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Liverpool Sound Monday, June 2, 2008



Audience steals the Anfield show It was Sir Paul McCartney’s big homecoming night – but the crowd was the real star, says Alan Weston


NFIELD stadium has witnessed many amazing spectacles down the years, but few to compare with

this. On this occasion, however, there wasn’t a football in sight, nor was it a Champions’ League semi-final against Chelsea. Sir Paul McCartney last played in Liverpool exactly five years ago to the day, on a specially constructed set that was assembled in the car park at Kings Dock. How times have changed. The Kings Dock is now home to the brand new Echo Arena, while Sir Paul McCartney last night played to nearly 40,000 people during Liverpool’s year as Capital of Culture. It was the kind of line-up that would have graced any major rock festival stage in the world – The Zutons, Kaiser Chiefs, and special guest Dave Grohl, of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame. Before the gig, Liverpool had been deluged with rainy weather, but the power of rock and roll made sure that the Liverpool Sound concert took place in dry weather, albeit under leaden skies. Anfield stadium witnessed an amazing transformation from theatre of dreams to a fully

fledged rock festival venue, such as Glastonbury, or Reading and Leeds. Anticipation was running high before the gig, with hundreds of people snaking around the narrow streets of Anfield as they waited patiently to get into the stadium. The Zutons and the Kaiser Chiefs both did a fantastic job of warming up the crowds as they shivered in the unseasonably cool June weather. Sir Paul himself took to the stage close to 9.30pm wearing a dapper modern-day version of the famous button-up Beatle suit. He never once forgot that he was playing before a local crowd, making reference to the fact he was born just down the road from Anfield, at Walton hospital. He asked members of the crowd if they were from places such as Speke and Garston. The set itself covered the whole spectrum of his amazing career, from the height of Beatlemania to his most recent solo work. But the real star of this extraordinary show, as always, was the audience itself. Although the vast majority were from Liverpool, it was a truly multi-national gathering with people from all over Europe and the far East in the crowd. Indeed, at one point, Sir Paul

Superstar’s homecoming ‘playing to my mates’ SPEAKING of the gig, Sir Paul said: “When I was asked to do something to celebrate Liverpool being European Capital of Culture 2008, I accepted immediately. It’s a great thing for the city. “Over the last 10 years or so especially, Liverpool has really come back to its rightful place

amongst the cool cities of Britain, so I think it’s the icing on the cake that it got voted Capital of Culture. “It’s great to be playing Anfield because it’s such an historical ground. “My dad was actually born in Everton, but I love the Liverpool football team as well, so I say I

like them both and let people complain if they want to! “I just love Liverpudlian audiences because they’re my people. We’ve got so much in common. To them, it’s one of their lads coming to play and, for me, it feels like I’m playing to my mates. “It’s like family.”

Simple but highly effective set – Paul McCartney on stage

■ YOU can watch videos, view picture galleries and relive our live blog of Liverpool Sound online now at even made a greeting in Japanese. Addressing the crowd between numbers, and clearly overcome with emotion, Sir Paul said: “I don’t know what to say. Every time I come up to Liverpool, all the memories come flooding back.” It was a simple but highly effective stage set, with the word Liverpool spelt out in huge letters at the top and facing the Kop end of Anfield. At points, the Anfield roar was well in evidence as Sir Paul played songs such as Something on ukulele – as a tribute to George Harrison – and as Dave Grohl took to the stage for rocked-up versions of Band on the Run and Back in the USSR. As always with any homecoming appearance by Sir Paul McCartney, the adoring crowd did not want to let him go, and he crashed through his scheduled finish time to end with a rousing version of I Saw Her Standing

There, with Dave Grohl once again taking to the stage, and finishing off with a spectacular firework display. Among the thousands of people attending was Alan Roberts, 30, a senior manager at the Liverpool Guild of Students, who said: “It’s great every time Paul McCartney comes to play in Liverpool. He turns up and shows his face in the city, when he could probably make more money doing a gig somewhere else.” alanweston

