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Paul McCartney, 56 years since making his recording debut, is still celebrating musical firsts in his career. His 17th solo album, Egypt Station, marks the first time McCartney has ever debuted at Number One with an album. It officially landed at Number One in the Billboard Album charts the night before McCartney played his opening concert of his Freshen Up tour. So, it’s in with the new, in with the classic and out on to the road with Team Macca.
Perhaps Rolling Stone sums up best what makes McCartney, at 76, as relevant to music and culture as ever, writing, “Macca keeps adding new gems to his songbook, with nothing to prove except he’s the only genius who can do this… And, oh yeah — in his spare time, he happens to still be the greatest live performer on Earth.”
The tour’s first round of dates included stops in Canada, including Quebec, Montreal, Winnipeg, and Edmonton and was quickly followed by McCartney playing headline sets at the 17th annual Austin City Limits Music Festival. Solotech was again there from the first note in September 2018 and will continue supporting the video for the tour as it goes on to the final standing ovation in July 2019. The Freshen Up tour will play throughout North America, Europe, South America, and Asia.
The live shows that McCartney, his band, and the production put on are legendary. Packed with some of his incredible contributions to music from the last 50+ years—including his solo work, Wings, and the Beatles—his shows run close to three hours. Solotech, having worked with McCartney since March of 2017, is pleased to be handling all of the Freshen Up tour’s video needs. To ensure the realization of LeRoy Bennett’s dynamic and visually forward production design for the global tour, Solotech worked closely with Bennett, along with the tour’s production manager, Mark Spring and of course, the video director of McCartney’s tours since 1990, Paul Becher.
Along with all the massive LED video screens, in various configurations and resolutions, Solotech also provided the full camera and control package engineered and maintained by its experts. Our crew out on the tour includes crew chief Michael Sienkiewicz, video engineer Christian LaVoie, and the disguise media server operator Allison Sulock. Crewing on a McCartney tour is always a coveted gig but was also one of the challenges presented to Solotech for the Freshen Up tour. As like other recent McCartney tours, the production schedule has a lot of breaks so it can be difficult to maintain continuity throughout the run. However, Solotech easily rises to this challenge thanks to having a deep bench of talented and expert crews which can rotate in and out seamlessly. For the Freshen Up tour, the Solotech account representatives are Todd LePere and Leon Roll.
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