Several Weyburn fans of Sir Paul McCartney were among the 40,000 sold-out crowd at Mosaic Stadium on Wednesday night.
For those lucky fans, they enjoyed a jam-packed three-hour performance from McCartney, with 37 songs on the set list.
“It was friggin’ awesome! He was well worth the wait,” said CJ Mainil. She sat in the 14th row of the concert with her husband Michael, their tickets a birthday gift that Michael purchased.
“I loved the stories he was telling, he really knows how to tell a story,” said Mainil. One of her favourite parts of the concert was the pyrotechnics during “Live and Let Die”.
Twila Walkeden and her husband Duane had a higher vantage point to see Sir Paul, as they sat in section 202.
“It was pretty high, but they were very good seats. Basically anywhere in that stadium, with the jumbo screens, are good seats,” said Walkeden.
“He is such a legendary performer, it was a great experience being in the presence of him, and all the fans,” said Walkeden.
“McCartney was electrifying, and he really knows how to play the hard rock,” said Don Horner, who attended the concert with his wife Diane, and Ted and Rhonda Hillstead.
They were seated in row six.
“I loved his whole mannerism and he was quite the humorist,” said Diane Horner. “You can tell that he really loves what he does because of the vitality of the songs. All the songs sounded every bit as good when we were growing up, listening to the Beatles and Wings.”
“It was a lovely evening, one of the best concerts we have attended,” added Diane.
“Even McCartney was blown away by the fans there, and at one moment he said ‘Regina you really want to party’. At the end of the concert, fans gave him three standing ovations.”
“I was really impressed. McCartney just kept dancing and performing, and it was just him for the entire time,” said Laura Morrissette. Laura and her husband Corey enjoyed the concert with Laura’s parents. They were seated in the south end of the stadium.
“Paul was very small, but the big screens were a plus,” laughed Morrissette. “It was totally worthwhile.”
“The whole experience was fantastic. I was impressed with the vocals, his musical talent, and his whole stage performance,” said Laura Resler. She was seated in section 26 with her husband Patrick Grunert, her mother and her mother’s friend.
“I enjoyed how the crowd got into everything. We were in the presence of a true legend. When he hit the stage, he never quit. He had more energy than a lot of other people would,” said Resler.
The variety of music appealed to the different ages, and different tastes in the crowd.
Tenille Arts, who is known for her country singing, loved the whole concert. She was especially a fan of the Beatles songs.
“My whole family went up to the concert. My parents had way better seats on the floor, but me and the rest of the family were on the left side of the stage, almost in the stadium,” said Arts. “With the big screens, and by bringing binoculars we were able to see everything.”
“McCartney had so much energy, it was crazy,” said Arts. “One of my sisters said that he didn’t take a single drink of water the entire time.”
There was a point in the concert when McCartney pulled up a young fan, who had “Live and Let Die” tattooed on her wrist, and then autographed under the tattoo. The fan later got the autograph into a tattoo.
“He really connected to the crowd, it was very awesome,” said Mainil. “Especially when he played tributes to George Harrison and John Lennon.”
There were even four dedicated fans, who came to the concert dressed as members of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They were seated in front of CJ and Michael, in the fifth row.
“When he sang ‘Let it Be’, it was really moving,” said Diane Horner. “There were a lot of people in the audience holding up their cell phones, and waving them to produce light.”
“It was a great moment, just to be a part of all these people who love the music. It was the kind of evening that you wished everyone could have enjoyed.”
During the first encore (there were two), members of the Regina Pipe Band were invited to perform with McCartney. “It was really great to see a local component on stage with him,” said Walkeden.
A few of the fans had troubles with the shuttle service, which was arranged from Southland Mall to Mosaic Stadium. One source said that 3,000 fans were shuttled back and forth.
The other difficulty with transportation was that many streets around Mosaic Stadium were closed as far as Dewdney Avenue to accommodate the tens of thousands of concert-goers waiting to get into the stadium.
“The transportation (shuttle) service was the one downside,” said Mainil. “It was tricky leaving the stadium too, especially since we were just tired and wanted to go home.”
“We waited over an hour-and-a-half for a bus after the concert, and lucked out by having a few friends who already gotten their car come by and pick us up,” said Morrissette.
“We choose to park downtown,” said Walkeden, explaining that they had a previously negative experience with the public transportation during an AC/DC concert. “So we had no problems, we just walked up to the stadium, and to our seats.”
The City of Regina is starting to clear the way for their new $278-million football stadium, as they demolished the Heritage Building at Evraz Place last week. Construction on the new stadium should start in early 2014. Walkeden said she hopes the new stadium can attract performers, at the same level that Mosaic Stadium has.
“It is great that we can see performers like McCartney come to Saskatchewan,” said Walkeden. “It is important to the economy to host big-name groups.”
“I am glad that the concert was sold out,” said Morrissette. “It shows that Saskatchewan is willing to support entertainers who want to come to our province and perform.”