With tickets selling out in minutes, the anticipation was tangible for the lucky 1,200 arriving at Liverpool’s O2 Academy for Paul McCartney’s intimate gig.
From the moment 68 year old McCartney and his band took to the stage, the songs never stopped, well, briefly, between the two encores. Dressed simply in dark trousers, white shirt and braces, McCartney combined songs from his solo career, The Beatles and Wings. Performing for two and a half hours playing guitar, piano and ukulele, Macca gave the crowd the classics they craved – including a rousing Hey Jude and Let It Be.
McCartney’s spellbinding performance led the crowd in chorus after chorus – and still hardly put a dent in his back catalogue. It’s ridiculous how many great songs this man’s had a hand in – but even more so to have been in a such a small space, singing along with one of the greatest songwriters of all time.
Thirty years after his partner’s death, Macca gave the nod to John Lennon with Give Peace a Chance. George Harrison also got a mention along with a beautiful performance of Something. No mention of Ringo though, and fortunately no Yellow Submarine.
The man was clearly enjoying himself, comfortably chatting to the crowd and getting nostalgic about his time in Hamburg and Liverpool. His relaxed manner and iconic voice mesmerised the crowd, only adding to the already friendly atmosphere.
Crowd pleasers like Jet, Get Back, Back in the USSR and I Saw her Standing There lifted the crowd further and an amazing performance of Band on the Run took up it yet another notch.
In the end it was the crowd that completed the night, singing along karaoke style with an artist who has given every generation songs they’ve taken as their own and, in this intimate homecoming, were delighted to have the opportunity to give them back.