Thursday, July 20, 2017

⚜ ⚜ ⚜ Paul McCartney in Québec - July 20, 2008 ⚜ ⚜ ⚜

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Picture of one of the stickers of this concert that I got years ago. 

Yes, I know that I have mentioned this concert before, and it may seem strange that I'm bringing it up once again, seemingly out of nowhere.

But, you see, I recently went to my storage and found the copy of my DVD from this concert (it was broadcast locally in Québec) probably a few months after it took place. The thing is, I had never made copies of it, and until I did, I was hesitant to play it, not wanting to damage the disk, or anything.

So, I took it out of storage, and brought it back with me, and without delay, finally made copies, now that I had the real opportunity to do so.

Finally, a few days later, with a day off and alone at the apartment, I got my chance to watch it again. The entire concert in full, from beginning (in fact, a lot of it is talk - in French - before the concert) right to the end.

As I was watching it, a lot of it began to come back to me.

The memories of feeling suddenly excited to hear the first time when my father and brother both told me that Paul McCartney was going to visit the city of Québec for a free concert on the occasion of it's 400th anniversary. They wanted all of us to go together, but in the end, it was just my then wife and our son, still then a baby, who wound up going.

The excitement of arranging things with my work, particularly my then weekend job (the concert was on a Sunday, and going up there would require the entire weekend off, which for a chance to see Paul McCartney for such a huge and momentous occasion, I was only to happy to take off for), and beginning to really know that this was going to happen. Then, driving up, arriving in Canada, then arriving in the city of Québec, a second trip there in 2008, for the 400th anniversary, and sensing the excitement building in the city. The concert was the big thing that everyone seemed to be waiting for, and for me, that anticipation was perhaps the best part. Perhaps, but the concert, and the aftermath, were pretty sweet, too!!

Everything felt magical for that trip, and it was, again, the last time that I did anything like that with my then wife, and our beautiful then baby child. I still mention to him now how he was "there" for the big concert, although he fell asleep by the third or fourth song, and nothing from that point on could wake him up, not even the fireworks!

It happened seven years ago today, and I have just been thinking a bit about it. My son was not even three years old, and he was more curious than interested on that day with what was going on at the stage so far away. He listened, but did not get too much into it during the warm-up, which we were blessed to be able to watch. For the actual concert, he stayed awake for maybe three or four songs, then lay down in his chair, and went to sleep. Not even the fireworks woke him up. Nothing woke him up that night. He only awoke the next morning, when the festivities were by then done.

The concert was the huge event that captivated the entire province of Québec that weekend. Every station was talking about it, or playing Paul McCartney songs. After the concert, every station, it seemed, was playing some of the songs from the actual concert.

We had to get back home, and as we drove the next day, the radio from Québec City faded, yet those from Montréal were playing Paul McCartney stuff, as well. I stopped somewhere in Trois-Rivières, presumably to get some gas and pick up some newspapers, which I was collecting after the event. The cashier looked at me, and she asked if I had gone to the show. She looked amazed when I nodded yes, even though it was a free concert, and we were only one hour outside of the city. But not everyone can go, to be sure. That said, I still feel blessed to have gotten the chance to go, and to have capitalized.

Especially on that day, when Paul McCartney honored the city, and really the entire province, of Québec, on the occasion of the 400th anniversary. What a show he put on for us all, too!

And so today, I remember what took place on this day, nine years ago on the Plains of Abraham in Québec City. It was on these fields that numerous battles took place, including when the English defeated the French and essentially took over all of North America. Years later, Benedict Arnold and General Montgomery would invade Canada and come to the walls of Québec City, only to be repulsed. These fields of the Plains of Abraham are like the Central Park of that city, and it was fitting on many levels that an Englishman would come to the Plains, but this time be embraced and welcomed. He gave back generously, putting on an amazing show that I, for one, will not soon forget.

Je me souviens!

Fêtons Nos 400 Ans! - Ville de Québec

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