By Hayden Wright
Paul McCartney played his second of two sold-out Detroit concerts last night, but the evening was tinged with tragedy due to the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas Sunday night (Oct 1). McCartney provided fans a beacon of hope: “On such a terrible day, we’re going to celebrate the joy in life,” he said, then cycled through his career hits.
Not that he was unfazed by the tragedies. The Detroit Free Press reports that McCartney seemed “rattled” during soundcheck, while conflicting reports of Tom Petty’s death and news of the massacre continued to develop. During one of the evening’s more emotional moments, McCartney led the audience in a sing-along of “Give Peace a Chance,” the evergreen anti-violence song by John Lennon.
During the show, Macca presented himself as the consummate showman, leading the crowd through a festive set that helped the audience temporarily escape the horrors of the day. At one point, he paid tribute to Jimi Hendrix with a cover of “Foxey Lady” and told a story about his experiences with the late guitar legend.
“I was very lucky to hang out with him in the ’60s when he came to London because he kind of launched his career from London even though he was an American guy,” he said. “I think the greatest tribute he ever paid us as a band was, after we released Sgt. Pepper’s on a Friday night, he learned the opening track and opened his show with it two days later.”
Earlier in the day, the music icon shared condolences to Las Vegas victims on Twitter. He also sent a warm message to Tom Petty and his family.
See footage from the evening below.