Paul McCartney Sings ‘Give Peace a Chance’ in 2008 in Kyiv, Ukraine

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Paul McCartney, Ukraine, 2008

As the world continues to watch the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, we’ve unearthed a video of Paul McCartney singing John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance,” in Kyiv from 2008. The free event, named Independence Concert, was performed outdoors at Independence Square on June 14, in front of what was reported to be 350,000 people and on giant screens in many of the country’s largest cities. Reports from the event describe torrential rain storms earlier in the day.

McCartney, 65 years old at the time, wasn’t on tour and only did a handful of concerts that year. The event, announced just two months earlier in April, was at the invitation of Ukrainian businessman and oligarch Victor Pinchuk who said in a statement, “One could not imagine this 30 years ago. Nobody could even dare to hope for this 20 years ago. One could only dream about it 10 years ago. 5 years ago we could only envy our neighbours for whom this became a reality. And finally the day has come. For the first time we have the opportunity to hear the songs that changed the world and created a new culture. The songs that we grew up with and became who we are.”

Paul McCartney singing “Give Peace a Chance,” in Ukraine, 2008

In the announcement, McCartney said, “we’re going to have to a great evening and we hope to see you there. So come along, it’s going to be great evening hopefully for the Ukraine. Pull together, groove, rock and roll – all together.”

Towards the end of his two-and-a-half-hour, 34-song set of music from his Beatles, Wings and solo catalog, he performed “A Day in the Life.”

Shortly after he sang the line, “Somebody spoke and I went into a dream,” the audience would have rightly expected him to continue with “I read the news today, oh boy.”

Instead, he and his band deftly segued into “Give Peace a Chance” with a giant peace symbol as a backdrop.

Watch the performance of “A Day in the Life” / “Give Peace a Chance” as the crowd sings along

Earlier in the set, he played the Beatles’ “Back in the U.S.S.R.”

“I’ve been waiting a long time to say that,” he joked to the audience.

Between the live audience, giant screens in other cities and a live television audience, it’s estimated that the total amount of people that watched the performance in the Ukraine was more than 10 million.

McCartney tweeted his remembrance on Feb. 28, 2022.

When McCartney tours, tickets will be available here and here.

Best Classic Bands Staff

1 Comment so far

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  1. Muddywatersmann
    #1 Muddywatersmann 1 March, 2022, 00:38

    I saw great McCartney Concert/dvd FILMED IN red square 2003, where Vlad Putin made his own big entrance, being the narcisscist that he is!

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