A Review From Mexico By The Website Competition Winner
Review By Joel Nelson - Website Competition Winner
Ive read in the past tons of interviews and all the stuff posted by Stuart each saying what a great guy Paul McCartney is. Honestly: Ive never quite believed that a man who is lauded as the greatest pop composer/performer ever, who has sold millions of records, who can sell out a 60,000 seat stadium in less than half an hour, could be anything other than a bit arrogant and impressed with himself. I was completely wrong.
That he would run such an incredibly generous and hugely enjoyable competition says something about the thoughtfulness and kindness of the man. It was such a thrill to travel to Mexico City. We were put up in a great hotel and treated to a fascinating afternoon culminating, after a meeting with Paul himself, in seeing a wonderful concert from front row seats.
First were taken around backstage by Shelley Lazar who was really kind and introduced us to whoever we met. Everyone took the trouble to stop and talk to us and enthuse with us about our amazing good luck! We saw the massive amount of equipment that is used to stage Pauls concerts and which travels with him whenever and wherever he performs. Wed imagined that most of the lighting and stuff was fixed permanently to the stage. Actually, it was explained that all the stuff is transported in a fleet of trucks and everything on the stage is taken down in only 10 hours.
We met the band in the vegetarian food only canteen. Again, none of them were arrogant or anything other than incredibly nice; they even signed my programme!
We went up on the stage and saw all Pauls guitars, theres a lot of them and theyre all so cool. We saw George Harrisons ukulele and the guitar Paul played on the Ed Sullivan show.
We then watched the sound check which I always, wrongly, assumed was just the band playing around for 10 minutes to check the acoustics. Instead it was Paul and the band playing his songs, most of them ones he didnt play during the concert. It was great hearing C Moon, Coming up, Only Mama Knows, Lady Madonna, Yesterday, Midnight special, Dance Tonight, Honey Dont, Matchbox and (I Want To) Come Home. He waved at us because he knew we were the competition winners. Promptly all the, Ill say excitable rather than crazed, fans started taking pictures of us because he knew who we were. Word of advice: always go to the sound check. In future, I will.
After that we got taken backstage again, where we were given a vegetarian supper which was incredibly nice. Considering the meal was produced in the back of a tent we didnt know what to expect but they do some wonderful Glamorgan sausages and mash and the lentil curry was fab! Later we were taken to meet Paul which was without a doubt the best part of the entire trip. He was one of the nicest guys weve ever met. Incredibly kind (we met him only about half an hour before he was due to do his show and he didnt rush us) he signed some stuff for me and told us to watch out for all the Mexicans keeping time to the music with their cigarette lighters. (He sang a song about them in the concert which was rapturously received!) A great guy. Going back to the eating area after our meeting with Paul, we talked to one of the catering staff, Lucy, about what it was like working for him. Like everyone we met during our stay with the crew, she couldnt compliment him highly enough. It was clear that everyone who works for him adores him and you can certainly see why.
We watched the concert, from front row seats, which was really great. Some people who had been at the sound check, hearing that wed met him, were unsettlingly keen to touch our hands because wed shaken his.
Paul played for well over 2 hours with a great set list full of the best of the Beatles, Wings and his solo career. Opening with Venus and Mars, fused with Rockshow was great as was hearing Ive Just Seen A Face live. It was an amazing show which none of us wanted to end dispute the driving rain. We came home the next day buzzing with enthusiasm and delight and overwhelming gratitude to Sir Paul and all his friends for giving us the experience of a lifetime!
If he ever runs another one of these competitions, go in for it.