McCartney pulls off Seoul concert after postponing

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McCartney pulls off Seoul concert after postponing

His fans waited for a year. But they said it was worth it.

Paul McCartney’s sudden cancelation of his “Out There” concert in Seoul due to illness last year devastated thousands of local fans. But the former Beatles member said he would come when he got better; a promise he fulfilled on Saturday with his first-ever show in Korea’s capital.

About 45,000 fans turned up to pay homage to the artist, despite the rain, at Jamsil Stadium in southern Seoul.

McCartney’s international fame is beyond question. But it was surprising to see such a wide range of excited fans in front of the venue two hours before the performance. The 72-year-old artist lured in everyone from young couples in their 20s to older people in their 60s, entire families, mothers and sons, fathers and daughters - any kind of mix and they were there.

The concert started off as McCartney greeted the audience in Korean, saying that he likes being in Seoul. Right away, he picked up his guitar and began singing “Eight Days a Week,” the 1965 hit Beatles song.

The show went on for more than two hours, but McCartney showed no signs of fatigue. The fever inside the stadium heated up towards the end of the show when the star played the first chords of “Let It Be.”

Instantly the entire audience stood up to cheer and clap while several people even jumped up and down with tears in their eyes.

Unlike other concerts, especially those by Korean pop stars, there were no guest artists, who usually give the main performer time to catch their breath a little while attracting a larger audience to the concert.

But apparently McCartney did not feel there was a necessity for one. On his own he pulled off a show that was longer in length than those by younger artists from abroad, raising his guitar high up in the air at the end of every song - which the fans went wild for each time.

“I can’t believe he’s the same age as my grandfather,” said Kim Ki-hyon, 29, who came to the concert with his girlfriend.

“His age didn’t show. He looked comfortable in those skinny jeans and white T-shirt. He ran around the stage, alternating from playing on the piano and the guitar. Maybe because he has so much experience he didn’t show a single sign of nervousness. I felt like he treated the concert as his playground. It was just amazing.”

Indeed, McCartney looked like he was playing for the younger members of the audience in Korea, as if trying to make up for forcing them wait for a year. It was most definitely not a sing-along concert for old folks to reminisce on songs of a bygone era.

BY YIM SEUNG-HYE [yim.seunghye@joongang.co.kr]





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