On Sept. 7, Paul McCartney celebrated the release of his album Egypt Station with an invitation-only show at Grand Central Station's Vanderbilt Hall in New York City. The free concert was announced on Sept. 5, but the venue was kept secret until the day of the show. Fans had a chance to win admission to the concert, which was livestreamed by YouTube Music. About 300 fans watched the show in person, while hundreds stood outside Vanderbilt Hall to at least try to hear the concert. Grand Central Station, which is one of the busiest public-transit stations in the world, was kept open during the show, and there was very tight security to make sure that the concert crowd wouldn't get in the way of Grand Central Station passengers and customers. Celebrities in attendance at McCartney's Grand Central Station show included Sean Lennon, Jon Bon Jovi, Meryl Streep, Amy Schumer, Chris Rock, Steve Buscemi, Bobby Cannavale and Kate Moss. Giles Martin, son of longtime Beatles producer George Martin, handled the concert's sound/audio production, according to the Associated Press.
McCartney plays a mixture of Beatles, Wings and solo songs at his concerts, but for the Grand Central Station show, he decided to change things up a bit by not performing certain hits that have been staples of his concerts in recent years. He still performed classics such as "A Hard Day's Night," "Can't Buy Me Love" and "Back in the U.S.S.R.," but there was no "Hey Jude," "Live and Let Die" or "Maybe I'm Amazed." Instead, he played lesser-known songs, such as the Beatles' "I've Got a Feeling" and Wings' "Letting Go" and "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five." For his solo songs, he stuck to those that have been released in the 21st century, such as "Dance Tonight" from his 2007 album Memory Almost Full and "My Valentine" from 2012's Kisses on the Bottom. As expected, McCartney performed songs from Egypt Station, but only two tracks from the album: "Come on to Me" and "Fuh You." He ended the set with "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight" and "The End," the trio of songs that close the Beatles' Abbey Road album.
The Grand Central Station concert is one of several free, intimate shows that McCartney has been performing this year. The shows have been announced a day or two in advance. His 2018 "surprise" shows began June 9 with a performance at the Philharmonic Dining Rooms in the Beatles' hometown of Liverpool, England. He then performed at the famed Abbey Road Studios in London on July 25. He returned to Liverpool on July 26 to perform at the Cavern Club, where the Beatles did many of their earliest gigs.
While in Liverpool, McCartney filmed "Carpool Karaoke" with James Corden. The segment became so popular after it aired June 21 on "The Late, Late Show With James Corden," that CBS turned it into an hour-long special—"Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live From Liverpool"—that premiered on Aug. 20.
McCartney's other U.S. late-night show appearance to promote Egypt Station was on Sept. 6 on NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," where McCartney performed "Come on to Me."
As previously reported, McCartney's Freshen Up Tour in support of Egypt Station begins in North America for a string of dates (mostly in Canada) that range from Sept. 17 in Quebec City to U.S. shows at the Austin City Limits Music Festival on Oct. 5 and Oct. 12. The tour then goes to Japan on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 in Tokyo and Nov. 8 in Nagoya, and then the European leg begins Nov. 28 in Paris and ends Dec. 16 in London. The tour then heads to the U.S. in 2019. Five U.S. dates for 2019 have been announced so far—May 27 in Raleigh, North Carolina through June 11 in Moline, Illinois—but there will be more 2019 McCartney tour dates to be announced. Keep up with the latest McCartney news on AXS.
Here is the set list for McCartney's Grand Central Station concert on Sept. 7, 2018: