Sunday, June 15, 2008

Paul McCartney Plays To 350,000 In Kiev

KIEV, Ukraine -- Paul McCartney performed in front of 350,000 people in Kiev, last night (June 14), the largest audience for a gig Ukraine has ever seen.

Former Beatles band member Paul McCartney waves to fans prior to his concert in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, June 14, 2008.

The former Beatle and his band performed a mammoth 33-song set in the capital's Independence Square, playing songs including 'Drive My Car', 'Blackbird', 'Penny Lane' and 'Hey Jude'.

McCartney also performed a number of songs from his solo career and his time with Wings, such as 'Jet', 'C Moon', 'Dance Tonight' and 'Mrs Vanderbilt', the latter of which fans had petitioned for.

The singer greeted the audience, which included former Ukrainian and actual Georgian presidents Leonid Kuchma and Mikheil Saakashvili, by the words in Ukrainian "Pryvit, druzi!" (Hello, friends!). "Thank you for coming out in the rain tonight".

The event, called the Independence Concert, was organised by Ukrainian tycoon Victor Pinchuk and aimed to unite the country split between the pro-Western central and west and pro-Russian south-eastern regions.

The gig was simultaneously broadcast on giant screens in six other Ukrainian cities and on television, with an estimated 10 million people watching.

"And now a little bit of history", the ex-Beatle said in Ukrainian before singing "Back in the U.S.S.R.", the hit that had been perceived by the Soviet fans of The Beatles as a hint that "Liverpool four" had intentions to visit their state.

After performing a number of encores, McCartney finished the set with 'Yesterday' and 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'.

Source: NME UK/AFP

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