By Michelle Bailey (@MichelleBailey1)
Paul McCartney‘s brand of music easily transcends generations of fans, despite any preferred genre they may lay claim to. Nothing was more clear than that Friday night at Bell MTS Place.
Concert-goer Shannon McKinnon was happy to relive another McCartney show, just five years after last seeing the former Beatle in the city.
“Oh yes, when he was here in 2013,” she excitedly recalled while waiting in line at security.
“After the concert, my husband said it would be OK if Paul ever came back to go with a friend who didn’t mind having her arm pulled on for nearly three hours straight,” who this time came with her friend, Marie.
For more than three hours, the 76-year-old former member of The Beatles and Wings belted out song after song for thousands in the stands, both young and old.
McCartney, one of two surviving members of The Beatles, had four stops in Canada as part of his Freshen Up tour: Winnipeg, Edmonton, Montreal and Quebec City.
When he walked onto the stage at 8:17 p.m., the crowd erupted with cheers as he launched into A Hard Day’s Night followed by Hi, Hi, Hi and Can’t Buy Me Love.
Even when he digressed to play some of his newer music, featured on his album, Egypt Station, released just this month, the audience clapped with energy and enthusiasm, simply thrilled to have McCartney back in the ‘Peg.
However, there’s no denying the classics McCartney is known for as a member of The Beatles and Wings is what got the crowd whistling and singing along as was evident when he took to the piano to perform Let ‘Em In which he wrote and released with Wings in 1976.
He even took a moment to sing a song he wrote for his wife, Nancy Shevell, who was in the audience. My Valentine was penned in 2009 and sung for her at their October, 2011 wedding.
The audience really got into it halfway through the when McCartney asked if they were ready for some Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da circa 1968.
McCartney spent a lot of time chatting up the crowd, cracking jokes and also reminiscing about the stories of songs written by other members of the Beatles. At one point, he brought out a ukulele to play Something, paying homage to George Harrison (who died in 2001) and wrote the tune.
The pyrotechnics during Live and Let Die shook the building and, of course, the audience took over when McCartney gave everyone the cue to do so during Hey Jude to wrap things up.
When he came back out for an encore, he did so waving a large Canadian flag and to deliver a little more to the crowd of 13,700 by performing Yesterday, I Saw Her Standing There, Sgt. Pepper, Helter Skelter, Golden Slumbers and The End. Confetti canons capped off the concert as McCartney waved and said: “we hope to see you next time.”