Excitement about Paul McCartney has taken over Edmonton this week.
Songs by The Beatles have been ringing out in Churchill Square, and many have taken a photo on “Abbey Road” in front of city hall – crosswalk and all.
McCartney’s shows, slated for Rexall Place Wednesday and Thursday, both sold out in minutes.
Thursday’s concert will be a family affair for Danielle Hodson, who is attending with eight others.
“I have been a Beatles fan my entire life,” said the 28-year-old. “I grew up knowing all of the songs, as well as most of the solo work. You could say that my entire family is Beatles crazy.”
Dale Therrien has tickets to Wednesday’s performance with his mother, who he said raised him on The Beatles.
“I also recognized how important to Edmonton it is for Paul McCartney to do a show here, and the fact he probably will never do another show here,” said Therrien.
For the few who were lucky enough to snag tickets, many did not.
Kristi Kingdon, owner of Off Whyte Floral Studio, will be delivering a big bouquet of mixed coloured Gerber daisies to the arena Wednesday morning, but that’s as close as she’ll get.
The McCartney fan sang Silly Love Songs all day Tuesday while preparing the requested flowers for Sir Paul’s dressing room.
“Just knowing that the flowers I’ve touched will be in the same air space as him, that’ll have to be good enough,” she laughed.
On The Run
- The only other Canadian stop on Paul McCartney’s On The Run tour was in Vancouver this past Sunday.
- At the concert announcement Sept. 7, Mayor Stephen Mandel, Northlands president and CEO Richard Andersen, and Live Nation Canada vice president Geoff Robbins said it took three years to bring McCartney to Edmonton.
-With files from Lucy Haines
For Metro Edmonton
With mop-top Paul McCartney, the one called the “cute” Beatle, just hours from causing a frenzy with his first-ever concert in Edmonton, it’s understandable that there’s a bit of excitement at Brit Foods, importer of British foods and English memorabilia in Old Strathcona.
McCartney’s voice sings through the store speakers as shop owner Tony Badger re-shuffles Beatles gear that is taking a prominent place near the storefront window.
There are Beatles posters, coasters, clocks and an Abbey Road puzzle, among other stuff bearing the smiling faces of the fab four.
“I just sold a Beatles scarf this morning, and I sold five Beatles Monopoly games earlier this week. That’s unusual,” said Badger, a British ex-pat and owner of three Brit Foods stores across the West. “Maybe it’s because Christmas is coming or maybe it’s the McCartney show – I think it’s a bit of both.”
Badger has seen McCartney once before, at a Christmas benefit concert in London in 1979. But does he have a ticket to the show here? Not yet.
“I know a lady who knows someone who knows someone else who may have a ticket, so there’s a chance,” he laughed. “Maybe if I send some English tea and biscuits over to the arena, he’ll take pity on me.”
A rendition of the fab four will perform in Edmonton this week, as local Beatles cover band Pepperland plays city hall over the lunch hour Wednesday in celebration of Paul McCartney’s two shows at Rexall Place.
Formed in 2009 via an ad Ivan Rocha put on Kijiji, Pepperland is: Rocha as McCartney, Jayme Fritz as John Lennon and Mitch Zorich as George Harrison. Alvaro Hartmann – aka Ringo Starr – answered some questions for Metro.
Q: What was your reaction when asked by the city to perform during their celebrations?
A: We’re really excited and honoured to be there as part of the celebration of having one of the most influential performers, songwriters in the history of pop music.
Q: What are your thoughts on McCartney performing in Edmonton?
A: We feel lucky to have Paul playing in our city. A lot of people travel long ways to attend a show like this. It will be the best show of our lives… In the end, I don’t think you have to be a Beatles or Paul fan to be excited about this. You just have to love good music.
Q: Do you have tickets?
A: Ivan and I were lucky enough to get tickets for (Wednesday). The other guys, not so much.