February 9, 1990 – 7: 43 p.m. – The lights faded out, and a fourteen minute film opened a most anticipated concert. The film focused on 25 years of history, which includes Jackie Kennedy, Apollo landing on the moon, and Tiananmen Square; from early Beatles’ days of music to John Lennon’s tragic death in 1980, to Paul McCartney’s present day solo career. Suddenly the screen went black, and a hum of excitement escaped the crowd. Unexpectedly, the screen flashed ,
N O W
Out of nowhere, Paul McCartney and his five member band appeared on the stage! Everyone stood up and yelled, cheered, clapped and cried. The moment was now at hand. The “cute Beatle” was about to begin his last concert in Massachusetts, on the last part of his first concert trek in over fourteen years. After a few minutes of joking around with the audience, Paul started a 2-1/2 hour show, with a track called “Figure of Eight,” from his latest album, “Flowers in the Dirt”.
From that time until 10: 30 p.m., we all would witness an event of a lifetime.
This concert was packed with thirty songs, ranging from The Beatles (“Hey Jude” and “Yesterday”) to Fats Domino (“Ain’t That A Shame”) to Eddie Cochran (“Twenty Flight Rock”) to McCartney’s own post-Beatle material (“Put it There,” “Coming up” and “Live and Let Die”). The most exhilarating numbers were “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (equipped with its own five-minute film). The most moving songs were, of course, “Yesterday,” “Hey Jude,” and “Let It Be…” During these songs, everyone was hugging someone, holding up lighters, and crying – all at the same time!!!
Unquestionably, the Worcester Centrum was shaking all night long. The concert featured an extremely impressive laser show during both films and eight selected songs, thanks to Marc Brickman.
Along with the laser shows, the set was well-equipped with many accessories , such as a rising and revolving piano on a hydraulic jack. The set up for the keyboard equipment would periodically move horizontally across the rear of the stage. As for the lighting, well, it could never get better than this (thanks to Michael Keller) – four very large sets of spotlights were constantly moving around above the stage, together with the other spotlights on the sides, rear and front, as well as outlining the stage. The sound system was adequate for the Centrum, as it included four large speakers that were strategically placed for maximum auditory enjoyment; and if that did not suffice, five smaller speakers were scattered around the front of the stage.
It was obvious when “Hey Jude” was performed that this concert was coming to its unwanted close. After that song, Paul and his band left the stage for a minute. Then they returned to perform one of the greatest encores ever. It lasted about ten minutes, but seemed only like ten seconds. “Yesterday,” “Get Back,” and the Abbey Road medley of “Golden Slumbers,” “Carry That Weight,” and “The End” concluded this magnificent concert, forever, with these last words:
“And in the end
the love you take,
is equal to the love you make.” n
Editor’s note: Paul McCartney will be back at Sullivan Stadium on July 24 and 26.