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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Hopping across the pond

Paul+McCartney+gives+a+high-energy+performance+at+Madison+Square+Garden+%28Photo+by+Melissa+Bijas+18%29.
Paul McCartney gives a high-energy performance at Madison Square Garden (Photo by Melissa Bijas ’18).

Paul McCartney returns to Madison Square Garden.

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Sir Paul McCartney played a three-hour long, 40-song set on Sept. 15 at Madison Square Garden (MSG) in New York City. Thousands of fans flocked to the iconic arena in Midtown to see McCartney play a mix of Beatles songs, Wings hits and solo favorites.

The show began with “A Hard Day’s Night” before transitioning into “Junior’s Farm” and “Can’t Buy Me Love.” The Wings’ hit “Jet” was played after and fans went crazy when McCartney led the crowd in song. He asked the audience how they were doing and reassured them that the night was going to be full of memories and fun.

After playing two more Beatles songs and one other Wings song, the singer dedicated his 2012 ballad “My Valentine” to his wife Nancy Shevell, who was in the crowd. He then lightened things up by playing Wings’ 1973 single “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five” before dedicating “Maybe I’m Amazed” to his late wife and former bandmate, Linda McCartney. 

Concert-goers represented all ages and all walks of life. There were mothers and sons, fathers and daughters, siblings and friends. There were fans McCartney’s age and fans who were about to enter adolescence. The vast variety of fans present at the concert shows how powerful McCartney’s music is; his influence spans three generations. Everyone in the crowd was in awe while the legend sang, danced and played an array of instruments, including a ukulele given to him by George Harrison.

McCartney ended the first set with “Let it Be” “Live and Let Die” and “Hey Jude.” During “Live and Let Die,” there were pyrotechnics so powerful that his microphone broke. After making a few jokes during the repair, he sat at his second piano to sing “Hey Jude.”

When the famed “na, na, na” part of the song came up, the whole crowd was on their feet singing along. The audience swayed to the music before McCartney stood up and looked at 20,000 adoring fans in awe. Fans continued to sing along as he applauded their efforts and returned to his piano.   

The encore consisted of eight Beatles hits, beginning with “Yesterday” and ending with “The End.” In an unusual move, McCartney played “Helter Skelter” and the audience head-banged along to the different style of a Beatles tune. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was another fan favorite, as it was the 50th anniversary of the album on May 26.

Seeing as it was McCartney’s first MSG show of the tour, he surprised the audience with a special guest. The singer introduced the guest  by saying: “The last time we played together was in London, Hyde Park, but they pulled the plug. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Bruce Springsteen.”

It was a treat for the crowd because they were seeing two legends in one night. McCartney and Springsteen decided to play “I Saw Her Standing There” twice because the crowd was having so much fun. It was a great way to end an already extraordinary show.

Though the rocker is 75 years old, one would never know because his energy, stamina and talent have never wavered. His continuous touring is proof that he truly loves his work and bringing happiness to fans, no matter their age, no matter their location. From Tokyo to New York, it is clear that McCartney gives each show everything he’s got, and this only makes his fans’ dedication and admiration that much stronger.   

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