McCartney dedicates Beatles ballad to Charleston victims
By Shaun Tandon
June 20 2015
Dover (United States) (AFP) - Paul McCartney dedicated a Beatles ballad to the victims of the Charleston church massacre as he voiced hope for peace among races.
The former Beatle enjoyed a rapturous welcome by thousands Friday night as he played the Firefly Music Festival in the eastern US state of Delaware, where another British music legend, Morrissey, offered his own, more provocative brand of on-stage activism.
Early in a two-and-a-half-hour set on a steamy night, McCartney played "The Long and Winding Road" -- the melancholy 1970 song that spoke of The Beatles' breakup -- in tribute to the nine African Americans gunned down at a historic Charleston, South Carolina church by a suspected white supremacist.
McCartney called on the momentarily hushed audience to "take a moment to pray for peace and harmony among the people of different colors."
He returned to the theme with The Beatles' "Blackbird," with its call to "take these broken wings and learn to fly."
McCartney recalled that he recorded "Blackbird" in 1968 as he looked at racial tensions engulfing the United States and added: "It has echoes today."
But the rock icon was not exclusively somber, as he delighted the crowd with Beatles classics such as "Can't Buy Me Love," "Helter Skelter" and "Live and Let Die," electrified by pyrotechnics on stage and fireworks overhead.
McCartney also dedicated songs to his late bandmates John Lennon and George Harrison and played a cover of "Foxy Lady" by Jimi Hendrix, as he spoke fondly of his time with the late guitar visionary.
McCartney, sweaty but with unmistakable stamina, turned 73 on Thursday. He was starting the latest US leg of his "Out There" global tour that opened more than two years ago.
Paul McCartney performs at the Firefly Music Festival on June 19, 2015 in Dover, Delaware (AFP Photo/Theo Wargo)
A woman points towards the sky during the performance by Paul McCartney at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware June 19, 2015. According to organizers, attendance exceeded 90,000 for the four day festival, which featured more than 110 acts, and was set in 105 acre grounds of the Dover International Speedway. Picture taken June 19, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Sir Paul McCartney takes the stage for his performance at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware, June 19, 2015. According to organizers, attendance exceeded 90,000 for the four day festival, which featured more than 110 acts, and was set in 105 acre grounds of the Dover International Speedway. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Paul McCartney's performance is projected on large screens during the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware June 19, 2015. According to organizers, attendance exceeded 90,000 for the four day festival, which featured more than 110 acts, and was set in 105 acre grounds of the Dover International Speedway. Picture taken June 19, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Confetti cascades from the atop the stage at the conclusion of the performance by Paul McCartney during the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware June 20, 2015. According to organizers, attendance exceeded 90,000 for the four day festival, which featured more than 110 acts, and was set in 105 acre grounds of the Dover International Speedway. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Paul McCartney on Charleston Church shooting: 'Pray for peace among people of different colours'
Former Beatle pays tribute to victims at a show in Delaware
By NME News Desk
June 20, 2015
Paul McCartney has discussed the recent Charleston Church shooting in the US.
Nine black civilians were killed by a young white man at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday (June 17). Dylann Roof, 21, has allegedly admitted to the crimes, with CNN reporting that he outlined his motives to police as the intention of starting a race war.
Performing at Delaware's Firefly Festival on Friday night (June 19), Billboard reports that the former Beatle introduced his song ‘The Long and Winding Road’ by paying tribute to the victims, saying: "Let's take a moment to pray for peace and harmony amongst people of different colors in the world”.
Meanwhile, the likes of Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Nas and other music stars have also responded to the Charleston Church shooting via social media.
Alice Cooper has discussed an album he has made with guests including Dave Grohl and Paul McCartney. Cooper has recruited some of his most famous friends and recorded an album under the name Hollywood Vampires. Cooper has confirmed that the record features Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Johnny Depp and more.
On the subject of Paul McCartney, Cooper admits that it was hard to keep cool in the studio, but that the down to earth McCartney helped keep things normal.
"Paul’s a rocker man, you know. If he wasn’t in his band, he would be in a pub somewhere playing with a bunch of guys," Cooper states.
"He just loves to play. You’ll look back and you’ll go ‘Jesus, that guy’s a Beatle’, he wasn’t a Beatle, he was the Beatle, you know, and wrote more songs than anybody, and never has gone back on what he believes, on what he does. You know, he’s just one of the guys. He was just one of the guys in the band. So now when I see him I go, ‘Vampire’. He goes, ‘I’m a Vampire’. But John was a Vampire. John Lennon was one of our nightly guys. He was there every night."
