ROME (AFP) - Around half million people from across Italy were treated to a magical night outside Rome's Colosseum Sunday when Paul McCartney gave a free concert by the 2,000-year-old venue.
For almost three hours, McCartney took the crowd through favorites from his Beatles days: "Lady Madonna", "Back in the USSR", "Michelle", "Hey Jude", to finish with "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and a solo performance of "Yesterday".
But the 60-year-old, who performed inside the ancient forum the previous night in front of 400 paying fans at a benefit concert, also played songs from his band Wings and his solo career, in front a backdrop colored green, pink, yellow and white.
If the 50-somethings in the audience knew the words to his songs, the younger fans simply let themselves be carried away by the music on a hot and humid Roman night.
"You have to go home," McCartney yelled as the crowd remained after midnight in the Fori Imperiali linking the central Piazza Venezia with the Colosseum.
Surrounded by a troupe of multicolored dancers who had opened the show as well as his own musicians, McCartney concluded in Italian: "Grazie Roma, arrivederci Roma" (thank you Rome, goodbye Rome).