I have been to many amazing rock concerts in my life! I have seen Elton John, Johnny Winter, The Guess Who, The Beach Boys, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Blue Rodeo, The Bare Naked Ladies, John Mellencamp, ACDC, Bruce Springsteen, Styx, The Who, Rush, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Rod Stewart, Supertramp, and U2. I feel very fortunate, because I saw many of these acts I saw in their prime.
I have also had many amazing Beatle moments, including their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. It was a very special moment indeed for a young rock n roll fanatic. I will never forget sitting in breathless anticipation on our living room floor waiting for the show to begin. It was awesome! I can still remember them flashing the names of each of the Beatles and under John Lennon it said, ‘sorry girls he’s already married.’ Thing of beauty!
Thanks to my children, I now have this show and all of the Beatles performances on Ed Sullivan on DVD.
Perhaps my most amazing Beatles moment though and hands down, the best rock concert I’ve ever seen was Paul McCartney in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2003.
In the summer of that year my brother-in-law, Doug, a bona fide Beatles fanatic (especially when it comes to Paul McCartney), and his wife, Amy, came to visit us at our home in Keswick, Ontario, Canada. They live in Raleigh, North Carolina. During their visit, Paul McCartney concert tickets went on sale for a show later that year in Raleigh. Doug and Amy were determined not to miss the show and perhaps because of their excitement we decided to see it as well. So when tickets went on sale at Ticketmaster, we got four tickets.
By the time Doug got through to Ticketmaster all the best seats were gone and we ended up with seats near the back of the arena. Although disappointed our seats weren’t closer to the stage we were nonetheless excited about the concert!
And so, the first weekend of October we flew to Raleigh to visit with Doug and Amy and attend the concert. We took a taxi to the stadium and while walking across the parking lot, somebody (I don’t recall who), thought it would be a good idea to see if any scalpers had better tickets. The first scalper we spoke to offered us four tickets, row ten, on the floor, close to the stage. He even offered to let us use the tickets to confirm the location of the seats. Thinking we were going to be ripped off Doug and I headed into the stadium and were more than pleasantly surprised to discover that the scalper was telling the truth. So we headed back outside, found the scalper again (he had wandered off to a different part of the parking lot … a very trusting fellow), paid for the tickets (we gave him our four tickets, plus $50.00 a ticket … it wasn’t cheap) and headed back into the stadium, bursting with excitement!
There we were, 10 rows from the stage sitting directly in front of McCartney’s microphone. The concert began with a high energy Cirque du Soleil performance, with an phenomenal array of acrobatics, strength and body contortions routines, accompanied by a pounding drumbeat. It was awesome! Then McCartney stood alone on stage, his familiar Hofner bass guitar held high above his head. It was very cool! He opened with Sargent Pepper’s, Hello Goodbye and Jet, and he didn’t let up. He was on the stage for over two hours and didn’t take a break. He played almost all of his big hits including Hey Jude and Let it Be. The only song missing was Uncle Albert, Admiral Halsey (my personal favorite), but I really wasn’t expecting it, so it wasn’t a disappointment.
Throughout the concert, women around us were crying, particularly during his dedications to John Lennon and George Harrison. We were high-fiving strangers! It was a magical evening! You could close your eyes and easily imagine that all four Beatles were on the stage, it was that good! At one point, Doug turned to me and said, ” It’s like having McCartney in your backyard!”
There were a number of things that made this an amazing moment: traveling to Raleigh, visiting with Doug and Amy and seeing McCartney, to name a few. But what really made it so special was that as as excited as we were to see the concert, our expectations were far exceeded!
It was an amazing night indeed!
Have an awesomely memorable day!
And if you’re really into the Beatles and want to be in Las Vegas to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their performance there check out this website.