Paul McCartney O2 Dublin Review


Looked forward to this gig greatly. It’s not often you get to see a Beatle live and my favorite one at that!

The luas extension to the O2 from our Tallaght base was dead handy and we arrived in good time on a freezing night to grab a warming coffee and find our seats, or so we thought! It turned out that between the time I chose my seats while booking priority tickets online to the time I paid, I managed to go from securing great seats to standing only. Pretty disappointing as I vowed never to stand at a gig again after U2 in Slane. Bad back you see. I was pretty pissed of for a while as I thought I booked seats and I don’t know why there was a block and seat number on the printed tickets? Sure enough by the end of the night I was in agony both from standing and from the bitch beside me who seemed to think she was the only one at the gig and flailed around whacking everyone close to her..

Moaning out of the way, it was an awesome gig. The countdown started with an incredible, vertically scrolling montage/slideshow of images from the 60’s inluding many photos and press cuttings of the Beatles and other big names and events from the era including Hendrix and Joplin.

Being someone who makes these kinds of slideshows myself but on a much smaller scale, I could really appreciate the work that went into all the cutouts and layout. The whole thing lasted about 20 mins and played to a backing track of Beatles remixes. Very impressive.

Paul and his excellent band came on at about 8:30 and started off with “Magical Mystery Tour” complete with psychedelic video backgrounds. He then spent the next two and a half hours going through only part of an awesome back catalog of Beatles and Wings tunes with some if his solo stuff thrown in as well as one or 2 covers including a bit of Hendrix!

Highlights for me included, a very emotional solo, acoustic tribute to Lennon “Here Today”, an explosive (literally) version of “Live and Let Die”, “Something” (played partly on Ukulele!), an acoustic version of “Blackbird” and all the great piano standards like “Hey Jude”, “Long and Winding Road” and “Let it Be”. I counted 5 different instruments played equally well by Paul. Bass, Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin and Piano. Pity he didn’t give the Drums a bash although the band drummer was excellent.

McCartney was on form all night and was his usual wise cracking self and threw in quite a few phrases as gaeilge, with decent pronunciation, the least you’d expect from a lad from “Ireland’s real capital, Liverpool” as he cheekily said!

The band returned for 2 encores at the end and the night didn’t seem to to take much out of a guy pushing 70. You got the feeling he could have gone on all night. I would happily have listened all night too if it wasn’t for my back giving in..

Definitely a gig to remember and great to have seen a living legend. Here’s some Pics, Video and a Setlist:

Magical Mystery Tour
Drive My Car
Only Mama Knows
Flaming Pie
Got To Get You Into My Life
Let Me Roll It/Foxy Lady (tribute to Jimi Hendrix!)
Long And Winding Road
(I Want To) Come Home
My Love (tribute to Linda)
Here Today (moving tribute to “friend John”)
Dance Tonight (one of his best recently written songs!)
And I Love Her
Eleanor Rigby (great)
Something (started off with solo ukulele!)
Mrs Vandebilt
Sing the Changes
Wonderful Christmas Time (he had to do 1 xmas song!)
Band on the Run (great version!)
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Back in the USSR
I’ve Got a Feeling (great riff!)
Paperback Writer
A Day in the Life/Give Peace a Chance
Let It Be
Live and Let Die (explosive!)
Hey Jude

Day Tripper
Lady Madonna
Get Back

Encore 2
Yesterday (awesome!)
Helter Skelter
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.


Rated 4/5 on Dec 21 2009
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Posted in Reviews on December 21st, 2009
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  • Ruth Lardner

    Hi Leon! It was absolutely fantastic. I was at the very front leaning on barriers beside his piano to the right of the stage. That was my first time seeing Paul live and it was worth every penny! Ah it was a great performance from him- couldn’t fault it. Live and let die nearly gave me a heart attack!! and i’m twenty! so i wasn’t surprised when Macca pretended he was going to head home after that one!!
    Sheer brilliance
    Merry Christmas

  • barry hannan

    only 4 stars, jesus man i would have given him 10, a genius without question, please god he returns to dublin again soon

    • Leon

      @ Barry 5 out of 5’s are reserved for life changing experiences only!

  • Mick

    I love the guy but in doing a review you’ve got to be objective. I think 4 stars is about right unless you make allowances that he is 67 and then 5 out of 5 would be appropriate.

    The amount of songs he got through and his energy level was astonishing. His voice was better than I thought as a few people told me they felt his voice was gone after seeing him on X Factor.

    He was particularly good on the Wings stuff (Jet, Band on the Run) and the rockier numbers like Get Back and I’ve Got a Feeling. Live and Let Die was a highlight.

