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Paul McCartney concert draws Beatlemania to Madison

MADISON (WKOW) — With thousands of fans headed to see Paul McCartney at the Kohl Center, downtown Madison was full of Beatlemania Thursday evening.

With some of McCartney’s favorite hits playing from city bars, blasting from cars and accompanying a few tailgates, it was clear just how many were headed to see the 76-year-old music legend.

Katie Lee said the concert was a perfect excuse to return to her hometown and take her mother, Liz Salo, out for a good time. Lee had seen McCartney in concert before so she said she knew what would be in store.

“When he plays a really good rendition of ‘Hey Jude’ you know that we’ll be screaming at the top of our lungs,” she said.

As with any Wisconsin event, the family said they wanted to prepare the Wisconsin way, heading out four hours in advance.

“We planned on having the tailgate because we wanted good parking,” Salo said.

They were far from the only fans out waiting for hours. Lifelong fans, Jone and Chris Smith, came out from Denver.

“I’ve been a Beatles fan since the Ed Sullivan Show,” Jone said. “I’m hoping that the crowd will be mixed. I hope they’re not all old like us.”

Ten-year-old Robbie Grabowski was proof that wouldn’t be the case. His parents surprised him with the concert at the end of their family vacation.

“Speechless, I had nothing to say I was just like awesome,” Grabowski said.

Another life-long Beatles fan, he has a list of favorites longer than the number of years he’s been on the Earth.

“Should’ve Known Better, Can’t Buy Me Love, Hey Jude,” he listed. “Sgt. Pepper, Revolution, Let it Be, A Hard Day’s Night.”

That last one opened McCartney’s show as fans like Grabowski were more than eager to sing along.

In front of a packed Kohl Center, McCartney was proof some music can connect generations.

“I know he puts on an excellent show and I know it’s been on Mom’s bucket list for a long time,” Lee said.

After leaving a lasting impression on Madison, McCartney headed to his second stop in Wisconsin, Green Bay for his concert there Saturday.

Michelle Alfini

Reporter, WKOW

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