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Paul McCartney played Firefly Festival & Philly (pics, setlist)

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin, words by Andrew Sacher

Paul McCartney @ Philly’s Wells Fargo Arena – 6/21/2015
Paul McCartney

I’ve said it before, but even at over 70 years old, Paul McCartney remains an unparalleled live act. From his endless energy, to his ace backing band, and to the fact that you’re seeing Beatles songs performed flawlessly by the guy who wrote them, there really isn’t anything else on this level. He turned 73 this past Thursday (6/18), and the next day he headlined the Friday of Dover, Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival, opening his set with a little celebration for himself: Beatles song “Birthday.” When you’re Paul McCartney, you can get away with that kind of thing.

As he usually does, he loaded his set with Beatles favorites from all over their career, and sprinkled in highlights from Wings and his solo career too. He roared through “Got to Get You Into My Life,” inspired cheery singalongs for “I’ve Just Seen a Face” and “We Can Work It Out,” grabbed the acoustic guitar to strip things down for a solo performance of “Blackbird,” and got serious for a moment when he dedicated “The Long and Winding Road” to the victims of the Charleston shooting. Beyond that moment though, Paul was in great spirits. He cracked jokes to the crowd between songs, and seemed like he was genuinely grateful for the massive festival crowd that came out for him.

There wasn’t a dull moment in the set, but of course it was the show’s lengthy finale that was jam-packed with the especially epic moments. After rocking out to “Back in the USSR” and telling his story of meeting the members of the Russian government after playing a show in Moscow (his imitation of their accents is A+), Paul went into one of the all-time great piano ballads, “Let It Be.” A less legendary figure could walk off the stage right after that, but not Paul. He still has to set off fireworks during “Live and Let Die” and then lead Firefly in what had to be the biggest crowd singalong of the weekend: the second half of “Hey Jude.” Only then could he leave, but not without returning for an encore that gave us (among other things) the “Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End” medley from side 2 of Abbey Road.

They weren’t allowing photos of Paul at Firefly, but we did get pics of him at the Philly show he played two days later. That one was at Wells Fargo Arena on Sunday (6/21). More pics from that, with his Firefly setlist, below…

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Paul McCartney at Firefly 2015 Setlist: (via)
Birthday
Save Us
Got to Get You into My Life
Let Me Roll It
Paperback Writer
My Valentine
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
The Long and Winding Road
Maybe I’m Amazed
I’ve Just Seen a Face
We Can Work It Out
Another Day
And I Love Her
Blackbird
Here Today
New
Queenie Eye
Lady Madonna
Eleanor Rigby
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
Something
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Band on the Run
Back in the U.S.S.R.
Let It Be
Live and Let Die
Hey Jude

Encore:
Hi, Hi, Hi
Can’t Buy Me Love
Helter Skelter
Golden Slumbers
Carry That Weight
The End

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