It was only fitting that Paul McCartney's first show ever in South Dakota began with perhaps the most iconic chord in rock and roll history - the unmistakable opening note to the title track of The Beatles' first feature film, 'A Hard Day's Night'.

That set the mood for what came next - a 38-song jaunt thru one of the most prolific music libraries in history. The journey went all the way back to Sir Paul's pre-Fab Four Days and all the way forward to last year's collaboration with two of today's hottest pop stars.

The set started in full band mode, with Paul sporting his signature left-handed bass guitar. The quintet ran thru Beatles' classics 'Can't Buy Me Love' and 'I've Got A Feeling', as well as the Wings song 'Letting Go', and some of Paul's solo material, like 'Temporary Secretary' and 'Save Us'.

It was during this stretch that Paul got in his first tribute of the night. At the very end of his song 'Let Me Roll It', Paul broke into a short instrumental version of the Jimi Hendrix classic 'Foxy Lady', followed by a story about how Jimi played the title track to 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' just two days after it was released in 1967.

Paul's next dedication came moments later from behind his piano. He sent out 'My Valentine' to his wife Nancy, who was among the 11,000 people at the PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls.

The romantic feel of the set continued later with The Beatles 'Here, There, and Everywhere' and Wings 'Maybe I'm Amazed' played back-to-back.

From there it was back to the front of the stage for Paul, where the rest of the band joined him for an 'unplugged' set. Some of the highlights - 'In Spite of All the Danger', a 1958 song Paul and John Lennon wrote for their pre-Beatles band The Quaryrmen, and The Beatles 'Love Me Do', which Paul dedicated to legendary producer Sir George Martin, who passed away last month at the age of 90.

Later, with Paul by himself, raised high above the stage, he talked in more detail about Lennon. Paul spoke of missing out on the chance to say goodbye to his friend, and played 'Here Today', a song he wrote shortly after Lennon was killed in December of 1980, about a conversation he never had with his longtime songwriting partner.

Another touching tribute featured Paul on ukulele, dedicating Geroge Harrison's 'Something' to the late Beatle guitarist, who died of cancer in November of 2001.

In the midst of all of the reminiscing, Paul broke out a reminder of how relevant he remains on today's music scene, playing 'FourFiveSeconds', a collaboration he did last year with Rihanna and Kanye West.

Two moments fans will be talking about forever were the amazing pyrotechnics accompanying 'Live and Let Die', the title track to the 1973 James Bond film, and an inspired audience sing along to the Beatles classic 'Hey Jude'.

During the show, Paul polled the audience for an impromptu census, asking people if they were from Sioux Falls, the rest of South Dakota, or out-of-state. After receiving an enthusiastic response on all three, Paul said 'Your local tourist board thanks you!'.

For his encore, Paul re-took the stage waving an American flag, with another band member hoisting Britain's  Union Jack, and another the South Dakota state flag. The extra set began with 'Yesterday' and the Wings song 'Hi, Hi, Hi'.

The encore provided another special moment for a young boy and his mom. Simon Berry was spotted the crowd holding a sign that said 'please sign my mom'. Paul had Simon and his mother, Michelle (who told Paul she was named after his song of the same name), come to the stage, and obliged, autographing Michelle's arm with a sharpie. That signature will no doubt be turned into a tattoo.

The evening closed with a portion of the medley that ends The Beatles 1969 album Abbey Road - 'Golden Slumbers', 'Carry That Weight', and 'The End'. The latter providing a fitting end to an evening of musical perfection with one of the most poignant lines ever written:

And in the end,

the love you take,

is equal to the love you make.

Setlist:

  • 'A Hard Day’s Night'
  • 'Save Us'
  • 'Can’t Buy Me Love'
  • 'Letting Go'
  • 'Temporary Secretary'
  • 'Let Me Roll It'
  • 'I’ve Got a Feeling'
  • 'My Valentine'
  • 'Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five'
  • 'Here, There and Everywhere'
  • 'Maybe I’m Amazed'
  • 'We Can Work It Out'
  • 'In Spite of All the Danger'
  • 'You Won’t See Me'
  • 'Love Me Do'
  • 'And I Love Her'
  • 'Blackbird'
  • 'Here Today'
  • 'Queenie Eye'
  • 'New'
  • 'The Fool on the Hill'
  • 'Lady Madonna'
  • 'FourFiveSeconds'
  • 'Eleanor Rigby'
  • 'Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!'
  • 'Something'
  • 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da'
  • 'Band on the Run'
  • 'Back in the U.S.S.R.'
  • 'Let It Be'
  • 'Live and Let Die'
  • 'Hey Jude'

Encore

  • 'Yesterday'
  • 'Hi, Hi, Hi'
  • 'Birthday'
  • 'Golden Slumbers'
  • 'Carry That Weight'
  • 'The End'

Can't get enough McCartney these days? There's a new book examining Paul's career, Paul McCartney: The Life, out today. It's written by Phillip Norman, who penned the 1981 book Shout!, about The Beatles.

(Little, Brown and Company)

In the book, Norman turned to Paul's family - his stepmother Angie, stepsister Ruth, cousin Ian Harris and brother Michael - to help provide some insight into the rock and roll legend's childhood and upbringing.

Norman was able to enlist the input from McCartney's inner circle after getting approval from Sir Paul himself.


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