    His voice has changed and it has a more raucous bluesy feel. On some of the more melodic songs his voice does not quite flow as effortlessly as it did but I accept that is probably being a tad overly critical but I’m a bit of a zealot.

    I thought at times the sound was too full, particularly with Hey Jude. It drowned out the beauty of the vocals in this. Paperback Writer lost something as Macca played guitar on it and for me his bass line is a highlight of the song.


    • Leon

      @ Mick. I’ve been to a few gigs in the O2 recently and always thought the sound was mushy, way to loud and unclear. I think thats the modern way, just blast people out of it with too many watts..The acoustic stuff sounded great though.

  • john smith

    Did paul go up to the bar upstairs after? I heard he did.

    • Leon

      @ John. I don’t know, didn’t stick around, needed to catch a Luas! I did read other stuff in the paper this morning about him making a lot of crazy, veggie demands on the night…if its true he sounds like a bit of a diva..

  • james mc namara

    thanx for review.i was there as well and thought he was awsum.just didnt want it to end.hope to see him again soon.

  • Hannah

    It was sooo good.
    Only thing was I’m scottish so I didn’t know what he was saying when he spoke Irish.
    Anyone help me out?

    • Leon

      @ Hannah – Scots Gaelic must be similar to Irish!? He basically said the usual crap, “Hello”, “How are you”, etc..nothing too deep.

  • Ruth Lardner

    @ Hannah:
    He said
    “Céad míle fáilte”- A thousand welcomes (Hello in Irish)
    “cad é an scéal?”- Whats the story?
    “Nollaig shona dhaoibh”- Happy Christmas!

    @ Leon: You are way too critical. Did you expect Paul to pull you up on stage to show him how its done? lol Maybe you should do reports instead of reviews.. you’ll never impress anyone by criticising someone like Macca! No criticism will do him any good now…. he made it big nearly 50 years ago and now he does things the way he wants it… for his fans… not his critics

  • Hannah

    @ Leon: I don’t speak scots gaelic. Nobody does really, atleast not in the central belt, not like irish. Thanks for the help.
    @ Ruth: Thanks :)

  • john smith

    The gig was phenomenal but the audience was quite reserved. i felt a bit of a tit when i got up and rocked along! and as a venue the sound is not great. The 02 in london is the best place. I would give anything to see macca there tonight. (suprised hes not playing Liverpool!)Oh and i rang the 02, apparentley he didnt go upstairs, someone was bullshitting me.

  • Ruth Lardner

    @Hannah: no bother ;)anything to help the Scottish! Should be studying in Dundee for a year next year! Did you know he meant to do gigs in Scotland and Wales as well apparently but it couldn’t be arranged at short notice. Thats what i heard anyway!

    @ John Smith: sure there wasn’t any great movement going on at the very front and to the right of the stage where i was… the people sitting on balconies looked asleep! But the crowds were good for singing along. There were about 40 people in centre front of the stage going mad the whole time and that was about it… I think most of us were looking at the whole thing with our mouths open!!

    I found the sound normal/good where i was but i was expecting it to be extremely loud… kinda glad it wasn’t

  • Marc Sutton

    Macca was definitely gig of the year for me. Thoughroughly professional performance interlaced with touching stories about George and John. His band were absolutely superb. Macca played for two and three quarter hours straight and put many of todays young performers to shame. The tickets were expensive at 156 euro but did I get value for money??? you bet I did and then some. An almost perfect set list but a perfect performance. A LIVING LEGEND!!!

  • Donna

    I cant understand anyone having any slight negative comment, this was a great performance, well worth the €160 seating ticket, i just couldnt get my head around the two dudes in front of me picking on two elderley men beside me cause they asked guys in front to not keep hopping up everytime macca touched his nose ha ha ha, they just wouldnt leave it out total twats lol !!!

  • john smith

    Donna to be honest at a sit down gig there is nothing more annoying than someone in front of you dancing all night. Ok now and again but you go to see a concert not some assholes asshole!

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  • david rae

    going to see him tonight at hampden can’t wait.

    anybody know what time the gig starts and finished roughly

  • Enver

    i missed the whole lot.but i really think beatles are great.and paul is one of them.i grew up listening to trheir songs,actually i learned english listening to mumm was mad about them :).and to you all dont forget the fact that Paul is the the socond on my top charts right after barry :)

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  • Adie Andrews

    That was the most trilling performance of Paul even though he is not at his best age he still makes amazing show.
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  • Go Fair

    McCarthney is so brilliant for me and I should say that I was totally inlove with his music. However I think that his ages will soon stop him to continue with such unique performances like this in O2

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  • Leon QuinnThanks for checking out my Blog! I'm a Multimedia/Web Designer based in Leitrim, Ireland. Leon.

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