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From Stuart Bell, Paul’s publicist, paulmccartney.com, July 21, 2016:
Cordoba, Argentina (14th May 2016)
This is Paul’s first visit to the city of Cordoba – Argentina’s second largest city –and the sense of anticipation is heavy in the air. At the airport there are huge welcome banners, thousands of fans mill around the hotel and the streets are plastered with McCartney posters, giving the feeling of a national event. Bars and cafes are running McCartney-themed evenings which further heightens that rush of excitement and sense of occasion.
This visit will become the largest ever concert in the region, in terms of attendance, with a crowd of 45,000 (beating artists such as Madonna, Justin Bieber, Bon Jovi and Aerosmith) and the national press are making much of the visit as a wonderful economic boost. It is expected that a concert by someone of Paul’s magnitude will draw other acts of huge international musical stature.
Today is the eve of Paul’s first Argentinian date, and he arrives at the Mario Alberto Kempes Stadium at 4.40pm for a rehearsal with the band. It’s a sunny but breezy afternoon and Paul is looking suitably ‘rock star’ in shades. He appears preposterously fresh for someone who has just been on a plane for 15 hours. We should all take tips. Paul takes a moment before his rehearsal to send an Instagram message heralding his arrival, which is enough to make the national news. The rehearsal itself causes quite a stir too. Fans and media gather outside the stadium, chatting on social media about what they can hear coming from the massive venue and what people can expect tomorrow.
Cordoba (15th May 2016)
“Cordoba is ready to listen to Paul – tonight McCartney will make history here”, reads the front page of the region’s biggest newspaper this morning. No pressure there then, eh boss? It is autumn in Argentina, and following a week of rain, there is some welcome respite as we see a clear blue sky overhead. It is chilly though. In fact, as the locals keep telling us (with a curious sense of pride), it’s unseasonably cold. It’s taken the crew and Paul by surprise. As Paul says to us after the show: “We didn’t think it was going to be this cold. When you think of Argentina, you think of beaches and sunshine!”
At 3.05pm in the Kempes Stadium itself, the whine of police sirens signal the arrival of our man – there is no slipping in quietly – and he heads straight to the stage for his soundcheck. An hour later and Paul is in his dressing room taking a Spanish lesson and learning local phrases to connect properly with the audience. His dedication to giving the best show possible is a never-ending source of inspiration and continuously impresses the entire Team Macca.
At 7.33pm, the stadium lights go down, and Paul strides out to the centre of the stage to a swell of noise and a standing ovation. And here I will hand over to the Argentinian media to tell you how he is received:
“A Miracle: Paul McCartney in Cordoba,” runs a news headline after the show. It continues: “Paul McCartney gave an unforgettable show on his first visit to Cordoba. He showcased his career in detail with the impressive strength of an immortal. Over 40,000 people attended this event, which was historic from every point of view. The stadium was packed with people and Paul McCartney left the audience in shock and awe. It’s very difficult to put into words the mixed feelings of excitement, euphoria, melancholy and happiness we all shared. The crowd’s reaction and excitement forced you to think, ‘how will I continue after this experience?’”
Argentina’s largest national paper Clarin reports: “Cordoba rocked with Paul – McCartney thrilled the crowd in Kempes Stadium.”
It is safe to say Paul’s opening show is a big moment for Argentina. And so, as he leaves the stage, it is on to a tour bus to the airport and a jet transfer to the next tour stop, the capital Buenos Aires.
Last updated on April 11, 2017
Alberto Kempes Stadium
This was the 1st and only concert played at Alberto Kempes Stadium.
Setlist for the rehearsal
Setlist for the soundcheck
Setlist for the concert