His hometown of Liverpool welcomed Paul McCartney in style for his concert at the Echo Arena on May 28, Donna Jackson, our Liverpool correspondent who attended the show told Beatles Examiner May 30. Donna said the show was delayed by an hour because it got caught up in a traffic jam following an accident in one of the Mersey tunnels. She said that was a bit ironic as a “Welcome back to Liverpool, Paul” hung over the tunnel entrance. (You can see Donna’s exclusive photos from the show on this page.)
“But even though the sound check was delayed for an hour, and the concert started about half an hour behind schedule, Paul gave his all during both the sound check and the three-hour concert,” she said. “Paul invited students from LIPA (the Liverpool Institute of the Performing Arts, which he co-founded) to attend the sound check and there was a great atmosphere from the very beginning. During the sound check, Paul sang ‘Alligator’ in response to a request from the crowd, as well as ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘Let ‘Em In’ in honor of his family and friends in his hometown.”
His wife Nancy was there, she said, as were dozens of members of Paul’s family at the concert and “Brother Michael” (Mike McCartney) could be seen taking photographs throughout the concert. Paul waved to his family several times and she said one of the funniest moments was when Mike gave the ‘royal wave’ in return.
“The concert, of course, was sublime, even though there are one or two songs that perhaps need to be dropped from the set list. My favorites of the night were ‘Lady Madonna’ (‘my’ song because of my name) and ‘Queenie Eye’ which Paul explained came from a game he’d played as a kid in Liverpool.” She said Paul showed his sense of humor as well as a genuine affection for his hometown by thanking everyone who had traveled to Liverpool to see him “on behalf of Liverpool tourist board.”
“When Paul walked onto the stage, he was greeted by a full arena of people holding up signs saying ‘Welcome Home Paul’ and he was clearly moved by the reception, commenting on it more than once during the night. And in return he gave, as he always does when he comes home, a performance that took us on an emotional rollercoaster and enthralled and entertained us – visitors, fellow Scousers, family and friends – for over three hours.”
The full set list, which you can read here, didn’t include any real rarities or surprises, though he did bring back “Got To Get You Into My Life” and “I’m Looking Through You,” neither of which were played at the previous show in Birmingham, and moved “Can’t Buy Me Love” from high up in the set to near the end at the encore. “Thank you Paul!,” Donna said. “And please don’t leave it another three years before you come and sing for us again!”