- Porto Alegre
- Estádio Beira-Rio
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Paul McCartney is back in Brazil, for a new leg of his “One On One” tour. On this day, he and his band did a rehearsal in anticipation of the first show the day after.
From paulmccartney.com, For Whom The Bell Tells, December 14, 2017:
Following Paul’s takeover of New York in September, our next destination is Brazil. This will be Paul’s first trip since he rounded off 2014 with two massive shows at Sao Paulo’s Allianz Parque Stadium as part of his ‘Out There’ tour – described at the time by Folha de Sao Paulo simply as “the best musical show in the world”.
Brazil has always been an incredibly special place for Paul. In 1990, Paul set the World Record for the ‘largest concert audience’ ever. In excess of 184,000 people packed into Rio’s Maracana Stadium – and that’s just the people that paid for tickets!
“That show was immense,” Paul recalls ahead of this trip. “I have such a special memory. I remember being very excited and in the run up to the show it just rained all the time. At a press conference before the show someone asked what I would do if it kept raining and I said ‘the rain will stop’. My team looked at me and said, ‘are you kidding?’ Then an hour before the show, it did actually stop raining, and I remember the team bowing to me as if I had some special secret pact with a higher entity! The biggest memory though, that remains for me was the incredible audience.”
Since that historic concert, Paul has played a total of 20 shows across Brazil until this latest arrival, each one embedding a memory for the hundreds of thousands who attended that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. And the man himself also collects those memories from each of his visits. Often when asked about where he likes to play around the world, he singles out Brazilian audiences for praise due to their warmth and boundless enthusiasm over the years.
Paul tells me ahead of this trip: “The truth is, that whenever we go to South America, our expectation is special because of the incredible experiences we’ve had there. We know we’re going to have a lot of fun.”
With my privileged Paul-side view over the years I’ve seen some of these incredible experiences – the Macca-mania in Brazil just gets more exciting. We’ve seen some epic scenes in recent years. Mobbed airports, fans setting up makeshift villages around the stadiums waiting for the doors to open, hysteria at the hotels, streets lined with fans, helicopters following Paul’s movements – simply put, it’s MEGA.
There have been the unforgettable moments which have been seen around the globe too – who could forget the grasshopper stage invasion in the city of Goiânia in 2013? It was at that show the world was introduced to what briefly became the most famous grasshopper in the world, Harold, and putting Goiania on the world stage as footage of Paul being covered in critters spread virally. Anyway, on with the tour:
Porto Alegre, Brazil – Thursday, October 12
As the 32 huge trucks of equipment roll into Porto Alegre, this jaunt marks the first visit of the ongoing ‘One On One’ tour to Brazil, having already entertained almost two million people over the course of 65 shows in 13 different countries.
And so, seven years since he last rocked out in Porto Alegre – which is towards the southernmost part of Brazil – on his ‘Up And Coming’ Tour, Paul’s return is met with high levels of anticipation, expectation … and precipitation. Just as in 1990 he is met with almost Biblical downpours of rain.
It’s 6:44pm and it’s been raining for days. Along with the band and crew my office today is a back stage room at the Estádio Beira-Rio, the stadium where tomorrow night’s show will take place and normally the home stadium of Sport Club Internacional. My radio crackles and I hear from one of the security team the announcement that Paul’s plane has touched down and he’s making his way straight to the stadium for rehearsals. And the good news is … at last, it’s stopped raining. It’s almost as though the weather is marking his arrival. It seems the special pact is still in place! At 7:23pm Paul’s car pulls into the venue. Dressed in a smart navy blue blazer, with a yellow daffodil fixed to the lapel, and looking more like a man who has just stepped out of a spa than someone who has emerged from a 12-hour flight, Paul says his friendly hellos to the team.
Just two minutes later Paul is on stage, Les Paul in hand, and jamming with the band. And just five minutes after that, the jam session is accompanied by astonishing sound effects, in the form of a thunder storm with torrential rain. The guys play through it for a minute, but it quickly becomes clear it’s not safe and they have to down tools.
A 45-minute pause and the bad weather passes allowing the band to return, kicking off their rehearsal properly with a superb rendition of ‘Drive My Car’ which sets the tone for the session that follows.
Setlist for the soundcheck
The setlist for this soundcheck is incomplete, or we have not be able to confirm in an accurate way that this was the setlist. If you have any clue, pls let us know and leave a comment.
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