Live review: Paul McCartney – Up and Coming Tour – Hampden Park (20th June 2010)

A full twenty years after his last concert in Scotland, Paul McCartney made his triumphant return and played a spectacular set to a packed house at Glasgow’s Hampden Park.

Paul McCartney’s 2010-2011 Up and Coming Tour kicked off in March of 2010 at Phoenix, AZ’s Jobing Arena, before rocking across North America (with a brief stop at the White House for a private performance for President Barak Obama) and heading across the pond to Europe.

The tour touched down in Dublin, Ireland before jumping across to the Isle of Wight to play the annual Isle of Wight festival. After a week’s break to enjoy the glorious weather that was gracing the UK, the tour rolled up to Glasgow, Scotland.

Paul and the band soundchecked the stadium twice: once the day before the show and then again on the day of the show.

Soundcheck (19/06/2010)

Honey Don’t
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
Coming Up
Only Mama Knows
Drive My Car
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five
I’ve Just Seen a Face
Mull of Kintyre
Venus and Mars
San Francisco Bay

Soundcheck (20/06/2010)

Honey Hush
Honey Don’t
C Moon
(I Want to) Come Home
Whole Lot of Shakin’ Goin’ On
All My Loving
Magical Mystery Tour
Midnight Special
Calico Skies
Mull of Kintyre
Dance Tonight

Anticipation for the concert was high as this was Paul’s first concert in Scotland for twenty years. He last appeared live at Glasgow’s SECC Arena on June 23rd, 1990. Although a concert was pencilled in for a concert at Celtic Park on May 30th 2003 during his Back in the World tour, he had to cancel because of ill health and scheduling conflicts.

On the day of the Glasgow show though, temperatures in the UK were soaring, with the day’s highest temperature being recorded in Glasgow itself. Still the atmosphere in the stadium was electric and the audience were eager and ready to let Macca hear the famous Hampden Roar.

The warm up act for the show was Sharleen Spiteri, former lead singer of Scottish rock / blues band Texas. She entertained the crowd for 45 minutes with a largely acoustic guitar based set, playing songs from her glory days in Texas as well as several hits from her successful solo efforts. She was warmly received by her home crowd, and while people may not have necessarily known her songs they joined in where they could and cheered enthusiastically after each song.

Sharleen Spiteri setlist

Summer Son
I Don’t Want A Lover
All the Times I Cried
Say What You Want
Black Eyed Boy
River Deep Mountain High
Inner Smile

As Sharleen left the stage the stadium was pumped with various obscure covers of Beatles and McCartney songs, all of which had the audience dancing and singing along. During the final strains of Booker T & the MGs cover of The Beatles’ 1969 song The End, out onto the stage stepped Sir Paul McCartney followed my his elite band consisting of guitarists Rusty Anderson and Brian Ray, drummer Abe Laboriel Jr, and keyboardist Paul ‘Wix’ Wickens.

Hampden roared and McCartney basked in it. He then turned to his guitarist to indicate for him to start the opening number…and nothing happened! The acoustic guitar wasn’t working and the crew could be seen windly scurrying around trying to fix the problem. McCartney chatted with the audience as Brian switched his acoustic guitar for an electric one, and (albeit and a few minutes later than planned) the show was on the road.

He opened the show with a rocking medley of Wings fans favourites Venus and Mars / Rock Show / Jet. Having not being performed live in over 30 years, Paul skilfully edited down the song to cut the line ‘you score an ounce’ – a reference to his then-drug of choice.

The show contained many Beatles and Wings classics as well as 5 songs from his recently rereleased Wings album, Band on the Run. For over two and a half hours Paul took the audience of an emotional journey focusing on the many highlights of his long and illustrious career.

There were emotional tributes to John Lennon with his quiet acoustic ‘letter’ song Here Today and A Day in the Life, George Harrison with the powerful classic Something, and the soulful ballad My Love for his beloved first wife Linda who passed away in 1998.

The undeniable highlight of the night was Paul and the band being joined by local Loretto School Pipe Band for the Wings classic Scottish waltz Mull of Kintyre. Paul and his band began the song alone, but midway through out trooped the 12 pipers and seven drummers, along with four pipers from the East Lothian Pipes and Drums Trust. Hampden was ecstatic to hear ‘their’ song, and the band was at points drowned out by the cheers.

During Pauls closing medley of songs, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band / The End, the sun was setting behind the stadium. Paul, Rusty and Brian – all on electric guitars – spent nearly 5 minutes trading solos before finally bringing the close to a screaming close.

From the moment Paul took to the stage he had the crowd in the palm of his hand, and time flew by in a whirlwind of singing, dancing and emotion. And as a balmy night finally settled upon the city of Glasgow, over 50,000 happy people could be found slowly making their way out of the stadium still singing the eternally unifying restrains of Hey Jude.

Paul McCartney setlist

Venus and Mars / Rock Show / Jet
All My Loving
Letting Go
Drive My Car
Let Me Roll It / Foxy Lady
The Long and Winding Road
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five
Let ‘Em In
My Love
I’ve Just Seen a Face
And I Love Her
Here Today
Dance Tonight
Mrs Vanderbilt
Eleanor Rigby
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
Day Tripper
Lady Madonna
Get Back
Mull Of Kintyre
Helter Skelter
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band / The End

Paul McCartney Up and Coming Tour Dates

28/03/2010 – Jobing Arena, Phoenix, AZ
30/03/2010 – Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA
31/03/2010 – Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA
03/04/2010 – Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL
05/04/2010 – Jose Miguel Agrelot Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
27/05/2010 – Foro Sol, Mexico City, Mexico
28/05/2010 – Foro Sol, Mexico City, Mexico
12/06/2010 – RDS Arena, Dublin, ROI
13/06/2010 – Seaclose Park, Isle of Wight, UK
20/06/2010 – Hampden Park, Glasgow, UK
26/06/2010 – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, UK
07/07/2010 – AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA
13/07/2010 – Rio Tinto Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT
15/07/2010 – Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
24/07/2010 – Spirit Center, Kansas City, MO
26/07/2010 – Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
28/07/2010 – Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC
08/08/2010 – Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Canada
09/08/2010 – Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Canada
12/08/2010 – Bell Centre, Montreal, Canada
14/08/2010 – Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA
15/08/2010 – Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA
18/08/2010 – Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA
19/08/2010 – Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA
07/11/2010 – Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre, Brazil
10/11/2010 – River Plate Stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina
11/11/2010 – River Plate Stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina
21/11/2010 – Estadio do Morumbi, Sao Paulo, Brazil
22/11/2010 – Estadio do Morumbi, Sao Paulo, Brazil
09/05/2011 – Estadio Monumental “U”, Lima, Peru
11/05/2011 – Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile
22/05/2011 – Estadio Olimpico, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
23/05/2011 – Estadio Olimpico, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
09/06/2011 – MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV
10/06/2011 – MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV

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