Beatles legend wows Vancouver with first show in nearly half a century

Image courtesy of LiveNation
Paul McCartney performing in Yankee Stadium on July 16, 2011

Fans young and old went crazy for Sir Paul McCartney’s sold-out performance Sunday night at BC Place.

Forty-eight years after his first show in Vancouver, McCartney finally returned to play a mix of songs from his days with Wings, the Beatles and new tracks from his album Kisses on the Bottom.

That old, familiar feeling

Needing no introduction, Sir Paul took the stage without any opening act.

“He played for three hours straight and I didn’t even see him take a sip of water,” said life-long fan Barbara Desmarais, who was still in a daze.

Desmarais’ daughter surprised her with tickets the day before the concert.

“It was absolutely everything and beyond what I expected,” said the 59-year-old. “It was like going back in time.”

Megan Forsyth had a different interpretation of the event.

“I have never seen so many old drunk people in one place taking videos on their iPhones,” she said in a Twitter message.

Those “old, drunk people”­­­­­ were capturing a magical, historical moment, according to Desmarais. She says McCartney’s voice is weaker than it used to be, but still strikes a chord in her heart.

Red and blue reinforcements

During the encore, law enforcement came on stage — not to shut McCartney down, but to accompany him. The Delta Police Pipe Band joined in to finish the show sans Springsteen.

“It was the thrill of a lifetime,” said Pipe Major John Ralston. “The guys played magnificently.”

Although 30 pipers crammed onto the stage, the 52-member band could not all share the spotlight. The kilted cops relished every minute stepping in for The Boss.

In with the crowd

Music critic Andrew Ryce paid $200 apiece for floor seats and was disappointed that the “sea of grey” wasn’t more energetic.

“People were giving us dirty looks for singing along and dancing,” he said.

But up in the nosebleed section, 14-year-old Zach Genereaux felt welcomed by the older crowd.

“It was so happy and upbeat. The hippi vibe is all about peace and happiness,” he said.

Tweeter madness

The surrounding Twitterverse was (as always) alight before, during and after the show.

Tweets ranged from ecstatic to nostalgic to downright cheeky.

“You can hear them warming up at BC place!” tweeted Jim Meier yesterday evening.

“Able to hear #paul #mccartney from my house and so jealous of the people at the concert,” tweeted Jess Nielson during the show.

This morning, Michael Sangalang tweeted: “About 15-20 thousand middle aged men got so laid last night.”

Reported by Annie Ellison

This Storify captures Twitter reactions and video from fans who attended the Paul McCartney concert on Sunday.

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