Last night Paul McCartney led a thoroughly captivated audience though a magical mystery tour of his greatest hits.

The magic was in the air, in his songs and in the buzzing vibe of a nearly full Mt Smart Stadium as the crowd greeted Macca with a standing ovation. The mystery lay in wondering which of his classic songs he was going to play next.

The answer? All of them.

On stage for around three hours McCartney didn't leave anyone disappointed with his song selection. From the opening, iconic, chord of A Hard Day's Night to the extended "Na, na, na-na-na" of set closer Hey Jude the consummate showman put on one heck of a crowd pleasing show.


It wasn't just the music that had fans enthralled, with McCartney pausing the hit parade to regale the crowd with incredible stories of his rock star life, casually dropping in anecdotes about Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon, among so many others.

Musically, it was a tireless performance with an enthusiastic McCartney leading his slick band through an unrivalled catalogue of hits.

During his main set McCartney played new songs, including FourFiveSeconds his recent collaboration with Kanye West and Rihanna, and old songs that stretched right back to In Spite of all the Danger, a song by his pre-Beatles band the Quarrymen.

These were politely received, but the audience was there for the songs that shaped their lives. And McCartney gave the generation-spanning crowd exactly what they came for.

He dove deep into the Beatles back catalogue and, to his credit and the audience's delight, didn't restrict his selection to just "his" songs.

Sir Paul McCartney gets the crowd pumping at Mt Smart Stadium. Picture / Chris Loufte
Sir Paul McCartney gets the crowd pumping at Mt Smart Stadium. Picture / Chris Loufte

His re-imagining of Something was a touching tribute to Beatles lead guitarist George Harrison and his swirly-wurly run through of Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite was an appropriately psychedelic hat tip to his former song-writing partner and co-Beatle John Lennon.

Solo material and hits from Wings, his post-Beatles group, also played well with the crowd.

Hits came thick and fast throughout the night; Jet, Maybe I'm Amazed, Eleanor Rigby, A Day in the Life, Band on the Run, Live and Let Die and, of course, a stunning rendition of one of the greatest pop songs ever written, Yesterday.

For many seeing a Beatle perform was a once in a lifetime opportunity and McCartney worked hard to make it truly a night to remember.