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Paul McCartney to play T.U. Center in July

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
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Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy and Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan smile during Tuesday's announcement that veteran rock star Paul McCartney will play the city's Times Union Center on Saturday, July 5. Tickets go on sale Monday.
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy and Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan smile during Tuesday's announcement that veteran rock star Paul McCartney will play the city's Times Union Center on Saturday, July 5. Tickets go on sale Monday.

— “Out There” is coming to the Times Union Center in Albany.

So fans of pop and rock music great Paul McCartney must step lively if they want to tell friends they’re “In there!” — by securing seats for Sir Paul’s summer session.

Albany politicians and arena officials on Tuesday announced ex-Beatle McCartney will play the Times Union Center on Saturday, July 5. Tickets will go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. at the Times Union Center’s box office and at Ticketmaster outlets.

Tickets for the “Out There” tour’s local stop will cost $253, $168, $99.50, $59.50 and $29.50. Bob Belber, the Times Union Center’s general manager, said 12,600 seats will be available for the 8 p.m. show.

“I think this is going to sell out very quickly,” Belber said, expecting a frantic rush for tickets. “The person who’s at the computer needs to be ready to push the button at 10 a.m.”

The Albany concert will be the only New York state appearance for the 71-year-old McCartney. The musician and his longtime band will play songs from his Beatles and Wings days, pieces from the McCartney solo career and material from the most recent studio album, “New.” Massive video screens, lasers and fireworks will come with the show.

“I’d be shocked if it’s not sold out in 30 minutes or less,” Belber said. “I think the demand is going to be there. And keep in mind that anybody that’s living anywhere else in the state is going to want to come here because there’s no other place for them to see it.”

McCartney is flying high this year. He won two awards and was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the 2014 Grammy celebration in January. And he and other surviving Beatle Ringo Starr have been in the news as America observes the Beatles’ 50th anniversary year in America. Paul, Ringo, John and George arrived in the States during the late winter of 1964.

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy — who in a slip of the tongue referred to Sir Paul as “McCarthy” in announcing the show — expects the concert to pump a couple million dollars into Albany’s economy.

“People are going to be coming here and staying in hotels they’re going to fill up,” McCoy said. “They’re probably going to start ordering their hotel rooms as soon as this announcement ends.”

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan expects a busy weekend when McCartney visits — the city’s annual Fourth of July party regularly attracts thousands of people to the Empire State Plaza.

“We’ve been able to handle a lot of big activity in the city,” Sheehan said. “People come here to lobby, we have to deal with people in front of the Capitol and all kinds of things that happen. I think just this winter we had over 15,000 people who came here on one of our lobby days. So I think we’re up for the challenge. We certainly have the Fourth of July thing down pretty well; that always goes pretty smoothly.”

Belber said the Times Union Center has hosted giant acts in the past, such as Frank Sinatra, Luciano Pavarotti, Elton John and Garth Brooks — who sold out three shows and 16,000 seats each in less than an hour in 1999. He said the McCartney show is probably the biggest act to play the Times Union Center since the Rolling Stones hit town in 2005.

“Paul McCartney is just as big as any other show that’s ever been here and maybe bigger,” Belber said. “Arguably, it’s the biggest show we’ve ever had.”

It won’t be the most expensive show the TUC has hosted. Belber said the Rolling Stones’ top ticket was $350; Pavarotti’s most expensive seat was $500.

Belber also said McCartney and crew will perform on a stage built at one end of the arena. “You will be able to see from the sides of the stage,” he said.

Sheehan hopes she gets a chance to hear pieces such as “Get Back,” “Live and Let Die” and “Hey Jude.”

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to get a ticket. Sounds like they’re going to go pretty fast,” she said. “I’ll be in town. . . . It would be nice to see it.”

 
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