Paul McCartney live: Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro

Paul McCartney performed at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 20 April 1990.

It was the 86th date of the Paul McCartney World Tour, which lasted for 102 dates across 14 countries between September 1989 and July 1990, and the first of two consecutive nights in Rio de Janeiro.

McCartney’s band was Linda McCartney on vocals, keyboards, and percussion; Hamish Stuart on guitar, bass guitar, and vocals; Robbie McIntosh on guitar and vocals; Paul ‘Wix’ Wickens on keyboards and vocals; and Chris Whitten on drums and percussion.

Brazilian fans do keep you waiting. Come the day of the first gig we’d sold not that many tickets and there was this amazing capacity to fill. I was a bit, Oh my God! Because that’s a pet worry of mine. Having been in The Beatles, you really don’t fancy the idea of staring at rows of empty seats. If I’m not selling out I’ll start to feel like some past-it actor. But I think it was because of the weather. There was a tropical rainstorm, black and thundering for the previous two days.

The morning before the gig I did a press conference to plug the gig and, particularly, to talk about Chico Mendes (assassinated campaigner for Brazilian workers’ rights) — there’s a track on Flowers In The Dirt called ‘How Many People’ which I’d dedicated to him. So there was a bit of a ceremonial, a meeting with Friends of the Earth and the new leaders of the rubber tappers in the aftermath of Chico’s death. We got that on the TV news.

One of the journalists said, What are you going to do about the weather, Paul? I gave it a straight face and said, It will clear up. Which sent them off giggling while they wrote their notes.

And that evening, when it had been pissing down all day, ten minutes before we went on it stopped. Like, hallelujah. Jammy git! We had a blinder of a show. It was frightening before we went on, the sheer size of it, but we were played in, and once we hit the stage we were all right, it’s your home, your own little box, your own environment.

Paul McCartney
New World Tour book

McCartney returned to the Maracanã Stadium on 16 December 2023 during the Got Back Tour.

Paul McCartney World Tour 1989-90 poster

Soundcheck setlist

Concert setlist

Paul McCartney World Tour dates

Last updated: 17 January 2024
Paul McCartney live: Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami Gardens
Paul McCartney live: Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro
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