The 4 Most Memorable Paul McCartney Performances

When you have a career as long as Paul McCartney has, it stands to reason you would amass a healthy amount of memorable performances. The former Beatle has wowed audiences all over the world 10 times over. His exceptional musicianship has allowed him to stay at the top of the rock hierarchy decades into his tenure—and we doubt he will be usurped anytime soon.

Videos by American Songwriter

That being said, revisit four of McCartney’s most memorable performances with us as a reminder of his chops in a live setting.

[RELATED: 5 Classic Paul McCartney Songs That Are Still Relevant Today]

4. “Hey Jude” – (Live from Twickenham Film Studio)

“Hey Jude” was tailor-made to wow in a live setting. The triumphant final chorus is dripping in iconography. McCartney has delivered many stellar versions of the track throughout his career, but perhaps the most memorable was his rendition recorded in Twickenham Film Studio.

The performance was done as promotional material for the track and now acts as the official music video for the song. Though parts of the performance were mimed by the group, McCartney sang live throughout, flexing his pure vocal tone. The addition of a host of fans makes the ending refrain all the more powerful. It nearly brings a tear to the eye.

3. A Day in the Life/Give Peace a Chance” (Live from Liverpool)

McCartney celebrated his former writing partner, John Lennon, in 2008 with a mash-up performance of “A Day in the Life” and “Give Peace a Chance.” The first song famously features Lennon’s warbly vocals, singing about headlines, war, and other poignant topics in a way only he could. The latter is one of the late Beatle’s most famous solo efforts.

Though we miss hearing Lennon’s vocals take on both of these songs, McCartney’s renditions are a close second. Both Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison were in attendance to watch McCartney try his hand at these hits. We have to assume they were satisfied with how powerfully he sings these songs.

2. “Something” (with Eric Clapton) (Concert for George)

Both McCartney and Eric Clapton knew George Harrison intimately, so it stands to reason they would take on a rendition of “Something”—one of the late Beatle’s most famous efforts for the group. Given their relationship with Harrison, both artists take on this ballad with a sense of reverence.

The performance was part of a tribute concert for Harrison following his death. There were many stellar performances throughout the evening, but this has to be our favorite.

1. “I’ve Got a Feeling” (with John Lennon) (Live from Glastonbury)

Fans of The Beatles thought they would never get to see McCartney and Lennon perform together again. They were proven wrong last year during McCartney’s headlining set at Glastonbury when he employed an isolated version of Lennon’s vocals in “I’ve Got a Feeling” for a duet.

It was a strange, near-surreal experience for the crowd. It’s surreal even watching the playback of the moment. Nevertheless, McCartney gifted the next generation of Beatles fans something they never thought they would witness.

Photo by Reg Lancaster/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Leave a Reply

8 Must-Listen-to-Again (and Again) Classics of Pop