There were many possible names for this post; Yesterday (only if I posted the day after), Hey Paul, Here, Out There & Everywhere to name but a few. The name had to be something Beatles related as nothing else would do justice to announce my trip to see Paul McCartney in the flesh for the first time on his Out There tour at the O2. It was only apt that I went with the very person that sparked my interest in the Beatles in the first place all those years ago. 20 years to be exact.. another title comes to mind…. It was Twenty Years Ago Today.
We arrived by car at the O2 and just as we wondered where to park, a flashing sign said “This way for Paul McCartney Parking”. Some people would call it “Synchronicity” so we followed the signs. We were followed by another car driven by a woman shocked by the parking charge. She explained she had only come to watch the concert as she was given a free ticket, wasn’t really a fan and didn’t want to pay more than £10 for the whole night. This set my judgemental side into motion and as we were two hard-core fans, she was not talking to the right people if she wanted sympathy.
However, I hadn’t paid for my ticket either but the least I could do was pay for dinner so we went in search of food with a quick detour to look at the merchandise. There were a few things I wanted to get but food was more of a priority and was also a chance to calm down before I spent my life’s savings on Paul McCartney trinkets. At dinner it seemed I was the only person wearing a Beatles T-shirt and felt a little self-conscious but two Chilli Queens later we left Byron Burger and saw another girl with a Beatles T-shirt which made me feel better.
A few mandatory Instagram pictures and another wander past the merchandise stall we went through to the main event. We had Amex Lounge tickets so we leisurely wandered into the arena not having to queue with the regular folk and sat in the plush lounge with live acoustic guitarists and enjoyed a couple of drinks before the big show.
In here there seemed to be no true fans with T shirts on until a German couple sat down at the next table having just returned from the sound check. Sound check?! I didn’t know we could do that. We were amateurs at this. We started chatting to them and found out this guy was from East Germany, the Beatles were illicit but he loved them and as soon as the wall came down in ‘91 he made the pilgrimage to Abbey Road. I would daresay he was a more hard-core fan than us! We were trumped plus he was wearing a Paul McCartney T-shirt.
A couple of drinks later I made us go through to our seats against the wishes of more drinking time. We probably did go through a little early but it was a great opportunity to point out all the people that were true fans and not really fans which you probably have guessed depended on whether they had a suitable T-shirt on or not.
It was nice to see someone had made the effort and had put on a Sgt Pepper outfit. Whilst we judged (none of the people in the seats either side of us were wearing the right T-shirts), we also watched the video stream, listened to the DJ and discussed the T factor until the man himself, Sir Paul, entered stage right.
He covered all the bases; classic Beatles, Wings, the odd one here and there and a couple of new ones. I’ve listed exactly what he played and my thoughts at the end of this if you want to have a look but for now the things I learnt:
- I’ve underestimated the brilliance of Sir Paul McCartney
- Wings is actually a good band and Band on the Run is a really good album
- How to do the Wings hands thingy
- Always buy merchandise beforehand
- This now makes sense…
After the show we went back to the Amex lounge just because we could. Another round of drinks before heading out to buy merchandise meant I missed out on stocking up on T shirts. As I write this I’m considering driving up to Birmingham where he is performing tonight and raiding the stand.
Anyway my last thought; I’m almost glad I never got to see the greatest show on Earth that is all four Beatles performing together. I could barely handle a quarter of it.
Before the next song Sir Paul placed his thumbs together and palms out to form a set of Wings. I copied but ended up forming a ‘whatever’ sign with my hands. Rookie mistake.
This would make a great dance track. Although perhaps a little sexist these days.
Tried the Wings hand thing again and succeeded.
This brought a tear to my eye even though it’s never been one of my favourite Beatles songs
A new song that I immediately liked
Here is where I lied to Sir Paul as the stage rose with him upon with nothing but a microphone and a guitar. He asked the crowd how many of us had tried to learn to play Blackbird. I stuck my hand up but I haven’t… but I am now. Hopefully I’ll be forgiven.
A conversation with John Lennon.
Played on a ukulele all by himself again before his tribute to George.
Another tear and i have no idea why. I don’t even know this song that well. I think I finally realised where I was.
- Back in the USSR
Did you know Sir Paul does a pretty good Russian accent. He told us the story f when he met the Russian Minister of Defence to be told the first record he had bought was Love Me Do.
- Let It Be
- Live and Let Die
Wow! Fireworks and real fire, drummer wearing a hard hat and I’m sure Sir Paul was playing the piano with his eyes closed throughout the whole song probably out of fear of some incendiary flying off in the wrong direction.
Ok so picture this… Sir Paul moves from his black piano to his snazzy psychedelic one, all is quiet until he utters two words that sent me back in time to the 60s and I became one of those screaming/shrieking/screeching fan girls. I was waiting for this moment all night but I had no idea that “Hey” & “Jude” could do that!!! My life is complete!