When the 75-year-old icon walked onto the stage Monday at Tampa’s Amalie Arena, waving and whooping and firing off enthusiastic double thumbs-ups, he ambled along in his relaxed Liverpudlian way, bouncing and bobbing and taking his time.
But when his band struck the iconic, Pavlovian opening twang of A Hard Day’s Night, you half expected the nearly 17,000 screaming, smartphone-waving souls in the building to bum-rush the stage.
No matter that A Hard Day’s Night premiered 53 years ago this week, and no one who saw it in the theater is in much shape to go chasing the Cute One down a crowded city street. The Beatles are forever, and this show sold out the day it went on sale. And after nearly three hours, everyone lucky enough to score a seat got their money’s worth and more.
Jay Cridlin, Pop Music/Culture Critic
Tampa Bay Times
Lifestyles After 50 Magazine was lucky enough to have our “Sir Paul Color In Contest” winner in one of those lucky seats as well as one of our magazines avid readers, and this is what they had to say.
HEATHER MOORE of Holiday, Florida:
“I BROUGHT MY COLORING IN PIC OF HIM AND WOUND UP AUTOGRAPHING A COUPLE OF COPIES FOR FANS SEATED NEXT TO ME. SO COOL“.
“FROM “A HARD DAY’S NIGHT” TO “THE END” I WAS MESMERIZED. FLASHES OF THE LIVES OF JOHN LENNON AND GEORGE HARRISON PERMEATED MY MIND, AS SIR PAUL RELATED STORIES OF HIS FRIENDS“.
“SIR PAUL SAID THAT HE LEARNED HOW TO PLAY THE UKULELE FROM GEORGE, AND ONE DAY HE SAT DOWN WITH GEORGE AND THEY PLAYED ONE OF GEORGE’S COMPOSITIONS. THEN PAUL BEGAN TO SING “SOMETHING IN THE WAY SHE MOVES” AND HE ACCOMPANIED HIMSELF ON THE UKULELE. MID SONG HE SWITCHED TO GUITAR AND THE BAND JOINED IN“.
“THEN HE TOLD A STORY ABOUT RUNNING INTO MICK AND KEITH IN LONDON. PAUL AND JOHN ASKED THE STONES’ FRONT MEN TO GIVE THEM A LIFT. IN THE TAXI, MICK TOLD PAUL THAT THEY NEEDED A HIT SINGLE. PAUL OFFERED MICK A SONG THAT HE HAD WRITTEN AND THEN BROKE INTO THE PAUL VERSION OF “I WANNA BE YOUR MAN” THE FIRST NUMBER 1 HIT FOR THE STONES“.
“SIR PAUL IS RELATABLE. HE IS A GENIUS THAT HAS A SINCERITY OF HEART EVIDENCED IN THE SONGS THAT HE HAS WRITTEN AND SUNG. HE IS A STAR. NEVER WILL THERE BE ANYONE LIKE HIM“.
“WHEN THE THREE HOUR SHOW WAS OVER AND PAUL LEFT THE STAGE, TEARS RAN DOWN MY FACE AND I WAS ONCE AGAIN TRANSFORMED INTO THAT TEN YEAR OLD GIRL AT SHEA STADIUM CRYING WHEN A HELICOPTER, MID FIELD, LIFTED THE FAB FOUR INTO THE AIR AFTER THE CONCERT“.
“THANKS SO MUCH FOR ALLOWING ME TO BASK IN A BIT OF THE SIR PAUL TAMPA “ONE ON ONE” CONCERT PHENOMENON“.
Have a beautiful day, Heather Moore
Linda Bragg, New Port Richey was also lucky enough to be in one of those sold out seats and had this to say.
“I am lucky. I began my concert-going career with the very best: The Beatles. I was just 14 when friends and I rented a Greyhound bus to whisk us to Jacksonville, Florida on September 11, 1964, to see The Beatles at the infamous Gator Bowl concert that almost didn’t take place for two reasons: Hurricane Dora and the threat of segregation of the audience that The Beatles’ refused to accept. The tickets were $5.00; I still have my ticket stub“!
“I guess you could say The Beatles’ music is in my DNA. They wrote the musical score to my life, with Paul McCartney carrying on the magic with his explosive solo career. But, it’s important to realize that much of The Beatles’ music was never played live for an audience. They were a studio band by the time the later albums such as the White Album and Abbey Road came along. That’s why, for me, the biggest thrill of Paul’s recent concert at Amalie Arena, was to hear them play the end of Abbey Road. It beings with the sleepy Golden Slumbers that slides into Carry That Weight, followed by The End with its thunderous drum solo and blistering, dueling guitars, culminating in those last sweet words: And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. Thanks, Sir Paul, John, George and Ringo for the pure joy you’ve bestowed to multi-generations of people around the world“.