Paul McCartney Concert in Kiev
Undeterred by the lightning, thunder and torrential rain, Sir Paul McCartney gave a memorable performance in front of a crowd of about 350,000 fans in Kiev’s Independence Square. After greeting the drenched crowd in Ukrainian, Sir Paul launched into the well-known Beatles hit “Drive My Car”. Thanking the cheering crowd for coming out in the rain and telling them how great it was to be in Ukraine, Sir Paul went on to entertain his fans with 33 hit songs from his days with the Beatles and as a solo performer.
Enthralled crowds sang along to all the songs, including “Hey Jude”, “Let It Be”, “Back in the USSR”, and “Penny Lane”. During a poignant moment, McCartney dedicated the song “A Day in the Life” to John Lennon. For fans who were not able to attend the concert in Kiev, giant screens in five cities broadcast the concert live and it was also shown on television.
In response to the encore calls from the crowd, McCartney returned waving a Ukrainian flag, finishing off with a moving rendition of “Yesterday” and the James Bond theme “Live and Let Die”, accompanied by an impressive pyrotechnics display. The final song of the concert, “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” received an enthusiastic response to the line “We hope you have enjoyed the show”.
The free-entrance charity concert was organized by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, which approached Ukrainian business people and others for donations. At the time of the concert more than $600,000 had been raised and donations were still pouring in. The money raised is to be spent on equipment for the children’s department at Ukraine’s National Cancer Institute. Currently, due to lack of equipment in Ukraine, many children seek treatment abroad. Billionaire Ukrainian businessman, Victor Pinchuk, established the charitable foundation in 2006 to work toward the modernization of Ukraine and engender a new generation of leaders in a country with limitless potential.
The square where the Independence Concert was held has great significance for Ukrainians and has been the center of many historically significant events, including the 2004 Orange Revolution when extensive peaceful mass protests were instrumental in overturning fraudulent elections results, bringing into power pro-Western opposition leader, Viktor Yushchenko. Since gaining independence in 1991, Ukraine has hosted a number of popular artists, including Sir Elton John, who played to a vast crowd in June 2007. Music lovers in Ukraine anticipate that more well-known artists will visit their country – and come rain or shine, they will be there to enjoy every moment.