Paul McCartney Honors Charleston Shooting Victims in between Classics at Firefly
By Steven J. Horowitz
June 20, 2015
Paul McCartney performs at the 2015 Firefly Music Festival on June 19, 2015.
Photo: Theo Wargo, Getty Images Entertainment
For a living legend whose entire career has consistently been redefined, it's a given that Sir Paul McCartney's headlining set at Firefly 2015 on Friday (June 19) would be career-defining, yet again. And on the second night of the four-day fest, the Beatles icon showed that not only does he consistently up himself, but he outshone the bounty of young talent that rocked the stages at the Delaware festival earlier in the day.
As a consummate performer, the 73-year-old kept the energy cranked for the duration of his near two-and-a-half hour show, running through a string of classics spanning his work with the Beatles, Wings and as a solo artist. Affable and jovial, he demonstrated musical versatility with ease -- strumming a ukulele, pounding a piano, plucking an acoustic guitar -- as well as endurance, for his first ever show in the first state.
McCartney began promptly at 10 p.m. following a riotous set from Run the Jewels on the adjacent stage. The crowd swelled to a remarkable volume--vastly larger than that of Morrissey, who played to a shockingly minute attendance hours prior--as Macca kicked off with "Birthday" and new cut "Save Us," setting the tone for the ebullient evening.
"We're gonna have a bit of a party here tonight," he said, blasting through "Got to Get You Into My Life" as animated portraits of his fellow Beatles appeared on the screens behind him. He paused for a moment to survey the crowd: "You know, this is so cool, I need to take a minute for myself and check it all out."
At a point, his show turned political, as he paid his respects to the victims of the Charleston, S.C. shooting that claimed nine lives earlier in the week. "Let's take a moment to pray for peace and harmony amongst people of different colors in the world," said McCartney, seated behind a piano. A chill-inducing rendition of "The Long and Winding Road" followed, a noble tribute to the victims of a senseless act.
Though the mood was temporarily somber, he kept the crowd's spirits high. He dedicated several songs to the late key figures in his life -- a cover of "Foxy Lady" for Jimi Hendrix, "Here Today" for John Lennon, "Maybe I'm Amazed" for Linda McCartney, "Something" for George Harrison -- and played hit after hit, including "Eleanor Rigby," "Blackbird" and "Lady Madonna," where he cheekily addressed the odorous contraband wafting towards the stage: "What's that I can smell in the air?"
What McCartney proved, though, is that though there's nothing left to prove for a living legend, he's got the chops to outshine even himself. There was nary a dull moment as he breathlessly pounced from instrument to instrument, song to song, ceaselessly and effortlessly exceeding the unreachable expectations set before him. As he reemerged for the encore, waving the U.S. flag with band members brandishing British and Delaware flags, he was joyous, an artist who never gave up on his craft. Few musicians at Firefly were that advanced-- and McCartney showed that he was still miles ahead of them.
Here is Paul McCartney's Firefly set list:
"Got to Get You Into My Life"
"Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five"
"The Long and Winding Road"
"Maybe I'm Amazed"
"I've Just Seen a Face"
"We Can Work It Out"
"And I Love Her"
"Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite"
"Band on the Run"
"Back in the U.S.S.R."
"Let It Be"
"Live and Let Die"
"Hi, Hi, Hi"
"Can't Buy Me Love"
"Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End"
Firefly Music Festival 2015 - Day 2
Musician Paul McCartney performs onstage during day 2 of the Firefly Music Festival on June 19, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.
(June 18, 2015 - Source: Theo Wargo/Getty Images North America)
Paul McCartney signs fan's tattoo on stage
BY DANIEL CRAIG
JUNE 20, 2015
Paul McCartney performs on Day 2 of the 2015 Firefly Music Festival at The Woodlands on Friday, June 19, 2015, in Dover, Del. (OWEN SWEENEY/AP PHOTO)
Paul McCartney signs fan's tattoo of his face on stage
Before giving a vintage rendition of The Beatles classic headbanger "Helter Skelter," headliner Paul McCartney welcomed a fan onstage Friday night who wanted him to sign a tattoo she had of the singer's face. Watch as the 73-year-old McCartney makes the girl's dream come true, followed by an impressive performance from the aging rocker.