Though the Beatles were banned from Russia in the 1960s, their music offered hope and inspiration to an entire nation for years. Finally, on May 24, 2003, Paul McCartney satisfied decades of anticipation with his first-ever concert in Russia--wowing a crowd of over 100,000 people in Moscow s Red Square.
PAUL McCARTNEY IN RED SQUARE--plus Bonus Concert Paul McCartney: Live in St. Petersburg features live performances of more than 30 songs, including:
Yesterday / We Can Work it Out / Fool on the Hill / I've Just Seen a Face / Two of Us / Maybe I'm Amazed / She's Leaving Home / Can't Buy Me Love / Birthday / Live & Let Die / Get Back / Getting Better / Hey Jude / Got To Get You Into My Life / Sgt. Pepper s Lonely Hearts Club Band / I Saw Her Standing There / Flaming Pie / Drive My Car / Penny Lane / Jet / Let It Be / The End / Band on the Run / Back in the U.S.S.R. / I ve Got A Feeling / Helter Skelter ... and more
DVD Features: Bonus Concert: Paul McCartney: Live in St. Petersburg; Behind The Curtain: Memories from Red Square; Featurette from THE HISTORY CHANNEL: Russia and the Beatles: A Brief Journey; Song Selection; Engilsh Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired... and more!
For the Russian audience, McCartney's appearance in Moscow is little short of a miracle. The Beatles were banned for decades by the Soviet government, which regarded their music as the epitome of Western decadence and propaganda, and the fans' only access to the group was through the occasional photo or black market album. Their reaction to his 2003 visit is a mixture of frenzy and rapture; in interview after interview, what one fan calls the Beatles' "gentle intervention" is credited with helping to bring down the whole Soviet system, simply because they represented a creativity and freedom that had been almost totally silenced. And that's all before McCartney plays "Back in the U.S.S.R.," which inspires a response that simply must be seen and heard to be believed.
Elsewhere, Macca and his superb band perform a variety of Beatles tunes, along with some highlights from his solo career and stint with Wings. Considering the dozens of classics in the Lennon-McCartney catalogue, the majority of them never performed live by the group, he could hardly go wrong. Still, the choices are almost unerring; along with "Hey Jude," "Yesterday," and "Let it Be" are some unexpected treats (including "Getting Better" and "She's Leaving Home" from the Sgt. Pepper album, as well as "Fool on the Hill," "I've Just Seen a Face," and "Two of Us"). And that's not all: additional footage from a show in St. Petersburg features "Drive My Car," "Helter Skelter," and a powerful medley of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band" and "The End." The sound and visuals are good, and the extra features (including a brief parallel history of the Beatles and the U.S.S.R. in the '60s) are interesting. No, the Beatles will never reform. But Paul McCartney - Live in Red Square ain't a bad substitute. --Sam Graham