I thought this summer wouldn’t be too exciting. Back in Austin with just a few friends, working at something to earn money for graduate school, and generally relaxing so I can be ready for the big move ahead of me in the fall.
But as it turns out, those few friends and my family are not only willing to try things I’m interested in, they also pull me along when they go out into Austin. And on May 23 one of my best friends in Austin invited me to go with her to the Paul McCartney concert to celebrate her 20th birthday. I wouldn’t have bought a ticket on my own and I wouldn’t have thought anything more of it but instead it was an important life moment.
I grew up with The Beatles in my house. My dad used to play their music all the time and tell us stories about when he used to listen to them as a really little boy. I slow danced for the first time at an Eggmen concert (Beatles revival/impersonator group). When I got into my preteen years I got annoyed with the constant game of “Who’s singing this song: John or Paul? . . . Oh trick question! This one is George,” and asked my dad to stop it. Thankfully he didn’t and I became a fan myself during my freshman year of high school. It’s how we bonded throughout the rough pre-teen and teenage years.
So all of this came flooding back in once I got to the concert. I looked at the crowds and realized just how far Paul McCartney’s reach was. The group was so varied, unlike any other crowd at a concert I’d been to. There were plenty of people my parents age, but also more young kids in Wings t-shirts than I would have predicted. I can’t describe it, but it was cool to see just how much Paul and his decades of performing and songwriting had brought so many people together.
The concert itself was fantastic. I would never have guessed that Paul was that old because he soaked up the crowd’s attention every time he switched guitars (which was A LOT) and played so many different songs. My dad asked me about my favorites the day after and I listed about five songs. I loved the silly cartoons behind “All Together Now,” the touching stories about George Harrison and John Lennon before Paul played songs dedicated to them, the fireworks during “Live and Let Die,” and there is so much more that I can’t remember. I suppose I should have written down a few more thoughts about this before the night was over.
I may not have been crying before I got to the concert. I may not have been anticipating it like my dad and my Austin BFF Olivia, but it reminded me of some great family memories and astounded me. It just goes to show that when you’re passionate about what you do, you can inspire so many other people. And prove to a young girl looking at a big transition and a long summer that the time doesn’t have to pass so slowly when you’ve got great friends to keep you entertained.