Paul McCartney brought Rio de Janeiro to a standstill this week with two staggering concerts in the city, playing to 90,000 delighted fans who had travelled from across Brazil for the long-awaited shows. Paul’s visit made front-page news all week and hundreds of fans were permanently camped outside his hotel where Brazilian news crews were also stationed, all waiting for a glimpse of music’s leading man.
The concerts on Sunday and Monday night were Paul’s first in twenty-one years in the city and the audience, who comprised fans of all ages and even three generations of some families, were not disappointed. A deafening roar went up each night when Paul took the stage at the massive Estadio Olimpico and proceeded to play nearly three hours of the world’s best-loved and known music. Fans clapped, cheered, screamed, cried, laughed and sang along as their idol played an incredible set list that spanned his entire career, including highlights from The Beatles, Wings and of course, his unrivalled solo material. The Brazilian night sky was set alight in a dramatic fashion as the impressive pyrotechnics launched in the middle of the crowd favourite, ‘Live And Let Die’, providing a spectacle for even those not lucky enough to be inside the stadium for the whole show. Perhaps the biggest cheer of the night was reserved for Paul greeting the audience in their native language, which thrilled fans who couldn’t believe their ears.
During ‘Hey Jude’ the audience surprised Paul by holding up hand made banners that read ‘NA’. The site was a spectacle to behold as the audience sang along with the famous ‘Na’s’ in one of the worlds most recognisable songs.
“The concert took my breath away,” said one fan, Luiz Antunes, 29 from Rio. “I’ve been waiting for it for months but it was still even better than I expected. Paul sounded amazing – I can’t believe how energetic he is on stage! I don’t want to wait another 21 years.”
On Sunday night the concert was the first ever show to be broadcast live across South America on the internet with over 1.5 million fans tuning in!
Leaving Rio on a massive high, the 31 trucks full of equipment and 170 people in Paul’s crew roll on to the next date which will take place at the famous MGM Grand in Las Vegas in June. Vegas - get ready!
"Being in Rio was fantastic from the minute we landed. The crowds around the hotel were bananas! They were just crazy and then it built and built until we did the shows. I love Brazil. I love the fact that they love music, it is a very musical nation. I love music, they love music, so it's a natural connection. The fans were of all ages at the shows. There was a huge young fanbase, which i love, and then there was their parents and even their grandparents, so it is s a great spread. The enthusiasm for my music was just mind blowing. So all of us in the band had a fantastic time and we thank the fans for making it all so exciting.
Whilst doing 'Hey Jude' when I handed over to the audience to sing the 'na na na na's' suddenly the audience produced these signs. It was such a visual thing. It was very emotional because the fans had gone to all that trouble. They could have just come to the show and watched it but they all communicated before hand to make the special moment happen. They connected with each other, then connected with us and the entire crew. Everyone felt connected. It was very exciting and emotional to see that people care so much." - Paul Mccartney
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