When I was in junior high school I went through a whole 50's and 60's phase. I made mixed tapes [remember those?] of music from that time period. I borrowed records from the library and recorded them onto cassette tape. I borrowed all the Beatles greatest hits albums and transferred them to cassette tape. This was also around the time Duran Duran hit it big and I quickly transferred my obsession to them and the new British Invasion.
In a million years I would have never thought I'd ever have a chance to see someone of the calibre of Paul McCartney in concert anywhere near my home. People like that only toured in the US and maybe had one or two concert dates in Canada.
As a piano "mackdaddy", I've taught many students to play Let it Be, Hey Jude, and Yesterday. I've felt it is my duty as a music teacher to educate the up and coming about relative music. I teach the songs and I try to teach the story behind it.
In 2012, I went to New York and saw the building John Lennon was killed in front of. I walked through Central Park which contains Strawberry Fields and a memorial to John Lennon.
This year. I got to go to Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan for an evening of magic with 40,000 other people. I saw Sir Paul McCartney in concert for the final night of the North American Out There tour.
It was EPIC.
We drove into Regina about 4pm and checked into the Days Inn which has the highest beds of all time. Seriously, when I stood beside the bed, it was hip high. We couldn't find a restaurant so we had to get a quick and untastey burger at McDonald's before we lined up for the shuttle buses to the stadium. We were there at what we thought was early. Within a very short period of time the line traveled around the entire parking lot. The buses could only take 45 people at a time. There weren't enough buses. Some people were opting to drive instead but the city strongly urged people to take the SGI sponsored shuttles instead. So we stuck with the shuttles.
That wasn't the worst of it.
When we got to the block before the stadium there were streets blocked off with police everywhere. The line up for the gate to our seating was a city block long. The signage inside the stadium was poor. It was hot and we had been standing forever. Bottled water was $4. So finally we found our seats and settled in. I use the word 'seat' generously because it was a bench basically. The guy on the isle got the worst of it by only half perching on the seat.
Because it was taking such an enormous amount of time for fans to get there the concert did not start on time. It started an hour after it's supposed initial start time of 8pm. But something was happening and does tend to happen when 40,000 people are in a stadium together and the sun is setting making the moon [and I'm not talking about Jon Cornish here] over Mosaic a magical place.
Finally, Paul appeared on stage and from there on out.....it was purely 3 hours of legendary music spanning 50 years. We heard tributes to Lennon and Harrison. We heard songs dedicated to two of his wives. We heard stories of recordings and playing with Jimmy Hendrix and it was all incredible. At one point he took a certain section of the stage to himself. It was himself and his guitar, which he played about 5 different types. McCartney talked about telling people how much you love them while you have the chance and how he didn't with John Lennon. Then he sang a song about him and the stage began to rise up while water falls emerge on the screens below. Paul wiped away a tear when he was done.
At another point in the concert, he took to his piano to sing Let it Be. I've heard it billions of times. This was the most emotional time I've ever experienced it as the entire stadium lit up with lighters and cell phones. Again, Paul was clearly moved by the outpouring of emotion from the crowd.
The most mind blowing part of the concert was the rendition of Live and Let Die. I can't even hardly explain the jaw dropping excitement as flames were shot off the stage and fireworks streaked into the night sky. Wow. Just plain WOW.
During the 1st encore Hubby pulled my arm and said we should go and catch our bus. We were clearly leaving early as by the time we hit the bottom of the stairs Paul had broken into Yesterday. So we stood outside on the street with tons of other people listening in the night. When it was over we headed to our bus while more fireworks went off and could be seen for blocks around.
Today we were lucky and beat the rush to the continental breakfast which was delish! We needed it because we were sight seeing before heading home for the 3 hour drive. The first place we went was the Legislature Building. This is the massive building which our Premiere Brad Wall conducts all provincial business. It is on the bank of Wascana Lake and features immaculate gardens, sculptures and walking trails. There was a tour which takes a half hour but we had other places to get to.
Rider practice!!!!! We got a little lost trying to find Leibel Field but finally found it. It was 32*C so we didn't stay as long as originally planned. It was fun to watch the team practice. It was cool to hear the 'wolf pack' howl in unison a number of times. I snapped a few shots before we left for lunch.
Because of the heat, we decided to drive and eat. We found the highway and zoomed off with enough vivid memories to last a life time. I am still drinking it all in. It is amazing to be Out There.