Beatlemania was before Beliebers, Little Monsters, Directioners, or Swifters. In the 1960s The Beatles took the world by storm and caused girls (and some boys!) to go mad crazy over the fabulous four. I was born about 30 years too late to take part in the screaming and chasing, but I still listen to the band almost religiously. In the spring when I found out Paul McCartney was going on tour I almost flipped a table over. I sat at a coffee shop with my laptop and the Paul McCartney fan club presale screen on my browser and hit refresh about 40 times before 10 am to get a ticket. I was so lucky and snagged a floor spot in the fifth row for the cutest Beatle!
Months later it was show time. Paul McCartney played at Target Field in Minneapolis on Saturday, August 2nd at 8:00pm. Well, it was supposed to start at 8, but because of all the fans trying to enter the stadium, it started 45 minutes late. The drizzle stopped right in time as Sir Paul McCartney hit the stage with the Beatles hit “Eight Days a Week”.
Paul played for almost three hours playing songs off his new album “New”, a variety of Wings songs, and of course plenty of Beatles hits. About halfway through the concert McCartney played his song “Here Today”, a song he wrote about John Lennon. Before playing the song he gave a short tribute to John and told everyone how important it is to let the people around you know how much you feel about them because one day they might be gone. Later Paul brought out a ukulele and told us a story about how George Harrison was one of the first people he met who played ukulele. He told George one day that he learned one of his songs on the instrument. He proceeded to play the beginning of “Something” on ukulele, while the rest of Paul’s band joined in on later verses.
The song I was most excited to see live was “Live and Let Die”. Paul started with “When you were young and your heart was an open book” and I might have screamed “YES!” out of excitement before singing along. As the 72 year old got to the chorus, flames burst from the ground and lit up the stage. The heat was intense from my seat but the fireworks in the background caught my eyes as well. Definitely the highlight of the show in my opinion.
Following the explosions was Paul’s last song, “Hey Jude” and man did it feel good to be singing with thousands of people. He of course had all the gentlemen sing while he flexed on stage and cheered for the boys, then had all the ladies sing in the audience (which by my opinion sounded a lot more in tune!) Paul left the stage as the crowd kept cheering. Moments later Paul came out waving the American flag to start his first set of encore songs. Playing “Day Tripper”, “Hi Hi Hi”, and “Get Back” he started to head off stage, but we wanted more! A stage hand started to hand him his bass but Paul shook his head no. The stage hand shoved the bass into Paul’s hands, he shrugged, and came back on stage for his second encore. Making sure to play “Helter Skelter” and “Yesterday” Paul got to his last set of songs, the end of the Abbey Road album. Starting with “Golden Slumbers” and finishing with “The End” he put on an amazing last performance. When he finally left the stage for the last time and the lights turned on across the field, everyone was still shaking with adrenaline.
I saw fellows 50 years older than me jumping up and down with the same excitement they had during the 1960s. It was the best show I have ever seen in my life and i’m proud to tell my grandchildren one day that yes, I did see a famous Beatle perform live, and yes, I was a reflection of the average Beatlemania screaming fan.