- Air Canada Centre
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More from year 2015
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From paulmccartney.com, August 21, 2015:
PAUL McCARTNEY TO GET BACK ‘OUT THERE’ IN OCTOBER
October 17 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto
Fresh off an undeniably historic headline performance at this year’s Lollapalooza hailed without exception as the biggest and best in the festival’s 25 year history, Paul McCartney has confirmed the first new North American arena date on the universally acclaimed ‘Out There’ tour.
On October 17, Paul will return to Toronto’s Air Canada Centre for the first time since 2010 on the ‘Up And Coming’ tour.
From The Star, October 18th 2015:
Paul McCartney, 73, churned out an impressive 41 songs during a three-hour marathon at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday night, with nary a water bottle in sight.
To put this in perspective, most artists play between 18 and 25 songs over an evening concert. Sometimes, for extra-lengthy shows, the number may reach 32 to 34. And these artists often take sips from nearby water bottles, understandably, while performing under hot spotlights.
The co-founder of the Beatles, the most influential group in pop history, needed no refreshments, even after a fireball-laden rendition of the James Bond theme “Live And Let Die,” where there was so much pyrotechnic mayhem during the instrumental chaos that even the audience could easily feel the heat.
Actually, if anything, McCartney — backed by a stellar band that included guitarist Rusty Anderson, guitarist/bass player Brian Ray, keyboardist Paul “Wix” Wickens and the spectacular Abe Laboriel Jr. on drums — seemed more invigorated as the show progressed. […] he dusted off “Mull of Kintyre” for all the Scots in the house complete with pipes and drums from the Paris-Port Dover pipe band. […]
From simcoereformer.ca, October 20th 2015:
In the last 15 years, the Paris Port Dover Pipe Band have travelled the world over, performing in locales such as Scotland, France, Greece and Switzerland.
“We’re really well known overseas,” pipe major Gordon Black said of the self-funded, 162 member outfit. “We have quite the band. We’ll get different sections within the band, so I can always pull enough people to go to different places.”
At no time has the group – about 25 per cent of which are from Norfolk – taken more of a starring role than just down the road in Toronto however. Following up on a pair of appearances back in 2010, the band returned to the Air Canada Centre this past weekend to once again share the stage with Sir Paul McCartney.
Thanks in part to Black’s friend and avid Beatles memorabilia collector Dennis Toll of Brantford, members of McCartney’s entourage got in touch with the group five years ago.
“McCartney had no idea who we were,” laughed Black, a Bealton resident. “(But) we went there, did two shows and we just blew everything out of the water. It went perfect – he was relaxed, he loved the band.”
McCartney enjoyed his time with the group so much that he put them on standby for his most recent show in Hogtown. The former Beatles star personally requested the group play alongside him, the only trouble was, Black got that notice less than a week before showtime.
“Luckily we’re a fairly experienced band,” Black said, noting that just six members took part in both McCartney shows.
“I think everybody this time knew it was a big deal. We knew it was big last time, but the new people who went this time, they knew it was big. It’s my job to control how their emotions are and how they’re feeling – it’s up to me to keep them focused on the show itself.”
In preparation for the performance, the band held secret practices throughout last week – including Thanksgiving Monday – to make sure they were up to par.
“It’s a tough thing because we don’t just go in there and play normal bagpipe pitch, we have to change our chanters and the pipes to a concert pitch,” Black noted. “We really have to reset every single set of pipes so we can play along with McCartney.”
At the conclusion of the show, McCartney gave his southwestern Ontario friends a special gift as he signed their base drum head, which will soon retire. […]
From Paris Port Dover Pipe Band delivers for McCartney | Toronto.com, October 21, 2015:
Paris Port Dover Pipe Band members had one week to prepare for a repeat performance of Mull of Kintyre with Sir Paul McCartney at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.
On Saturday night – which saw McCartney’s only Canadian stop on his worldwide Out There tour – 28 Paris Port Dover Pipe Band members not only pulled it off, they blew it out of the park – quite literally.
The band had previously played alongside McCartney for two performances in 2010.
“McCartney personally requested us,” Paris Port Dover Pipe Band founder and pipe major Gordon Black said. “He could have had his pick of any band. Talks had been going on for months but last Friday it was confirmed that we would play Mull of Kintyre.
“That’s the confidence McCartney has in us. You don’t put this on a band and expect them to know it in a week.”
