Paul McCartney thrilled a lunchtime crowd in the heart of New York City on Thursday afternoon when he played a surprise mini concert in Times Square. The former Beatle delivered an energetic four-song set that featured only tunes from his about-to-be-released album, NEW.
Playing on a makeshift stage set up in a converted trailer, Sir Paul and his longtime backing band performed rousing renditions of NEW's title track, lead song "Save Us," "Everybody Out There" and the particularly Beatles-like "Queenie Eye." Before kicking into the final tune, McCartney thanked the crowd for being a lovely audience and then revealed apologetically that that he'd only been given 15 minutes to perform.
The fans who caught the performance ranged from children to senior citizens, and while some seemed disappointed that McCartney didn't play any of his classic Beatles songs, there was a general feeling of excitement about the rock legend playing an impromptu set in the middle of the Big Apple.
Jere Hester, a Fab Four aficionado who recently published a book titled Raising a Beatle Baby, tells ABC News Radio that he was excited to see McCartney close up.
"He's still a incredible performer," says Hester. "But the more amazing thing was to see the multiple generations of people here.…It goes to the whole intergenerational appeal of The Beatles and the endurance of the music."
Alex, a British-born woman who works for MTV, notes, "It's amazing to see an icon perform in such a public space, and I think it's quite a rare opportunity to access someone like Paul McCartney. What I really like is that he kind of brought it down to a level where hundreds of people could just see him perform."
In addition, a young Minnesota woman named Kayla making her first-ever visit to New York City tells ABC News Radio that she arrived in Times Square just in time to catch the tail end of the concert.
"This was super exciting to see, since we just got here," she declares. "It almost feels like this is supposed to happen every time you go to New York."
The show comes just a day after Macca and his group took part in another surprise New York City event, a 90-minute Q&A session and concert at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Queens. That event will be streamed Monday on Yahoo.com at 9 p.m. ET. NEW will be released on Tuesday.
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