We Had a Ticket to Ride

HMX Thrasher and I hopped a train down to New York City last weekend with a special purpose: Show off The Beatles: Rock Band at the Paul McCartney concerts at Citi Field. Wow – playing the songs The Beatles wrote at the new Mets' stadium? We were up for the challenge! We weren’t entirely sure what to expect, as neither of us had ever shown the game to non-press people before, but the reaction we got was absolutely phenomenal.

Our buddies at Iris Production set up the stage next to the merch table inside the stadium. This proved to be a great location – we were right in the middle of the action, near the T-shirts, the entrance, even the beer stands! Both days, we arrived a few hours early to sound check our replica instruments, and this proved to be one of the highlights of the experience. We actually got to hear Sir Paul himself doing soundcheck. The first time we heard him soundcheck one of The Beatles’ songs, chills ran up our arms. The giant venue suddenly felt intimate!

As soon as doors opened, there was a flood of interested people who flocked to The Beatles: Rock Band stage. It was touching to see fans young and old get excited at the chance to play some of their favorite classic songs before seeing Paul McCartney perform live. We had a steady crowd of players ranging in age from 5 to 65 throughout the three hours we manned the stage.
Some of our favorite parts:

  • Hearing “Oh, I’ve already pre-ordered it!” when we told fans when the game was coming out (09/09/09… duh!).
  • Watching the most adorable little boy dance and sing along to “I Saw Her Standing There,” and then attempt the song on drums.
  • All the T-shirts! Paul McCartney fans are so DIY! Our favorite was a set of triplets wearing the same shirt that read, “Triplets love Paul!”
  • And some fans didn’t stop at T-shirts. We saw one woman with the cover to Abbey Road tattooed on her calf. Now that is a fan!
  • The excitement of the die-hard fans. There were several people who came up, played their favorite song, saw another they’d like to rock out to and just got back in line!
  • The memories! We got to hear some great stories about fans first time not only experiencing The Beatles, but also experiencing Rock Band. The two together make a dynamite combination! We also heard from quite a few parents that Rock Band helped their children become interested in music, resulting in them picking up “real” instruments.

And, of course, Sir Paul sounded phenomenal. Both HMXThrasher and I were brought to tears when he performed “My Love,” dedicated to his late wife, Linda. It was a surreal experience to hear him play the songs live that we’ve been playing for months in The Beatles: Rock Band. Final analysis: We love Paul McCartney, The Beatles and their fans even more now!