The band joined McCartney on stage during a second encore and the crowd of about 23,000 went wild. McCartney has only performed Mull of Kintyre – a hit song inspired by an island in Scotland he called home with his wife Linda for several years prior to her death – in Glasgow and Toronto.
The day started inconspicuously enough – the pipe band practicing at Dennis Toll Funeral Home’s reception hall in Brantford and then boarding a coach bus.
During the trip to Toronto the mix of pipers and drummers aged 14 to 70 appeared relatively subdued. Some took the opportunity to put a final shine on their shoes while digesting the fact they were soon to meet the legendary Beatle.
Even the youngest members knew of McCartney and how significant this performance would be.
Mary Patterson, 14, said she received an email during history class at Brantford Collegiate Institute informing her that she would be among the drummers to perform with McCartney.
“I almost cried I was so happy,” she said. “I’ve always been a huge fan. I’m really pumped.”
Alex Roy, 23, was among the Paris Port Dover Pipe Band members to perform with McCartney five years ago.
“It was very overwhelming, very unbelievable,” he said. “I couldn’t believe I was standing 10 feet away from a Beatle. I brag about it to people.”
Excitement grew upon arriving at the ACC. After being sequestered in a boardroom for about two hours, the band headed to an underground parking area to practice.
About 30 minutes later, at 6 p.m., a cavalcade of cars carrying McCartney and his band members drove into the garage.
McCartney got out of his car, stood by the band, nodding his head to the rhythm and smiling at the group.
After shaking Black’s hand, McCartney said: “It sounds really good in here.” Then he smiled, waved and disappeared into the ACC.
Dennis Toll, a longtime Beatles fan who met McCartney on five previous occasions, connected the pipe band with McCartney for Saturday’s performance and those in 2010.
“I first got close to Paul when we were doing some shared charity work in Toronto in the early ’90s,” Toll said. “Through that charity work (my wife) Cindy and two of our sons were invited to attend a soundcheck at one of his shows at the CNE stadium.”
On Saturday, Dennis and Cindy stood stage-side with the pipe band during McCartney’s soundcheck in front of a small crowd of VIPs. He performed about six songs, including Lady Madonna, San Francisco Bay, Blue Suede Shoes and Eight Days a Week.
Guests were then ushered out of the auditorium so McCartney and the Paris Port Dover Pipe Band could rehearse Mull of Kintyre.
“We’re a secret,” Black said. “No one is supposed to see us.”
Drummer Kathleen Little said McCartney and his band members – Rusty Anderson, Abe Laboriel Jr., Brian Ray and Paul Wickens – helped quell any onstage jitters the pipe band had.
“The band would turn around and smile at us,” she said. “It was almost like sitting in the living room with them, they made you feel so comfortable.”
Piper Bernice Emery of Waterford was nervous during the rehearsal. That all changed when it came time to do the show.
“It was like a dream,” she said. “He treated us like regular people, there was nothing arrogant about him.”
McCartney seemed ageless on stage during a three-hour performance that included Beatles and Wings favourites, as well as FourFiveSeconds, his collaboration with Kanye West and Rihanna.
Complete with pyrotechnics, fireworks and lasers, the sold-out show delivered. McCartney proved a stellar performer, but also a true gentleman, bantering easily with the audience and even bringing some fans on stage.
At the end of Mull of Kintyre he autographed the pipe band’s bass drum, which is now retired after 15 years of touring around the world.
Paris Port Dover Pipe Band was highly celebrated while they stood by the coach that would transport them back home. As the audience trickled out of the ACC, they applauded and cheered the band – some stopping to take photographs of the autographed drum and others linking arms and belting out the words to Mull of Kintyre.
Black’s wife Michelle, also a piper, performed alongside McCartney for the first time Saturday night.
“My heart was racing, and then we got on stage and McCartney was so soothing, strumming and singing, and I calmed right down,” she said. “It was beyond words.”
“It takes days to come down from this,” Black said. “It was everything to be expected and more. This time we had a better sound, we gelled better and we knew what we were doing.”
When the coach pulled into the parking lot at Dennis Toll Funeral Home at 1:30 a.m., Black stood up to address the band.
“Take it away, enjoy it, because you are going to live this the rest of your lives,” he said. “You pulled through, you did it well and gave a performance tonight that was second to none.”
For members of the Paris Port Dover Pipe Band it was a hard day’s night, but it was also the night of a lifetime.
Last updated on February 24, 2021
Setlist for the concert