Paul McCartney is ending the year with nothing but good vibes. This week the Amagansett resident has finished the UK portion of his Freshen Up Tour with a homecoming in Liverpool, and a surprise guest appearance by Ringo Starr. He also helped create a video against bullying.
On December 12, McCartney returned to Liverpool at Echo Arena for a rousing 40-song set list. A pre-show video was shown to the full house, combining photos of his life with his own songs playing in the background, so by the time McCartney made it on stage, his fans were already riled up. The concert combined old and new with classics such as “Let It Be” and “Blackbird,” and numbers like, “Fuh You” and “Who Cares” from his new album, Egypt Station.
Following an explosive finale (literally—there were pyrotechnics, flames and lasers), McCartney kept true to his word and had the winner of the Meat Free Mondays charity contest sing “I Saw Her Standing There” on stage with him for the encore.
The UK leg of the tour ended on December 16, at London’s O2 Arena with an early holiday treat: his former Beatles drummer, Starr, and Rolling Stones drummer Ron Wood. An extra drum kit was rolled on stage and the two legends played a thumping performance of “Get Back.”
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On December 16, Stella McCartney posted an Instagram photo of the three musicians, Emma Thompson and herself goofing off backstage. Her dad also posted an Instagram video that shows his special reunion performance. Before he left the stage, Starr went to mic and said, “I don’t know about you, but that was a thrill for me.”
This was the first-time Starr and McCartney had performed together since 2015, when Starr was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist.
When he played “Who Cares” at Liverpool, McCartney told the audience, “If anyone’s been bullied, hopefully this song will let them know that we care.” This was the mindset behind the music video McCartney made in collaboration with Emma Stone. To create the memorable and positive message, he joined heads with Creative Visions, a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of media and the arts to promote change, and the result was a surreal representation about loving oneself.
The video stars Stone as a patient to a therapist/hypnotist played by McCartney. Once she’s hypnotized, the song kicks in with her in harlequin makeup trying to avoid swords and crowds with McCartney to help take her away. The lyrics, “Who cares about you? I do” are really the heart of the song. McCartney wrote this so that any kid who hears it can laugh off the bullies and know that someone cares for them.
A strange video, but the message pulls it together in a lovely sendoff into the new year.