHS, it’s such a life-affirming, soul-warming experience.” In the words of the Daily Post: “Paul is familiar and unchanging. An endearing Everyman persona but a living icon to many. For those of us who’d never seen him in person, this concert was beyond a rare privilege, a kind of epiphany. Well, you know what I mean.”
Last updated on November 15, 2020
Setlist for the soundcheck
Setlist for the concert