July 26, 2018: Paul McCartney Plays Liverpool’s Cavern Club

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Paul McCartney at Liverpool’s Cavern Club, July 26, 2018

Paul McCartney returned to the namesake club in Liverpool on July 26, 2018, where the Beatles had performed hundreds of times before the true outbreak of Beatlemania occurred. Though the original Cavern Club closed in 1973, a replacement opened nearby. And nearly 20 years after he last performed there in 1999, McCartney returned On This Day for a free, surprise, jam-packed gig of more than several dozen songs, for roughly 250 fans.

The career-spanning concert included the pre-Beatles group the Quarrymen (“In Spite of All the Danger”), plus more than a dozen Beatles songs including such early favorites as “Love Me Do,” “All My Loving” and “I Saw Her Standing There.” He performed several Wings numbers including “Jet” and “Band on the Run,” as well as several tunes from his upcoming Egypt Station album, including “Come On To Me.”

Earlier, he performed the song that he auditioned for fellow Liverpudlian John Lennon: Eddie Cochran’s “Twenty Flight Rock.” (See complete setlist below.)

At approximately 9 a.m. BST, his social media accounts gave his fans the details:

“Paul will play at Cavern Club Liverpool today at 2pm. Space is EXTREMELY limited. Tickets will be made available for free from the Echo Arena Liverpool Box Office from 10am this morning on a first come, first served basis. Lucky fans will be issued with a wrist band and a personalised printed ticket.

“The queue for entrance into The Cavern will open at 12 noon. Doors scheduled to open at 1PM. No under 16s allowed.”

The first mention of the club date came at the end of his interview on July 25 at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, when McCartney mentioned that he would be playing a surprise concert in his hometown today.

The queue for the scarce seats at the daytime performance appeared to be orderly…

At one point, McCartney chastised the audience for using their phones to take pictures and tape songs. They had been warned not to do so.

Watch McCartney’s official clip from that day

Paul McCartney, Cavern Club, Liverpool, July 26, 2018, Setlist

Band Jam
Twenty Flight Rock
Magical Mystery Tour
All My Loving
Letting Go
Come On To Me
Let Me Roll It
I’ve Got a Feeling
My Valentine
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
Lady Madonna
In Spite of All the Danger
Things We Said Today
Love Me Do
Who Cares
I Wanna Be Your Man
Fuh You
Get Back
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Band on the Run
Hi, Hi, Hi
I Saw Her Standing There
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
Helter Skelter

McCartney had said that he wanted to sprinkle in several club dates as he prepared to release his studio album, Egypt Station, and accompanying “Freshen Up” tour that fall. On July 23, the 76-year-old played a surprise 23-song set at London’s Abbey Road Studios that included songs from his Beatles (“A Hard Day’s Night,” “Lady Madonna,” “Back in the U.S.S.R.”) and Wings (“Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five,” “Junior’s Farm”) catalogs, with several numbers from the new album sprinkled in.

Following his hour+ interview at LIPA, he treated the audience to a performance that included Beatles “rarities,” if there is such a thing. The setlist included “From Me to You” (reportedly for the first time since 1964), “We Can Work it Out” and “I’ve Just Seen a Face.”

Related: Links for 100s of classic rock tours

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