A few weeks ago I wrote about my first time seeing Paul McCartney in concert back in 2009. It was the most perfect experience of my life and I never for a minute thought it would happen again… but it did. Just six months later, on 12 June 2010, he returned to Dublin to play an outdoor gig at the RDS on his ‘Up and Coming’ tour.
I found out about this concert in March when it was announced on the radio, and once again I was absolutely beside myself with excitement. I couldn’t believe he was coming back so soon! The tickets went on sale one morning while I was in school, and I had to wait until lunchtime to check my phone to see if my dad had managed to get them. When I got that text confirming that he had, I was so happy!
Unlike the first concert, which had taken place on the coldest day of the year, queueing to see Paul on 12 June was much more pleasant, as it was a lovely warm summer’s day. We arrived at the RDS in early afternoon and were among the first people on the queue. It was really nice chatting to other fans, some of whom had come from abroad. One of the security guys accidentally let slip that Paul would be arriving at the venue at 3pm, and a couple of us overheard him mention which entrance it would be. We wandered around there a few minutes beforehand, but when another security guy saw us hanging around, he started saying something into his walkie-talkie and headed inside. He was obviously changing the instructions, so we didn’t get to see Paul. Damn!
A little while later, when we were back on the queue, we got to hear the soundcheck! Being an outdoor gig, we could hear everything from the other side of the gate, and it was amazing. We heard ‘Letting Go’, ‘My Love’ and ‘Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five’, all of which were part of the setlist. Even though we couldn’t see what was happening, it was really something special to be able to hear Paul and the band do their soundcheck. I’ll never forget it.
The gate opened at about 6pm, and I ran as fast as I could through the grounds of the RDS. Someone shouted at me to stop running, but I didn’t care. I managed to get a spot right at the barrier, which was the best possible outcome. The layout was really weird. There was the standing area, the barrier, and then about 10-15 rows of seats in front of the stage, which seemed to be mostly occupied by minor celebrities and TV personalities. It was really frustrating, and for the first half of the concert those people just stayed in their seats. But I wasn’t going to let it ruin my enjoyment of seeing Paul again.
This time there was a support act: Irish band The Coronas. I don’t remember much about their set because I’m not a fan of theirs, and I was too busy waiting for Paul to pay much attention. Finally he came on at 8.30pm, and I was immediately transported back to the emotions I felt at the O2 in December. He opened with ‘Venus and Mars/Rock Show’, which was amazing. In fact, there were quite a few new additions to the setlist: ‘All My Loving’, ‘Letting Go’, ‘Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five’, ‘Two of Us’, ‘Let ‘Em In’ and ‘I’m Looking Through You’, to name but a few. Combined with the regular favourites, it was a fantastic set.
Paul was really funny once again, and there was a lot of crowd interaction. He learned a few new Irish phrases and read out people’s signs, some of which were hilarious. One of them was a marriage proposal, but unfortunately he was spoken for! One of the highlights was when everyone started singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him. He seemed really pleased and said, “Thanks, but it’s not til next Friday!”
Overall, Paul’s voice was top notch and the band were in great form. I was every bit as emotional as the first time I saw him, which just goes to show that any opportunity to see Paul McCartney is a truly magical experience not to be missed. But then I wasn’t surprised by that, considering my intense adoration for the man and his music! I have to admit, though, that I prefer indoor gigs. Outside, the sound tends to get lost in the wind, or at least that’s my impression of it. But quite honestly, I would see Paul anywhere, anytime.
My voice was completely hoarse afterwards and my legs were like jelly, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I felt like the happiest person alive. I’m hoping for a third opportunity to see him in the not too distant future… fingers crossed!