A night with Sir Paul McCartney

By Emilie McQueen, Staff Writer

Published in print Nov.5, 2014

On the night before Halloween, while most people were making last minute runs to the costume store and picking up bags of candy, Sir Paul McCartney’s Out There tour brought three generations of people to the Greensboro Coliseum.

It was the highest grossing one-day show in the history of the Coliseum.

At the age of 72, McCartney came to Greensboro for the first time ready to rock-out just as he did back in the 1960’s. He performed a total of 39 songs, 26 as performed by the Beatles and the remaining from his Wings days and his present act as a solo artist.

The show was McCartney’s last stop on the North American tour and he graced Greensboro not only with his presence, but two extensive encores and a couple special treats throughout the three-hour concert.

McCartney appealed to all ages in the audience, and he definitely made sure that almost everyone was able to hear their favorite tune.

“The whole experience was so inspiring,” said Cara Oaks, a current UNCG student. “For our generation it really was a once in a lifetime opportunity to get to see him perform.”

During his performance, Paul paid tribute to two of his fellow Beatles and ultimately touched the hearts of the die-hard Beatles fans in the crowd.

He sang, “Here Today,” the memorial song he wrote in the wake of John Lennon’s murder and also Lennon’s, “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!”

In regards to George Harrison, he played his song “Something” on the ukulele, just as Harrison had done many years ago.

As this was McCartney’s first time in Greensboro, it was also a time of firsts for his experience with fans. A woman in the audience that held a poster reading, “Trick or Treat, sign my feet,” caught the eye of McCartney and he invited her on stage. While the lucky lady took off her shoes, Paul stated that this was the first and only time he will ever sign a fan’s foot.

Although Paul did not take part in any wardrobe changes, he did change instruments for nearly every song. He moved between bass, guitar, piano and even ukulele at times. The sixth song on the set list, “Paperback Writer,” was performed using the guitar that was originally used to record with the Beatles.

“The moment Paul McCartney started singing, with guitar in hand, I saw him cock his head to the side, and I remembered seeing old Beatles footage of him doing the exact same thing on TV as a child,” said Melissa Neel, a spectator in the audience. “That was when I realized I was indeed witnessing a true music legend perform.”

The show ended around midnight as Paul finished his second encore with the song, “The End,” and affirmed that unfortunately, everyone must go home.

The Greensboro Coliseum, holding up to 23,400 people, said hello and goodbye to the extraordinary Sir Paul McCartney in hopes that the audience recalls this day in Greensboro’s history as a chance for the aged fans to relive their youth, and for the youthful ones to have a priceless experience that they will remember throughout their elder years.

Categories: emilie mcqueen, Features

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