Sir Paul McCartney performed his first show in Wales since 1975 with a concert at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Support came from The Joy Formidable, an up-and-coming group from north Wales, and Manic Street Preachers.
The Beatles performed in Wales on 15 occasions, including a six-night residency at the Odeon Cinema in Llandudno in 1963. They also played their last ever UK tour date at Cardiff’s Capitol Cinema on 12 December 1965.
Wings also performed in the city in 1972, 1973 and 1975, the last of which was McCartney’s last Welsh concert for 35 years. Cardiff, incidentally, is the birthplace and home of The Beatles Bible website.
I’ve had my eye on it for a long time – since it was built. I’ve often said to my promoter, ‘What about Cardiff and the Millennium Stadium?’ but it’s always been booked. So it’s been a long-term ambition of mine.
McCartney began the Millennium Stadium concert with ‘Venus And Mars/Rock Show’, before performing a mixture of Beatles, Wings and solo songs. He appeared in good spirits, thanking the crowd in Welsh (“Shw mae Cymru! Croeso Stadiwm y Mileniwm!”), spoke of how he and George Harrison had hitchhiked to Harlech as teenagers, and jokingly referred to Liverpool as the capital of Wales.
After performing Foxy Lady he spoke of his admiration for Jimi Hendrix, and how The Beatles had been flattered when Hendrix performed Sgt Pepper’s title track in concert. He paid tribute to Linda McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon, and performed ‘Paperback Writer’ using the Epiphone Casino which he had used to record it in 1966.
The setlist contained one extra surprise: an unscheduled performance of Ram On, in response to a placard request held up by an audience member. McCartney performed the song on George Harrison’s old ukulele prior to playing ‘Something’.
- Venus And Mars/Rock Show
- ‘All My Loving’
- ‘Letting Go’
- ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’
- ‘Let Me Roll It’
- ‘The Long And Winding Road’
- ‘Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five’
- ‘Let ’Em In’
- ‘My Love’
- ‘I’m Looking Through You’
- ‘Two Of Us’
- ‘Here Today’
- ‘Dance Tonight’
- ‘Mrs Vandebilt’
- ‘Eleanor Rigby’
- ‘Ram On’
- ‘Sing The Changes’
- ‘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’
Also on this day...
- 2009: Paul McCartney pays tribute to Michael Jackson
- 2004: Paul McCartney live: Glastonbury Festival
- 1968: Recording: Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
- 1968: George Harrison produces Jackie Lomax’s Sour Milk Sea
- 1967: Recording, mixing: All You Need Is Love
- 1966: Live: Ernst Merck Halle, Hamburg
- 1965: Live: Palazzo dello Sport, Genoa, Italy
- 1964: Live: Town Hall, Dunedin, New Zealand
- 1964: US album release: A Hard Day’s Night
- 1963: Live: Majestic Ballroom, Newcastle
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.
The moment when he stepped to the side to “drink all this in,” i.e. the atmosphere and fans’ adoration, will go down as one of the coolest things I have ever seen. What a rockstar, what a legend.
It was a night that defies description for me…”a dream opportunity” comes close, “magical” tries, but it’s best to let the memory capture it all.