The Paul McCartney World Tour

From Sep 21, 1989 to Jul 29, 1990 • By Paul McCartney

First date:
Sep 21, 1989
Last date:
Jul 29, 1990
Number of concerts:
Number of countries:


From Wikipedia:

The Paul McCartney World Tour was a worldwide concert tour by Paul McCartney during 1989 and 1990. It was McCartney’s first major tour outing in ten years, since Wings UK Tour 1979, and his first world tour in thirteen years, since the 1976 Wings Over the World tour. It was also his first tour under his name.

While the tour coincided with the release of his Flowers in the Dirt album, it was thematically more about finally embracing his Beatles past, including for the first time, in any of his tours, a substantial number of Beatles songs in the set list.

The tour was documented by the 1990 live albums Tripping the Live Fantastic and Tripping the Live Fantastic: Highlights!, and the 1991 concert film Get Back. A one-hour tour documentary was also aired on Channel 4 TV in the UK, titled From Rio to Liverpool.


Incredibly, the Paul McCartney ‘Get Back’ Tour of 1989-90 – his first since 1979 – travelled 100,331 miles, with Paul playing to a total of 2,843,297 fans over 102 gigs. At the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on April 21st 1990, Paul even set a new world record, performing to the largest stadium crowd ever gathered in the history of rock and roll at 184, 368. Unsurprisingly, this tour was the most successful of Paul’s illustrious career. In America, Paul became the artist with the most ticket sales in 1990 (an average of 49,209 per gig), beating the likes of Madonna, The Grateful Dead and Janet Jackson. The highlight of the tour for Paul was when he played to over 50,000 on the banks of the Mersey – his biggest ever gig so far in his hometown of Liverpool – and, at the end of a medley dedicated to John, the band stopped playing ‘Give Peace A Chance’, only for the crowd to carry on chanting the lyrics, forcing Paul to restart the song. “That,” he said “was one of the greatest moments of my career. That was what you do it all for, really”.   

That tour was the high point of my life. It doesn’t get much better than that. It really doesn’t.

Robbie McIntosh – From Robbie McIntosh: Guitarist for Paul McCartney, John Mayer, Pretenders – Rolling Stone, May 16, 2023

Is it stressful to be onstage and realize roughly a billion people are watching you play?

I guess so. I’d be much more aware of that now. I was still only 27 back then. You’re not that scared when you’re 27. You just get on with it. I’m much more aware now. When I played with McCartney in Rio to all those people, it just felt like another gig. I didn’t know it was going to break all those records.

Robbie McIntosh – From Robbie McIntosh: Guitarist for Paul McCartney, John Mayer, Pretenders – Rolling Stone, May 16, 2023
Paul with his 1989/90 touring band
Taken from the 1989/90 World Tour programme

Last updated on June 4, 2023

104 concerts • 13 countries

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