*Paul McCartney wouldn’t let a few technical glitches stop his tribute to the Apollo Theater’s storied history during his first ever concert at the historic Harlem venue Monday night.
During his two hour set, the 68-year-old former Beatle delivered songs stretching throughout his nearly five-decade long career, but also included a cover of Marvin Gaye’s early ’60s soul classic “Hitch Hike,” complete with six mini-skirted female go-go dancers. It took three tries before he was able to get through the number, due to the theater’s notoriously temperamental sound system, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “OK, we’ve proved the show is live,” he cracked.
[Scroll down to watch McCartney’s performance of “Hitch Hike.”]
As previously reported, the nationally simulcast radio concert was put on by Sirius XM to celebrate reaching 20 million subscribers. McCartney performed before an invitation-only crowd made up of lucky subscribers and celebrities including Jerry Seinfeld, Martha Stewart, Tony Bennett, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, Deepak Chopra and two Rolling Stones (Keith Richards, Ron Wood), among many others
While taking the stage, McCartney seemed genuinely thrilled to be playing the legendary Harlem venue, stating “It’s the holy grail,” before bending down for the traditional Apollo rite of rubbing the onstage “Tree of Hope” trunk for luck.
At another point in the show, he reportedly stopped in his tracks and declared, “I’m gonna take a little moment and just soak in the Apollo. I know it’s special to you New Yorkers. To us British boys, it’s really special.”