Comedian Peter Kay warms up the crowd



Liverpool Sound Monday, June 2, 2008


Every time I come to Liverpool, the memories come flooding back . . . Sir Paul McCartney live at Anfield Stadium last night

Paul McCartney performs with one of his backing band


The crowd lapped it up and wanted more



Liverpool Sound Monday, June 2, 2008


The highlight of the day at Anfield, as Sir Paul McCartney took to the stage and the atmosphere turned electric among the 36,000 fans

Liverpool Sound Monday, June 2, 2008




Liverpool Sound Monday, June 2, 2008



Local heroes The Zutons made a big impression with their infectious songs


McCartney’s Sound rocks the crowd I T WAS the homecoming gig to end all homecoming gigs. Sir Paul McCartney knew what a 2008 Liverpool crowd would want of him, and was more than happy to oblige. He was introduced last night by surprise guest Peter Kay, who seemed as overwhelmed as anyone to be doing it, and as such wasn’t going to hog the stage when there was a former Beatle to bring on. And it was your literal hero’s welcome. Beginning with Hippy Hippy Shake, the classics did not stop. Jet, Drive My Car, Got to Get You Into My Life, it went on and on. But it was Blackbird, with Sir Paul singing with just an acoustic guitar, that provided the first of many truly beautiful moments. The first-ever live performance of hometown tribute In Liverpool came soon after, with the muchanticipated appearance from Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl coming midway through the set, where he


emerged to play guitar on Band on the Run and drums on Back in the USSR, thrashing away behind the kit as manically as in his Nirvana days. Absolutely brilliant stuff. The relatively recent Dance Tonight got a surprisingly warm reception, and during Hey Jude he

worked the crowd to absolute perfection. Every move this man makes is an iconic pose. It is amazing to see. You get the feeling Sir Paul would have put on just as much of a show if he was playing in

someone’s front room. His genial nature and genuine way with the crowd felt as if he was chatting away one-on-one. And he knew why he was there, of course. “Thank you for coming here tonight to Anfield, to the City of Culture, at the centre of the universe,” he said. And you got the feeling he meant it, rather than he had just jetted in with a new single to plug. Live and Let Die, with a suitably huge and fantastically camp pyrotechnic display, was another thrilling highlight. Who else in the world could pull together an encore of Yesterday, Day in the Life (merging into Give Peace a Chance), Lady Madonna, and I Saw Her Standing There? And he’s ours! For support, Sir Paul couldn’t have made a better choice. Liverpool young blood heroes The Zutons are a band made for the festival stage and couldn’t go wrong. “We’re proud to be here

today, honest,” said a nervous Dave McCabe, before coming out with the best the band had to offer, including Pressure Point, You Will You Won’t, and, of course, Valerie. The Kaiser Chiefs may have taken longer to ingratiate themselves, but put in the slog and got the love back. Many seemed dubious as to what a Leeds band were doing on the bill, but with hits like Ruby, I Predict a Riot and Oh My God they proved their worth. They even had the stones to try (and succeed) at getting a double Mexican wave out of the stands. Celebratory fireworks rounded off the extraordinary evening. “Liverpool, I love ya,” were the first words Sir Paul said on stage. And to paraphrase an old bandmate, he never let us down.

The Zutons frontman Dave McCabe


Liverpool Sound Monday, June 2, 2008


The Kaiser Chiefs take to the stage to the cheers of 36,000 fans packed into Anfield

The Kaiser Chiefs put plenty of energy into their performance

Wayne Rooney and Coleen McLoughlin enjoy the concert

Sing along with Paul . . . the audience was determined to get involved

Fans arrive in appropriate dress at Anfield

The enthusiastic crowd helped create an unforgettable atmosphere at Anfield


Fireworks light up the sky at the end of Liverpool Sound Paul McCartney concert, at Anfield

Sir Paul McCartney rocks the Anfield crowd as he performs in his home city for the first time in exactly five years

Liverpool Sound Monday, June 2, 2008



Liverpool Sound Concert, Liverpool Daily Post  

Sir Paul McCartney rocks Anfield for Liverpool Sound Concert. Special eight-page souvenir supplement from the Liverpool Daily Post.