Paul McCartney’s surprise concert for 400 students at a New York City High School was awesome, after the former Beatle walked into their auditorium and serenaded the crowd with songs from his new album as well as old classics.
The British star left the kids stunned when he came in and sat at the colorful piano on stage at the Frank Sinatra High School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens a borough of New York City.
But that didn’t mean they were silent. Andre Vasquez, the production manager who was in charge of the sound, said, “They went bananas. It was a complete surprise until the end, just before they announced who was coming on stage.”
The 71-year-old proved he hasn’t lost his magic touch, playing 13 songs along with a four-piece band and “The Magic Piano”. The event was to celebrate the launch of his album New.
The school’s Principal, Donna Finn remarked the kids in the hall weren’t even born when Paul McCartney’s songs were popular in the days he belonged to the legendary band The Beatles, however, that didn’t prevent them from singing along.
“The students knew all the words to all these songs.” Finn said and then she compared the scene to the band’s visit to Shea Stadium, when the band got off their plane and the girls were going crazy.
The event was in celebration of @PaulMcCartney‘s new album NEW. Stream the event on Yahoo! this Monday Oct 14 at 9p ET/ 6p PT.
— Tony Bennett (@itstonybennett) October 9, 2013
Paul McCartney said, “This beats going to class.” and took the time to answer some questions from the audience.
He also gave some pointers to the students who are getting formal musical education at the school:
“You guys have an advantage,” McCartney said about the fact he never received formal musical training. “You’re getting an education.”
Dance major Victoria Maglaris, 17, told ABC News, “I was singing along, I was dancing, everybody was standing up in their seats. It was amazing. It was such a breath of fresh air and it was so surprising.”
Before Paul McCartney surprise concert began, rumors at the school were that Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, or Beyonce were the guest they had been told about.
Vasquez says word got out because some of the students saw music equipment with McCartney’s name on it and those who knew came dressed in Beatles shirts and 60s attire.
The sound check man said, “the best experience of my life.”
Another major name in music, Tony Bennett, who is one of the school’s founders along with the city, was also present at the concert.
Paul McCartney surprise concert included hits such as “Eight Days A Week”, “Hey Jude”, and an acoustic version of “Blackbird”. His parting words to the crowd were, “You rock on. You be great. You be lovely in your careers.” The students continued singing even after he had left the stage in a day they won’t soon forget.
[Image courtesy of Tony Bennett/Twitter]