Paul McCartney gets back to Adelaide

Paul McCartney will begin his 2023 Got Back Australian tour in Adelaide, where more than 300,000 people lined city streets to greet the Beatles in 1964.

Aug 01, 2023, updated Aug 01, 2023
Photo: Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

Photo: Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

McCartney is playing his first Australian concerts for six years.

“Our last trip was so much fun,” he said.

“We had such an incredible time. Each show was a party, so we know this is going to be incredibly special. Australia, we are going to rock! I can’t wait to see you.”

The former Beatle is playing half a dozen dates in October and November, including his first ever shows in Newcastle and on the Gold Coast.

The tour will start in Adelaide, the city that saw 350,000 people lining the streets between the airport and the town hall on The Beatles’ first visit to Australia in 1964.

McCartney’s last tour in Australia in 2017 was a series of epic three-hour shows that saw him beat the likes of Ed Sheeran to win a Helpmann Award for Best International Contemporary Concert.

The upcoming tour will have some elements that are very contemporary indeed, with expectations the 81-year-old former Beatle will perform a virtual duet with former bandmate John Lennon, created using AI technology.

At the Glastonbury festival in 2022, McCartney performed I’ve Got A Feeling, a song originally recorded during the Beatles’ famous 1969 rooftop concert in London.

He sang along with a track of John Lennon’s voice that had been extracted from an old demo tape using artificial intelligence, matched to historic vision of the concert.

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McCartney told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that AI is “something that we’re all sort of tackling at the moment”.

“When Peter Jackson did the film (The Beatles) Get Back, where it was us making the Let It Be album, he was able to extricate John’s voice from a ropey little bit of cassette and a piano,” he said.

“He could separate them with AI, he’d tell the machine ‘That’s a voice, this is a guitar, lose the guitar’.

“We were able to take John’s voice and get it pure through this AI, so then we could mix the record as you would do.”

The Got Back Tour began in February 2022, with 16 shows in the US receiving rave reviews.

The concerts will feature McCartney’s longtime band, with Paul “Wix” Wickens on keyboards, Brian Ray on bass/guitar, Rusty Anderson also on guitar, and Abe Laboriel Jr on the drums.

Speaking about a recent exhibition of photographs at London’s National Portrait Gallery, McCartney reflected on his late bandmates George Harrison and John Lennon, and manager Brian Epstein.

“It is very poignant, it’s great because, whenever you lose someone, I think your natural thing is ‘Well, we’ve got beautiful memories’, and you hold fast those memories of the good times,” he said.

Tickets go on sale August 11, with pre-sale starting on August 9.

-with AAP

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