It’s not often that the Save Mart Center holds a news conference to announce an upcoming event. It’s happened only a handful of times in the arena’s 12 years of operation, and only for the biggest names – like opera tenor Andrea Bocelli, who was the arena’s first performer in 2003.
Add Paul McCartney to the list.
The former Beatle announced his “One on One” tour will open in Fresno on Wednesday, April 13. The show is one of seven U.S. dates confirmed for the tour so far.
Tickets are $68 to $253 and on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, March 14, at the arena box office, select Vallarta and Save Mart supermarkets, online at www.ticketmaster.com, and by phone at 800-745-3000. Presale tickets will be available at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 10, to 10 p.m Sunday, March 13, for American Express card holders.
Want more proof this is big? The mayor joined in the announcement.
“It goes without saying: This is going to sell out,” Ashley Swearengin said at the news conference. She was on hand to announce that the city will proclaim April 13 Paul McCartney Day in Fresno.
The streets surrounding the Save Mart Center have also been temporarily renamed in anticipation McCartney’s visit. There’s Abbey Road, the Long and Winding Road and Penny Lane.
There is every reason for the excitement. While some Kanye West fans may not know McCartney’s name, the English singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist is one of the most successful musicians ever. He’s been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (twice), won 21 Grammys and an Academy Award (for “Let It Be” in 1971) and sold more than 100 million albums if you combine his work with the Beatles and as a solo artist.
The 73-year-old has remained relevant, performing alongside contemporary artists such as West and Rihanna on the song “FourFiveSeconds”. He also headlined the mega-music festival Coachella in 2009.
The “One on One” tour is McCartney’s first time back on the road since December and will feature a new production with a redesigned set and a set list with music spanning the singer’s career (good news for fans of his time with Wings). The concert will be like seeing an outdoor stadium show, only indoors, said Steve Tadlock, regional general manager for SMG, the company that runs the arena.
“That’s the kind of production we’re expecting,” he said.
Of those excited by the prospect of seeing McCartney is Fresno State’s first lady Mary Castro, who spoke at the news conference on behalf of university president Joseph Castro. Her husband is a longtime McCartney fan who has seen the singer perform live.
“He took his mother instead of me,” said Mary Castro. “We’re going to right that with this concert.”
The tour announcement comes just after news of the passing of revered Beatles producer George Martin. McCartney has penned a moving tribute to Martin, who died Tuesday at the age of 90. Below a photo of McCartney and Martin together in the studio on McCartney’s official site, the singer wrote of his longtime producer, “The world has lost a truly great man who left an indelible mark on my soul and the history of British music.”
Other major artists who have played the Save Mart Center
Andrea Bocelli, 2003, 2005
Bob Dylan, 2004
The Eagles, 2004, 2005, 2015
The Rolling Stones, 2005
Upcoming shows at the arena
Cage the Elephant, Friday, March 11
Justin Bieber, Saturday, March 26
Carrie Underwood, Tuesday, April 5
Pepe Aguilar, Sunday, April 17
Luke Bryan, Saturday, April 30
Selena Gomez, Sunday, May 8
Journey, Sunday Aug. 28
Mana, Tuesday, Sept. 20