Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney performed to a sold-out crowd April 30 at the Verizon Arena in North Little Rock. $2,278,000 in revenue was made from the concert and 15,319 people attended, Verizon Arena Director of Marketing Jana DeGeorge said.
McCartney’s concert was the fifth stop on his ‘One on One’ tour. McCartney played many hits from his Beatle days, such as “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Let It Be,” as well as songs from his time with Wings and his solo career.
The night wasn’t solely focused on the hits, though.
“We’re gonna play some old songs, some new songs, and some in between,” McCartney said. “We’re gonna rock.”
Together with band members Rusty Anderson, Brian Ray, Abe Laboriel, Jr. and Paul Wickens, McCartney brought the crowd to its feet with music that sent the audience back to the age of rock ‘n’ roll. But he didn’t just stick to playing guitar. He also filled the arena with the beautiful melody of the piano.
The most spectacular part of the show was the visual effects. The combination of lighting and screen projections created an atmosphere that, with the music, was nostalgic and mind-blowing.
Just as the guitars started blaring during the song “Live and Let Die,” cannons shot fire into the air, sending waves of heat all the way to the back row. This was accompanied with a green laser display, which made for the most thrilling moment of the evening.
Fans in the crowd waved their hands to the beat, danced in the aisles and sang along to songs like “Ob La De, Ob La Da.”
Some people brought signs with them to hold up while the band was playing. McCartney commented that while he was playing, he had to keep telling himself not to read the signs so he could remember the chords and lyrics.
“If I get it wrong tonight,” he told the audience, “I’m blaming you.”
He also made a connection to Little Rock when he sang “Blackbird.” McCartney had seen from the news how places like Little Rock were having trouble with civil rights during the 1960s.
The song “Blackbird” was supposed to give people hope during that time. While he sang the song, the screens showed blooming roses and other flowers as the front stage ‘rose’ up above the audience.
The show also had some heartfelt moments. Near the end of the show, McCartney brought the people with the best signs up on stage.
One of the winners, who had come all the way from Japan, held a sign that read, “I want to propose.” The man and his girlfriend were brought on stage where he proposed to her, and after she nodded nervously, McCartney was the first to congratulate the couple.
After McCartney left the stage, the crowd cheered and stomped their feet for him to come back on. For the encore, McCartney and two other band members ran out with the British, American and Arkansan flags, sending the crowd into a state of elation.
For their last song, they combined the songs “Golden Slumbers,” “Carry that Weight” and “The End.” At the end, they ran off the stage in a wave of smoke and confetti.