|16 Jun 2008 @ 14:52, by Vladimir Zhivotovsky|
On June 14, Kiev hailed a world legend – Sir Paul McCartney and his team, who gave here a 2.5 hour concert “for peace, love and unity”. The concert was given with a complete self-devotion by Mr McCartney to an over 350.000-strong crowd gathered on the Independence Sq – Ukraine’s “main square”. Overall, according to some estimates, the concert had been watched in the “outdoors mode” by some 550 thousand people across all Ukraine as it was being relayed via satellite to specially built big outdoor screens in other major nation’s cities – Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa, Lvov, Donetsk, and Sevastopol. From 10 to 14 million (more than a quarter of the entire population) people watched it live on TV. The ex-Beatle’s concert (a rare event in this part of the world) – the only in the history analogous shows were concerts held in Russia in Moscow(2003) and St. Petersburg (2004) – had “happened” on invitation by a Ukrainian businessman, millionaire and modern art supporter, creator of now famous Pinchuk Art Center, Viktor Pinchuk.
The concert had required involvement of a 500-strong team of specialists from different countries. 40 trucks with 80 tons of equipment and other stuff were used for logistics purposes. The stage was being mounted for 10 days. Also, under the stage, at an underground trade center, an exhibition devoted to The Beatles’ history was deployed.
The only sad event which could indeed have jeopardize the show itself - McCartney was even at a certain point advised to cancel the concert - was very heavy rain which started in Kiev this evening 2 hours prior to the fixed time of the concert’s beginning. Many Kievites were totally unprepared for it - their documents, phones and cameras got drenched, some even tried to protect themselves with garbage bags. [I and my “group” – me, my wife, and another couple – were just partially prepared as we had 2 woman's umbrellas with not enough “capacity” for the entire four – but boy, torrents on the road were so harsh that my socks got completely soaked through as I tried to overcome pedestrian crossings, you know. As other three also were wet already and it was not so warm, as night was approaching, we took a decision to rush home and watch it all on TV (I think that if not for that rain the crowd on the square and adjacent streets would have been even larger). Of course, people blamed Pinchuk for the rain, saying, “f…k, if he had managed to organize such a concert and he was very wealthy, why he couldn’t also have paid for a couple of aircraft to dispel that horrific black clouds with chemistry like they successfully did that over the Red Square in Moscow before parades there.”]
But the real wonder happened, and although the concert was delayed a bit, when Paul went on the stage, clouds began getting lighter and finally the rain stopped. [So, we missed around 10 songs until we got home and turned our TV-set on.]
The complete list of Beatles’, Wings’ and McCartney’s solo songs rendered is as follows:
1. Drive My Car
3. All My Loving
4. Only Mama Knows
5. Flaming Pie
6. Got To Get You Into My Life
7. Let Me Roll It
8. C Moon
9. My Love
10. Let 'Em In
11. The Long And Winding Road
12. Dance Tonight
14. Calico Skies
15. I'll Follow The Sun
16. Mrs Vanderbilt (a special version, on special request of funs, also the leader of Internet voting)
17. Eleanor Rigby
19. Good Day Sunshine
20. Penny Lane
21. Band On The Run
23. Back In The USSR
24. I Got A Feeling
25. Live And Let Die
26. Let It Be
27. Hey Jude
28. A Day In The Life/Give Peace A Chance
29. Lady Madonna
30. Get Back
31. I Saw Her Standing There
33. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Among the VIP-audience there were Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko's guards - he himself didn't show up though, former president Kuchma, also president of Georgia (not to confuse with USA’s state Georgia :-)), many ministers and MPs and other guys from "the elite" (notorious Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko had not come out of fear to receive a shower of kisses at the VIP-zone,a usual thing there, according to her). Of course, funs from all over the former Soviet Union (as well as from the U.K.(Liverpool) and other countries) arrived by trains, planes and buses to see their idol for....(put the right number) time.
Sir McCartney’s concert was given free for the general audience; still money collected from the VIP-zone lovers will be transferred to a charity fund for the purpose of holding research in the field of child cancer in Ukraine.
Among other “not comparable” with the very concert :-) sheduled events were presenting Sir Paul with some gifts from funs (including Ukrainian authentic folk musical instrument kobza), his meeting with President Yushchenko where “issues related to The Beatles’ influence of contemporary music’s development and ‘bringing up the young generation in the spirit of humanism, freedom and patriotism’ were discussed.” Yushchenko said Sir Paul ‘Thank You’. (BTW, McCartney learned some Ukrainian words and phrases and lavishly inserted them (along with some Russian ones :-)) between songs. Just being on the brink of the finale, he snatched a big Ukrainian flag and swung with it a bit from one side to another.)
The concert was really miraculous and McCartney looked so young and fresh and inflammatory…
Also, on Sunday (June 15) McCartney held a solemn opening ceremony at the Pinchuk Art Center, where 41 paintings (1988-99) by him will be displayed for almost a month without charge for everyone (as everything in that gallery, by the way). The McCartney exhibition seems to be a first of its kind in Eastern Europe. He has drawn some 500 paintings overall (not for sale! :-), can’t by me one).
So, Sir McCartney’s show this year in Kiev, Sir Elton John’s – last year on the same place [I was there, the weather was fine then, fortunately], which legend might be next? [I personally dream of Chicago; Blood, Sweat and Tears; Earth, Wind and Fire, and maybe the Temptations right in the heart of Kiev].
Materials of websites [link] and [link] have been used in this article.
[Folks, you may re-write, proof-read and further use it, if you need it :-)].
On the photo: McCartney tries sound quality 6 hours prior to the Kiev concert.