Thousands gather in Quebec City for Paul McCartney concert
QUEBEC CITY, Quebec - Tens of thousands of fans gathered on Quebec City's historic site, the Plains of Abraham, in hopes of securing a good spot to watch Paul McCartney's free concert Sunday night as part of the city's 400th anniversary celebrations.
Organizers expected some 200,000 people at the outdoor show by the ex-Beatle.
Fan Leo Rodrigue sported a red Montreal Canadiens hockey jersey with the name "McCartney" emblazoned across the back above the number one.
Carol Cleeland traveled from New Jersey with her sister, Elizabeth, for the concert.
"We've been fans of the Beatles and Paul McCartney since the beginning," said Cleeland. "We love Paul McCartney's music and everything about him."
McCartney arrived in Quebec City Saturday evening and was greeted by hundreds of adoring fans, many of whom had waited several hours outside the Chateau Frontenac Hotel to catch a glimpse of the British knight.
Journalists yelled questions at him from a distance as he got out of his car. When one asked: "Are you happy to be in Quebec City?" He gave a thumbs-up and shouted, "Oui."
The much-anticipated show, McCartney's only scheduled performance in North America this year, drew ire from some in the province who have questioned his participation in the weekend birthday celebrations of French-speaking Quebec City because of his British roots.
They claim his presence evokes painful memories of Britain's conquest of New France in 1760.
In an interview with Radio-Canada earlier this week, the 66-year-old bassist brushed off the nationalists' claims.
"I think it's time to smoke the pipes of peace and to just, you know, put away your hatchet because I think it's a show of friendship," McCartney said.