Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney at Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY

This Saturday, Syracuse, New York finally was able to welcome Paul McCartney to perform. His first visit, was supposed to be back in 1993, but was indefinitely postponed due to a scheduling conflict. Fast forward twenty-four years to now, and Syracuse is once again a city consumed with Beatle-mania. The campus was adorned with signs welcoming McCartney to Syracuse. In the afternoon leading up to the show, all of the typical Syracuse University hot-spots on “the hill” were overrun with fans of McCartney’s, most of which had been following him since his days in the Beatles.
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At precisely 4:30pm, McCartney’s motorcade arrived, complete with police escort as he was driven up to the Carrier Dome. Fans lined the opposing sidewalk for a close-up glimpse as McCartney waived with the window down before pulling into the arena. This encounter alone was a visibly surreal moment for many fans.

With no opening act, Paul McCartney took the stage at 8pm sharp, opening his set with “A Hard Day’s Night” as the crowd erupted. McCartney alternated almost entirely between songs predominantly from the Beatles and several from Wings, his not-quite solo band from the 1970’s. Aside from the overwhelming excitement of having one of rock and roll’s greatest living stars performing live, the second most obvious take-away from this early set was just how energetic McCartney is on stage. As he progressed throughout the thirty-nine song setlist, he alternated between playing his bass guitar and the piano several times, but never breaking the rhythm of the show, until a brief pause before a seven-song encore.

There were some moving tributes to both fallen Beatles bandmates. “Here Today” was dedicated to John Lennon, with the message of telling those around you that you love them. A very heartfelt and well received message by the sell-out crowd. Later, McCartney appeared with a ukulele as he dedicated “Something” to George Harrison. The performance was incredibly moving, complete with a full array of photographs of McCartney and Harrison at various times over the years.

“Live and Let Die” proved to be the climax of the evening, complete with a massive display of pyrotechnics and on-stage energy. The main set of the evening was closed out with a terrific rendition of “Hey Jude” before breaking before an extended encore. McCartney closed out the show with a string of hits including “Yesterday,” “Helter Skelter” and “Birthday” before aptly closing out the evening with “The End.”

This was an exciting and welcome visit from Sir Paul McCartney to the city of Syracuse. To see an icon perform as energetically and as long as he still does, really sets the bar high for aspiring musicians. He commanded the crowd from the moment he walked on stage. It may have taken over fifty years to bring Paul McCartney to town, but he gave this city every ounce of himself on this evening. For the sold-out crowd, this will unquestionably be an evening on a short list of nights they’ll never forget.

 

Setlist:

  1. A Hard Day’s Night
  2. Junior’s Farm
  3. Can’t Buy Me Love
  4. Jet
  5. All My Loving
  6. Let Me Roll it
  7. I’ve Got a Feeling
  8. My Valentine
  9. Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
  10. Maybe I’m Amazed
  11. We Can Work It Out
  12. In Spite of All the Danger
  13. You Won’t See Me
  14. Love Me Do
  15. And I Love Her
  16. Blackbird
  17. Here Today
  18. Queenie Eye
  19. New
  20. Lady Madonna
  21. FourFiveSeconds
  22. Eleanor Rigby
  23. I Wanna Be Your Man
  24. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
  25. Something
  26. A Day in the Life
  27. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
  28. Band on the Run
  29. Back in the U.S.S.R.
  30. Let It Be
  31. Live and Let Die
  32. Hey Jude

Encore:

  1. Yesterday
  2. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
  3. Helter Skelter
  4. Birthday
  5. Golden Slumbers
  6. Carry That Weight
  7. The End

Photos by Charlie Meister