Paul McCartney returned to The Beatles’ early stomping grounds for an intimate surprise concert today (July 26th). The music legend traveled to Liverpool to play at Cavern Club, a small space where the Fab Four were believed to have performed almost 300 times in the 1960s during the start of the Beatlemania craze.
Tickets were announced just hours prior to the 2pm local time gig and were limited to about 200 on a first-come, first-served basis. Those were who were able to score the free tickets considered their luck nothing short of a miracle. “It felt like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, like we’d got the golden ticket,” one ecstatic fan told The Guardian.
A golden ticket to a magical performance is certainly one way to think about the show. Inside Cavern Club this afternoon, McCartney rolled out hits and classics galore over the course of a 27-song setlist. The 76-year-old rocker played Beatles cuts (“All My Loving”, “Lady Madonna”, “Helter Skelter”, “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Do”) and Wings tunes (“Jet”, “Band on the Run”, “Hi, Hi, Hi”).
He, of course, also treated the crowd to his own solo entries, including “Come On to Me”, off his new Egypt Station album (September 7th). Additionally, McCartney did “In Spite of All the Danger”, a 1958 track originally released by pre-Beatles band The Quarrymen.
“Imagine this for real,” McCartney at one point addressed the room. “All those years ago, when we came here and played. We didn’t know if we’d ever have any future.” With a smile, he added, “But we did OK.”
As The Guardian notes, the original Cavern Club opened in 1957 and was located inside a warehouse cellar. It closed in 1973 and the space was filled in when the Merseyrail underground system was constructed. Using a number of the club’s original bricks, Cavern was then rebuilt and celebrated its reopening in 1984.
Today marked only the second time McCartney’s been back to Cavern since his ’60s Beatles days. He played a show there in 1999, the footage for which was later turned into the concert film Live at the Cavern Club.
Find footage of today’s concert below courtesy of the Daily Mail, followed by the full setlist.
Twenty Flight Rock (Eddie Cochran cover)
Magical Mystery Tour
All My Loving (The Beatles)
Martha My Dear
Rocky Raccoon (The Beatles)
Come On to Me
I’ve Got a Feeling
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five (Wings)
Lady Madonna (The Beatles)
In Spite of All the Danger (The Quarrymen)
Things We Said Today (The Beatles)
Love Me Do (The Beatles
Birthday (The Beatles)
I Wanna Be Your Man (The Beatles)
Get Back (The Beatles)
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Di (The Beatles)
Band on the Run (Wings)
Hi, Hi, Hi (Wings)
I Saw Her Standing There (The Beatles)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (The Beatles)
Helter Skelter (The Beatles)