Everything We Saw and Heard at Paul McCartney’s Stadium Show in Orlando | Orlando

Tens of thousands of concertgoers made the pilgrimage to Orlando’s Camping World stadium for what would be one of only two shows in Florida on Paul McCartney’s 2022 “Got Back” tour. The Beatle, frontman of the Wings and prolific solo songwriter has no problem selling out stadium gigs. But in the wake of the phenomenon that is Peter Jackson Come back documentary, and five years after hitting the stage in Florida, there was a special spirit in the air.

Attendees came from all over the state, from all walks of life and of all generations, spending a sizable amount of hard-earned money to sing together songs they had long loved. Seniors shared stories from their first Beatles gig, while high schoolers skipped the ball to see McCartney for the first time. Old lovers said “this is our song” while sweet children sang on the shoulders of their parents; there was no shortage of moments of micro-magic in these stadium stands. The staff at Camping World Stadium deserve special gratitude for working the long hours and entertaining the evening.

McCartney was in top form, taking the stage with his iconic Höfner Violin Bass in front of delighted fans. The Beatle turns 80 next month, a stunning revelation considering he played three dozen songs and a nearly three-hour set. The setlist was mostly Beatles classics, a healthy balance of songs from the Fab Four’s extensive discography, while mixing Wings classics alongside newer, obscure tracks for “the real ones.” Never before performed live included “You Never Give Me Your Money” by The Beatles Abbey Road; as well as a virtual duet with John Lennon on vocals So be it“I’ve Got a Feeling”, incorporating a remastered video of The Beatles’ last rooftop concert 53 years ago.

McCartney paid tribute to many of these iconic artists who are no longer with us and gave a nod to the trials and tribulations of our time. A small European Union flag stood on stage alongside a Ukrainian flag; and ahead of their encore, the band took the stage waiving several flags, including the LGBTQ+ pride flag. McCartney spoke about the civil rights movement and gender equality, and reminded viewers that he knew America was better than the age of segregation the Beatles witnessed and talked about. The evening ended with the Abbey Road ending, “The End”. In the end, the love you take equals the love you make. – Ida V. Eskamani

Elizabeth J. Harless