“I’m just going to take a minute to drink it all in for myself.”
We needed a minute, too.
Tuesday’s “One On One” tour stop was the first time the former Beatle had ever performed on a Hershey stage. And local fans couldn’t contain their excitement.
As we watched the living legend move about the stage, we had to actively remind ourselves he’s 74 years old. The man was non-stop, telling stories, making jokes and performing a nearly three-hour, high-energy set that included many of the old Beatles and Wings favorites from “Let It Be” to “Band on the Run” – without a break.
The only time he stopped was to take off his jacket – the only wardrobe change of the evening, he joked.
Here are our top five highlights from the show.
The old and the new
To start the show, McCartney promised the crowd some “old songs,” “new songs” and “in betweeners.” And with a set that spanned from “In Spite of All the Danger,” the first song McCartney ever recorded with the Quarrymen in 1956, to “FourFiveSeconds,” his most recent song recorded with Rihanna and Kanye in 2015, he didn’t disappoint. Photos of McCartney working with Rihanna and Kanye flashed across the screen to the delight of the few teens and twenty-somethings in the audience. Although, the older crowd seemed to be more appreciative of the classic Beatles and Wings hits.
Speaking of the classics, McCartney introduced this 1968 “White Album” song by recalling the United State’s struggle with race relations during the Civil Rights Movement. He heard about the news in England in the ‘60s and was inspired to write a song that “might just help (the U.S.) a little bit as they went through their struggles,” he said. That song was “Blackbird,” which McCartney played while rising from the stage on a platform projected with images of a flower and blackbird.
There was no shortage of tributes throughout McCartney’s almost three-hour set. One of the highlights was a nod to former Beatle George Harrison, a skilled ukulele player. To honor his memory, McCartney whipped out a ukulele Harrison had given him and played a ukulele rendition of “Something,” while a photo montage of Harrison and the Beatles played in the background. About halfway through, McCartney swapped the ukulele for the guitar and played the tune the way fans remember it from the 1969 “Abbey Road” album.
Early in the set, McCartney also told a story about how the late Jimi Hendrix opened his show with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” just a few days after it was released. McCartney returned the favor Tuesday with his own rendition of Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady.”
McCartney also dedicated “Maybe I’m Amazed” to his first wife, Linda, and “My Valentine” to his current wife, Nancy, who was in the audience Tuesday. And he played “Here Today” about a conversation he never got to have with former Beatle John Lennon.
“If you have something nice to say, get it said,” McCartney told the crowd after playing the song.
'Live and Let Die' lights up the stage
Sir Paul went out with a bang Tuesday night. Literally. Just one song before the end of his 33-song set (not including the six-song encore), McCartney lit up the stage with fire during the 1973 “James Bond” theme, “Live and Let Die.” Loud blasts of flames shot up toward the ceiling and images of fire were projected on the screen as McCartney pounded on the keys. While his show didn’t need the special effects, the pyrotechnics were on point (and on the beat). McCartney closed out his pre-encore set with the classic Beatles ballad “Hey Jude” that had everyone singing along.
It’s hard to concentrate on the music when you look out into the crowd and see a sea of clever signs bouncing in the air. McCartney said so, himself.
“If I get (the lyrics) wrong, I’m blaming the signs,” he joked.
But he did make some time to read at least a few of them when he made two fans’ days by bringing them up on stage and signing autographs during the middle of a six-song encore.
The moment was definitely a highlight for the fans involved, but the rest of the encore – which included Beatles songs “Yesterday” and “Birthday” and the 1972 Wings’ hit “Hi, Hi, Hi” – was a treat for everyone else. McCartney closed the show with the “Abbey Road” medley of “Golden Slumbers,” “Carry That Weight” and “The End.”
Here’s a look at Tuesday’s set list:
- A Hard Day’s Night
- Save Us
- Can’t Buy Me Love
- Letting Go
- Temporary Secretary
- Let Me Roll It
- Foxy Lady (Jimi Hendrix)
- I’ve Got a Feeling
- My Valentine
- Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
- Here, There and Everywhere
- Maybe I’m Amazed
- We Can Work It Out
- In Spite of All the Danger
- You Won’t See Me
- Love Me Do
- And I Love Her
- Here Today
- Queenie Eye
- The Fool on the Hill
- Lady Madonna
- Eleanor Rigby
- Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite
- Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
- Band on the Run
- Back in the U.S.S.R.
- Let It Be
- Live and Let Die
- Hey Jude
- Hi, Hi, Hi
- Golden Slumbers
- Carry That Weight
- The End