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From The Des Moines Register, July 22, 2017:
It’s a really, really strange feeling… being in the same room as a Beatle before that Beatle is actually seen in the room.
Some could describe the feeling as “electric” — an acceptable way to put it, but not quite right. It’s not an electricity that fills the room; it’s better described as subtle, sneaky bubbles of tension that creep up through toes and into your body, settling in the pit of your stomach. It’s as though euphoria is standing on your emotional doorstep, saying, “Sure, these next three hours could be the best show of your life. But it’s not going to happen… quite yet.” Pure. Anticipation.
In the half-hour before the legend Sir Paul McCartney took to the Wells Fargo Arena stage in downtown Des Moines Friday night, that’s what it felt like.
That was until the iconic opening note of “A Hard Day’s Night” echoed through the arena. Then, well… then the room felt electric.
Arguably the most famed musician in pop’s modern era, McCartney played Des Moines for the second time in his career Friday night, marking his first appearance in the Hawkeye state since headlining the same venue in 2005. Plowing through 39 tracks (rounding to 40 is acceptable if you count the “Foxy Lady” Jimi Hendrix tribute jam) for a sold out estimate of 14,900 people, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer held the stage for about two hours and forty-five minutes.
“Good evening, Des Moines,” McCartney said after performing the evening’s second song — 2013’s “Save Us.”
He then paused for a moment to bask in his audience: “Now, you know, why am I getting the feeling we’re gonna have some fun here tonight? It’s so cool… I’m going to take a second to drink it all in for myself.”
[…] McCartney then brought an entire family dressed in Sgt. Pepper’s outfits to dance during “Birthday,” the evening’s penultimate number. From there, the gig appropriately closed with an “Abbey Road” medley of “Golden Slumbers,” “Carry That Weight” and, of course, “The End.”
As the last, loving lines of the evening rolled off McCartney’s lips and carried across the audience, that feeling of electrified anticipation finished a transformation into complete satisfaction. Confetti filled the room, McCartney and his band took a bow and he offered his final words of wisdom to the assembled onlookers:
“Tell you what,” he said. “We’ll see you next time.”
Last updated on March 21, 2021
Setlist for the soundcheck
Setlist for the concert