Page last updated at 09:35 GMT, Friday, 26 September 2008 10:35 UK

Press views: McCartney in Israel

Sir Paul McCartney
Sir Paul wished fans a happy new year ahead of next week's Jewish holiday
An estimated 40,000 fans have attended Sir Paul McCartney's first gig in Israel.

His show at Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv took place 43 years after his former group The Beatles were banned from playing in the country.

He addressed fans in English and Hebrew, and performed songs from throughout his career.


The start of the show was not promising, with a few blander Beatles pop numbers like You Say Hello interspersed with some maudlin, instantly forgettable songs from the Wings years.

Like Israel, McCartney bears a particularly heavy burden of the past, and he must have noticed how the crowd seized up for many of his solo efforts, only to come alive again once he steered back to favourites penned with John Lennon.


A slight whiff of cannabis and the floral shirt worn by Sir Paul added a slight sixties ambience to the affair and it was clear what the crowd really wanted to hear were the old favourites.

As the 45,000 strong crowd dispersed after the two-hour performance, the only grumble was that it had not gone on longer.


The audience, bursting at the seams, was carried away by his magic. When Paul McCartney sat down at the piano and played The Long and Winding Road, more than a few eyes glistened in the audience.

Lots of young people were there last night, despite the high ticket prices... For those who could afford it, McCartney was worth every penny.


It was a dynamite two hours, with the 66-year-old former Beatle proving time and time again that he's a consummate performer, musician and songwriter.

Seeing the legends of days gone by is usually wrought with disappointment and inflated expectations. But on Thursday night, before the packed crowd at Yarkon Park, Paul McCartney only succeeded in adding to his legendary status.


The Hebrew was on the basic side but no less appreciated for that by the crowd of 45,000 in Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park last night.

'Shalom Tel Aviv, shana tova,' ('happy new year'), Sir Paul McCartney told them before wheeling into Hello Goodbye.

[By] the time he got to Here Comes the Sun and Back in the USSR, an hour into the set, the crowd were warmed up - with even the paramedics dancing on the grass.

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