Paul McCartney Comes to Cuse

After an afternoon of building anticipation, Paul McCartney delivers for eager Syracuse fans

The 75-year-old former Beatle proved that age was just a number as he entertained more than 35,000 who had gathered in the Carrier Dome.

Pre-Show Buzz

The fuzz of amplifiers echoed across campus, drawing curious groups of people out of air conditioned buildings and into the blazing heat. McCartney Madness, a music festival which overtook the Quad yesterday from 1:30 to 6 p.m., has been in the works since last Spring according to Dreya Cherry, a main player in bringing McCartney Madness plans into reality. She and Calvin Schneider—along with other students and staff from the music industry program—planned the event all summer leading up to Paul McCartney’s concert in the Carrier Dome on Saturday. All this work allowed them to “hit the ground running” at the beginning of the school year, according to Cherry.

Photo: Katherine Reahl
The Pride of Syracuse Marching Band performs on the steps of Hendricks Chapel for the finale of McCartney Madness.

From the early stages of writing proposals to day-of-show problem solving, the team built McCartney Madness from the ground up. The final lineup hosted a diverse array of performances from the campus’s musical “staple-names and student groups” including The Morton Schiff Jazz EnsembleOtto Tunes, and FLOTUS, among others.

A surprise performance by Benji Wittman, the emcee of the event, filled a 20 minute gap between sets when the event ran ahead of schedule.

Bandier senior Katie Canete also made a semi-surprise appearance in place of an opening band that dropped out last minute. Early in the day Yehudah Russell, a member of Morton Schiff Jazz Ensemble, said that the temperature was so hot their band was “going out of tune while playing,” but as McCartney’s set in the Dome grew closer, shade crept across the field outside Hendrick’s Chapel, attracting more and more people to the Quad.

The growing crowd was comprised of mostly students, some accompanied by visiting parents, and Syracuse natives who wore original Beatles concert t-shirts. Nick Fichter, who had watched McCartney Madness since it began at 1:30 p.m., said that the concert “[was] a really nice gesture and sign of respect to Paul McCartney.” Especially for those who did not secure tickets for McCartney that night, the event was a great opportunity to enjoy Beatles favorites as performed by their peers.

McCartney Lights Up the Dome

After McCartney Madness, fans lucky enough to score tickets headed towards the Carrier Dome. The rising temperature inside did not affect the energy of the fans who sang along with McCartney. People were dancing, rocking, clapping and enjoying the experience of an unforgettable night.

The 75-year-old legend delivered. 3 hours of memorable visuals, incredible sound quality, and long-loved songs. His energy on stage was mesmerizing, it seemed impossible for somebody of his age to perform, almost non-stop, almost 40 songs, but he made it seem so effortless.

McCartney made it feel like he was having a conversation with old friends, 35,000 of them. In between songs he told anecdotes and stories that gave the songs a different perspective. One of the most remarkable ones was when he introduced "Here Today", a song he wrote as the conversation he never had with his friend John Lennon, the Dome vibrated with an ovation to the late- Beatle followed by a very powerful song. It was a very emotional moment.

McCartney also brought some fire to the stage, literally. The sound of the nearly 35,000 people in awe, right after the flames blasted the stage in "Live and Let Die" was incredible. 

You could see in the people smiles of the crowd. The heat, the wait, and the trip, quite long for many, were absolutely worth it. McCartney's show is sure to live forever in the memory of those lucky enough to be part of this historic night.

Check out McCartney's full setlist below: 

A Hard Day's Night (The Beatles)
Junior's Farm (Wings)
Can't Buy Me Love (The Beatles)
Jet (Wings)
All My Loving (The Beatles)
Let Me Roll It (Wings) (followed by 'Foxy Lady' by Jimi Hendrix)
I've Got a Feeling (The Beatles)
My Valentine
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five (Wings)
Maybe I'm Amazed
We Can Work It Out (The Beatles)
In Spite of All the Danger (The Quarrymen)
You Won't See Me (The Beatles)
Love Me Do (The Beatles)
And I Love Her (The Beatles)
Blackbird (The Beatles)
Here Today
Queenie Eye
Lady Madonna (The Beatles)
FourFiveSeconds (Rihanna and Kanye West and Paul McCartney)
Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles)
I Wanna Be Your Man (The Beatles)
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! (The Beatles)
Something (The Beatles)
A Day in the Life (The Beatles) (with Give Peace a Chance)
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (The Beatles)
Band on the Run (Wings)
Back in the U.S.S.R. (The Beatles)
Let It Be (The Beatles)
Live and Let Die (Wings)
Hey Jude (The Beatles)


 Yesterday (The Beatles)
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) (The Beatles)
Helter Skelter (The Beatles)
Birthday (The Beatles)
Golden Slumbers (The Beatles)
Carry That Weight (The Beatles)
The End (The Beatles)

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