On The Run is back up and running

On The Run is back up and running

“McCartney played a joyous set of hits spanning his more than
50-year career and turned the arena into a stadium-sized karaoke
The National (Daily Abu Dhabi Newspaper)

… and we’re off.  The new leg of the On The Run tour got off
to an explosive start with his first ever show in U.A.E at the Abu
Dhabi Grand Prix.  Paul’s show was the closing event of Yasalam 2011,
a citywide entertainment program that brought a mix of sports, films,
music and community events to the residents and visitors in Abu Dhabi
around the Grand Prix. Paul’s hugely anticipated show was the perfect
end to the celebrations, and was the hottest ticket with the Formula 1
drivers and celebrities in Abu Dhabi for the big race.

Paul and his band played hits spanning his entire career as
the audience lapped it all up.  There was laughter, tears, dancing,
screaming and shouting from the joyful crowds as Paul played the
world’s most loved songs for almost three hours.  Fireworks lit up the
sky during ‘Live and Let Die’ and Paul had the entire audience singing
along throughout the show, which included iconic anthems such as ‘All
My Loving’, ‘Let It Be’, ‘Hey Jude’ and the rock classics ‘Jet’, ‘Band
on the Run’ and ‘Helter Skelter’.  Paul finished the set with the
closing part of the Abbey Road medley ‘Golden Slumbers’, ‘Carry That
Weight’ and ‘The End’.  The ‘On the Run’ tour is the first time Paul
has closed the show like this since the Paul McCartney World Tour in 1990.

Formula 1 World Champion and total Macca nut Sebastian Vettel
watched the entire show with his family from the side of the stage,
singing along with every word.  After the show he told us what an
incredible night it had been for him before finally meeting his idol. 
German TV channel RTL had bought Sebastian a replica Hofner bass,
which Paul was only too happy to sign.  Paul chatted with Sebastian
about racing and music.  Paul also took time to introduce Sebastian to
certain members of the Macca crew who are F1 mad, totally making their
day in the process.  Legendary producer Quincy Jones was also at the
show and joined in the post concert celebrations.  Paul couldn’t stick
around too long as he had a flight to LA to catch as he is in the
studio putting the finishing touches to his standards album, set for
release early next year.  Talking of which… after the show we were
very lucky to get an exclusive playback of some of the material.  We
don’t want to give anything away but it’s very special indeed and very
different (in a good way!) to what people might be expecting.  But
enough of that for now…

Back at the F1 circuit, before there was any music Paul
dropped in on Saturday’s F1 qualifying session, causing quite a stir
and creating headlines all over the world!  He cheered on the British
drivers from the McLaren garage before the great and the good of motor
racing descended on him, hoping to get a picture with rock’s most
revered idol.  Ron Dennis, Niki Lauda, Jackie Stewart, Eddie Jordan
and the big man himself, Bernie Ecclestone, all made a beeline to get
five minutes with Paul.  An F1 publicist told me that they’d never
seen a reaction quite like this.   When all the media should have been
covering the qualifying session they had relocated themselves to
outside the McLaren garage to capture anything with Paul they could. 
The day was a totally amazing once in a lifetime experience.

Back home the UK’s largest daily paper The Sun reported on the
visit with the headline, ‘In Paul Position’.  Like what you did there,
boys!  There had been puns aplenty in the build up to the show.  When
giving an interview to Time Out in Abu Dhabi Paul chuckled when in
response to a question about what keeps him going, he replied, “The
main thing is the feedback from the audience.  That’s number one and
is just so inspiring.  It really drives you forward- which is
appropriate for a Formula One show!”

On the day of the show itself, local Abu Dhabi daily paper
Khaleej City Times pronounced, ‘Welcome, good Sir!  The most legendary
act in music will be performing on Yas Island tonight to round off a
memorable Formula 1 weekend’, so to say Abu Dhabi was excited was an
understatement.  TV news constantly repeated the footage of Paul from
qualifying.  Paul was on the cover of the two main entertainment
listings magazines - Time Out and What’s On (which would normally be
reserved for the F1 drivers) - and in the news room the phones didn’t
stop ringing with global enquiries about Paul’s visit and VIPs from
the Formula 1 world trying to blag passes.

Lewis Hamilton set the agenda for the evening as he won the
Grand Prix.  This was to be a day of conquering Brits and excellent
performances.   Paul finished the job off when he took to the stage
shortly after 9pm and did what he does best, absolutely rocked!

‘A perfect end to a successful Grand Prix weekend… a Formula 1
race and a Paul McCartney concert, in beautiful weather.  It just
doesn’t get much better.’
The National (Daily Abu Dhabi Newspaper)

Caption: Paul with Sebastian Vettel and Hanna Prater
2011 MPL Communications Ltd.
Photographer: MJ Kim

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