Paul McCartney was at the O2 Arena in London on Sunday with a sold-out hometown show for the final 2018 performance as part of his Freshen Up World Tour. To celebrate his last show of the year, McCartney gave fans in attendance a mindblowing, 40-song performance comprised of new originals, old covers, and even saw him closing the show with a little help from his friends. Fans who still had the energy to keep rocking after 34 songs were treated to seeing the famous rocker welcome Ringo Starr and Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood to help him play a cover of The Beatles‘ “Get Back.”
The show began with a mix of covers beginning with “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Junior’s Farm”, followed by “All My Loving” and “Letting Go”. McCartney then began sprinkling some of the new tunes from his 2018 Egypt Station LP into the mix in continuing with “Who Cares” and “Come One to Me”. The hit-filled show would continue with performances of “Blackbird”, “Lady Madonna”, “Eleanor Rigby”, “Band on the Run” and plenty more feel-good classic rock anthems which McCartney still performs at the energetic age of 76.
As fun as the show’s primary setlist sounded, the performance really took a memorable turn when the band returned to the stage for the encore. After starting the closing portion of the set with The Beatles’ “Birthday”, McCartney and gave the fans a seasonal present with a live rendition of “Wonderful Christmastime”.
Paul McCartney – “Wonderful Christmastime” – 12/16/2018
[Video: Daniel Montanher]
“Get Back” was up next, and in addition to the 1969 Beatles track making its tour debut, the performance also featured Ringo behind the drums and Wood on lead guitar. The audience went into an immediate frenzy from the moment Ringo began playing the galloping snare drum intro to “Get Back”, as it’s not every day that members of The Beatles and Rolling Stones share the stage to perform one of their counter-culture anthems. McCartney guitarist Brian Thomas Ray took the song’s first solo with Wood jamming away alongside him on rhythm duties. A huge smile took over Ringo’s face when his former bandmate turned to face him, with Wood also playing beside the drum riser. Wood would go on to take the second and closing guitar solos, helping to send fans out with a fitting end to a show they’d never forget. The entire performance of the classic rock sit-in can be watched in the fan-shot video below.
Paul McCartney – “Get Back” (with Ringo Starr and Ronnie Rood) – 12/16/2018
[Video: Daniel Montanher]
It was reported that The Who‘s Roger Daltrey was also in attendance with some of his old friends on Sunday. Heaven only knows how wild the O2 would have gone had McCartney enlisted the leader of the other biggest band of the 1960s onto the stage to join them in the performance.
McCarney and his band will pick up the tour following winter break when they return with a South American leg of shows starting in the spring. The band plans to return to North America next summer with a run of stadium shows starting in New Orleans on May 23rd. Tickets for his return to the States next summer can be found at his website.
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Setlist: Paul McCartney | 02 Arena | London, UK | 12/16/2018
Set: A Hard Day’s Night*, Junior’s Farm**, All My Loving*, Letting Go**, Who Cares, Got to Get You Into My Life*, Come On to Me, Let Me Roll It**^, I’ve Got a Feeling*, Let ‘Em In**, My Valentine, Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five**, Maybe I’m Amazed, I’ve Just Seen a Face*, In Spite of All the Danger***, From Me to You*, Dance Tonight, Love Me Do*, Blackbird*, Here Today, Queenie Eye, Lady Madonna*, Eleanor Rigby*, Fuh You, Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!*, Something*, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da*, Band on the Run**, Back in the U.S.S.R.*, Let It Be*, Live and Let Die**, Hey Jude*
Encore: Birthday*, Wonderful Christmastime, Get Back* (with Ringo Starr and Ronnie Wood), Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)*, Helter Skelter*, Golden Slumbers*, Carry That Weight*, The End*
* Beatles cover
** Wings cover
*** The Quarrymen cover
^ w/ “Foxy Lady” jam
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