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Day tripper: Paul McCartney coming to Greensboro
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Day tripper: Paul McCartney coming to Greensboro

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Updated 9:29 p.m. Tuesday

The trappings were very British, fitting of the announcement to come.

Union Jack flags circled the Greensboro Coliseum arena.

A man dressed like a Buckingham Palace guard posed for photos with Greensboro City Council members.

And, of course, the caterer served tea and sandwiches without crust.

“Thank you for joining us for high tea for one of the most exciting announcements we have ever had at the Greensboro Coliseum,” Managing Director Matt Brown told the crowd assembled for Tuesday’s press conference.

Applause erupted when Mayor Nancy Vaughan delivered the news: Paul McCartney, one of the most famous Brits of our time, will make his first appearance in Greensboro when he performs Oct. 30 at the coliseum.

On his “Out There” tour, the pop icon and his band will perform a three-hour show that covers his entire catalog, from The Beatles to Wings to his time as a solo artist, including last year’s studio album, “New.”

It’s McCartney’s only scheduled tour stop in the Carolinas and Virginia.

“This ... will be the show of the year, without a doubt,” Vaughan said.

About 16,000 seats in the 22,000-seat coliseum will be available, based on the configuration of the stage, the set and the seating, said Andrew Brown, the coliseum’s public relations manager.

Kathleen Sullivan, a member of the War Memorial Commission that oversees the coliseum, was among those applauding the news.

“Paul McCartney is huge,” she said as the crowd around her dined on tea and sandwiches. “I saw the Beatles for the first time on TV. I grew up with them. I’m all excited.”

In its 55 years, the coliseum has hosted some big names in rock ’n’ roll history: Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John and Billy Joel.

McCartney’s added tour stop in Greensboro resulted from efforts by coliseum staff, concert promoter AEG Live and McCartney tour promoter Barrie Marshall of Marshall Arts.

“When you are booking Paul McCartney, there are so few dates to go around in the world,” said Debra Rathwell, an AEG Live senior vice president who came from New York for the announcement.

On this tour, McCartney will play several venues for the first time.

The opportunity to bring him to Greensboro arose after he became ill with a virus, causing a reshuffling of his tour schedule, Rathwell said.

The stop had to be within driving distance of Louisville, Ky., where McCartney will perform two days earlier. So Rathwell and Allen Corbett, vice president of AEG Live’s Carolinas region, proposed Greensboro.

Coliseum staff repeatedly had pursued a McCartney tour stop, Matt Brown said.

“Everything came together with the right alignment,” he said.


Posted 4:04 p.m. Tuesday

GREENSBORO — Greensboro Coliseum officials promised a "historic" announcement today. Whether the news that Paul McCartney is coming to the coliseum Oct. 30 — his first appearance here — fits the definition may be subject to interpretation.

Regardless, the pop-culture icon is set to deliver a three-hour show that promises to cover his entire catalog, from The Beatles to Wings to his time as a solo artist.  

Tickets go on sale Monday through Ticketmaster and the Coliseum box office. But American Express card members can purchase tickets before the general public Thursday at 10 a.m.

Prices will range from $59.50 to $250.

Contact Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane at (336) 373-5204, and follow @dawndkaneNR on Twitter.

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