Sir Paul McCartney performed a marathon set lasting nearly three hours at the O2 arena in London, 46 years to the day since he played the first Beatles Christmas gig at the Liverpool Empire Theatre.
McCartney’s only UK concert of 2009 began with ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ and ended with, fittingly, ‘The End’. In between he performed solo hits, Wings songs, ‘Sing The Changes’ from the recent Fireman album Electric Arguments, and a number of Beatles favourites.
McCartney paid tribute to his late wife Linda, and his former bandmates John Lennon and George Harrison.
This was McCartney’s only UK show of his Good Evening Europe tour, which also took in Hamburg, Berlin, Arnhem, Paris, Cologne and Dublin. All 23,000 tickets for the London show sold out in advance.
Celebrities on the guest list for the London show are said to have included Ringo Starr, Madonna, Gary Barlow, Noel Gallagher, Chris Martin, Kate Moss, and David and Victoria Beckham.
During his performance of ‘Live And Let Die’, McCartney jokingly clutched his heart as fireworks and flames were shot upwards from the stage. He also strummed part of George Formby’s ‘Leaning On A Lamppost’ on a ukulele before launching into Harrison’s ‘Something’.
McCartney’s final concert before Christmas included the 1979 hit ‘Wonderful Christmastime’, for which the pit was filled with people wearing Santa hats and carrying candles. At the end of the concert fake snow cascaded from the venue roof as the audience left the O2.
The songs were mostly the same as those performed througout McCartney’s 2009 US and European tours, with the exception of ‘Mull Of Kintyre’, for which the band was joined onstage by 18 bagpipers wearing traditional Scottish costumes.
- ‘Magical Mystery Tour’
- ‘Drive My Car’
- ‘Only Mama Knows’
- ‘Flaming Pie’
- ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’
- ‘Let Me Roll It’
- ‘The Long And Winding Road’
- ‘(I Want To) Come Home’
- ‘My Love’
- ‘Here Today’
- ‘Dance Tonight’
- ‘And I Love Her’
- ‘Eleanor Rigby’
- Leaning On A Lamp Post/‘Something’
- ‘Mrs Vandebilt’
- ‘Sing The Changes’
- ‘Wonderful Christmastime’
- ‘Band On The Run’
- ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’
- ‘Back In The USSR’
- ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’
- ‘Paperback Writer’
- ‘A Day In The Life’/‘Give Peace A Chance’
- ‘Let It Be’
- ‘Live And Let Die’
- ‘Hey Jude’
- ‘Helter Skelter’
- ‘Mull Of Kintyre’
- ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)’/‘The End’
McCartney’s band members:
Brian Ray: guitar
Rusty Anderson: guitar
Paul “Wix” Wickens: keyboards
Abe Laboriel Jnr: drums
Also on this day...
- 2010: Abbey Road’s zebra crossing given Grade II listed status
- 1969: John Lennon and Yoko Ono give a press conference in Montreal
- 1966: Mixing, editing: Strawberry Fields Forever
- 1964: Rehearsal: Another Beatles Christmas Show
- 1963: Live: Empire Theatre, Liverpool
- 1962: Live: Star-Club, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.