(CBS SF/AP) – Paul McCartney returned to the stage Saturday for the first time since being sidelined for two months while recovering from a virus, delivering a rousing concert in Albany, N.Y., and even helping a couple get engaged.
During his second encore, he brought John Dann and Claudia Rodgers onstage. According to the Democrat & Chronicle, which has video of the proposal captured by an audience member, Rodgers’ sign said, “He won’t marry me ’til he meets you,” while Dann’s read: “I have the ring and I’m 64.'”
After the man led the audience in a verse of “When I’m 64” to honor his age, he went to his knees and successfully proposed.
“And he booked us for the wedding,” McCartney joked.
The 72-year-old singer opened the show the Beatles’ “Eight Days a Week” and told the crowd, “It’s great to be back.” He looked none the worse for wear, putting on a show of just under three hours with 38 songs before finishing with the three-song medley that ends the “Abbey Road” album.
McCartney was briefly hospitalized in Tokyo in May because of a viral infection. The illness forced him to cancel a Japanese tour and a concert in South Korea and reschedule half a dozen June dates in the United States before resuming his “Out There” tour in Albany.
The crowd-pleasing show contained a mix of expected hits like “Hey Jude” and “Let it Be,” four songs from McCartney’s latest album and a generous sampling from more obscure corners of his catalog, including the Beatles’ songs “Lovely Rita” and “Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite” and Wings work such as “Another Day” and “1985.”
He paid tribute to the two late members of the Beatles, singing “Here Today” to former songwriting partner John Lennon, which McCartney described as the conversation they never had. He began playing George Harrison’s song “Something” on the ukulele, and it built into a full band rendition.
McCartney also honored another late rock star, Jimi Hendrix, with an instrumental interlude of “Purple Haze.”
McCartney’s wife, Nancy, was on hand and he dedicated the song “My Valentine” to her. Perhaps one oblique reference to his absence was the new song, “On My Way to Work,” which McCartney said he hadn’t performed publicly before.
It’s a busy year for McCartney, who marked the 50th anniversary of his first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” this winter, which marked the beginning of Beatlemania in the United States. He has 19 U.S. shows scheduled, including one at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, where the Beatles made their final concert appearance in 1966.
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