After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

The man, the Beatle, the musical legend: Paul McCartney plays for 3 hours at Rogers Arena

Paul McCartney plays Rogers Arena during his brings his One on One world tour. Photo slide show by by Craig Fleisch.

Seventy three years young and still rocking out, Paul McCartney came to impress his loyal fans both young and old at Rogers Arena.

The Vancouver portion of his One on One world tour spanned over two days, which if you ask me, is really not enough time.

Opening night started off fittingly with Hard Days Night. 'Fittingly' because Paul worked damn hard playing over three hours with a whopping 38 songs, four of which were encores, most of them hits, and only one costume change.

With a lifetime of music under his belt, it's extraordinary what this musical legend has achieved in his career. Before getting into the evening's setlist, let me just put things into perspective for you:

- 17 Solo albums (1970's - 2013)
- 7 Wings albums (1971 - 1979)
- 5 Classical albums (1991 - 2011)
- 7 Other albums (Films, Collaborations, etc...)
- 27 / 4 Beatles albums (Studio / Live)

- 21 time Grammy Award Winner
- 32 songs on the Billboard Top 100 (Written & co-written by Paul McCartney)
- He has been Knighted for his service to music

Okay, so, you get it now. He is the man, the Beatle, the musical legend, Sir Paul McCartney. Back to the show.

Alongside Paul were his four horseman, Brian Ray (Bass Guitarist), Rusty Anderson (Lead Guitarist), Paul “Wix” Wickens (Keyboard) and Abe Laboriel, Jr. (Drummer) who funnily now have played with Paul for a longer period of time than Paul played with the Beatles. 

For most of the evening he was backed up by his band vocally. However, the crowd got an unexpected surprise when local Canadian jazz pianist, Diana Krall came on stage to sing My Valentine

The set design was fairly simple aside from a massive screen that took up the entire width of the stage. The screen was accompanied by two others on either side and awesome lighting display.

Paul admits songs come to him in different ways. Sometimes through a phrase or even through conversation. For instance, Here Today was written for John Lennon after he passed away in the form of a conversation he never got to have.

If it wasn't enough to keep the crowd entertained with hit after hit song, Paul engaged with the crowd throughout the show, giving insight into his songs.

He admitted when he wrote Back In the USSR he never got a chance to sing it for the Russians in Russia. However, a few years ago he got to perform in front of the Kremlin for the first time.

In fact, he is the only rock band to have been allowed to perform in Russia. He got the opportunity to meet the Russian Defence Minister who admitted, weirdly enough, that the first record he ever bought was Love Me Do.

Paul jokingly told the story of another Russian military figure who said, "We learn all of our English from the Beatles' records." Then said, "Hello goodbye" and proceeded to walk away.

These stories amongst many others gave Vancouver fans a better understanding of Paul and ultimately helped form a deeper connection to him and his music.

That deep connection was very evident when for his last three songs, the entire arena stood including for Let It Be.

And for the first time in a very long time, I'm pretty sure I witnessed more lighters in the air than phone screens (but don't quote me on that). 

This magical moment was followed by Live and Let Die which picked up the tempo ten-fold. By far the loudest and hottest part of the evening when the entire stage lit up with epic shooting flames and loud bangs.

It was entrancing but also frightening. The woman in front of me gripped her husband more tightly with each successive flame burst.

Lastly, Paul got the entire audience involved singing the chorus to Hey Jude. "Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah thundered throughout Rogers arena .

Two solid nights of Paul McCartney live in Vancouver is something fans will soon not forget. 

Evening Setlist:

1. Hard Days Night
2. Save Us
3. Can't Buy Me Love
4. Letting Go
5. Temporary Secretary
6. Let Me Roll It
7. I've Got A Feeling
8. My Valentine
9. 1985
10. Here There and Everywhere
11. Maybe I'm Amazed
12. We Can Work It Out
13. In Spite Of All The Danger
14. You Won't See Me
15. Love Me Do
16. And I Love Her
17. Love Me Do
18. Blackbird
19. Here Today
20. Queenie Eye
21. New
22. Fool On The Hill
23. Lady Madonna
24. Four Five Seconds
25. Eleanor Rigby
26. Mr. Kite
27. Something
28. Obla Di Obla Da
29. Band On The Run
30. Back In The USSR
31. Let It Be
32. Live And Let Die
33. Hey Jude


34. Yesterday
35. Hi Hi Hi
36. Mull Of Kintyre
37. Birthday
38. Golden Slumbers

More in News

Views from a refugee camp: Who gets into heaven?

I have just returned to Vancouver Island from Greek refugee camps where I met a Yazidi man named Jason who told me about his escape from ISIS in Iraq.   His story begins on a desert road where a...

Vancouver's bicycle sharing grows as 15 new stations installed

Mobi bicycle by Shaw Go in Vancouver. Photo by Christopher Porter from Flickr Creative Commons

International Women's Day Concert celebrates female musicians who turned tragedy into triumph

Every March 8, on International Women's Day, we hear about the achievements of brilliant, talented women around the world. But how often do we learn about the physical and mental disabilities or...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.