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It bodes well for business when the boss is pleased. And after Tuesday night’s record-breaking concert in Missoula, Paul McCartney was pleased indeed.

Crews spent Wednesday morning completing work to tear down the stage and rigging where McCartney dazzled 25,000 fans in Washington-Grizzly Stadium the night before.

By 11 a.m., all traces of the high-energy, three-hour concert were gone, though the memories lingered.

“It was a great night and the tour is thrilled,” said Brad Murphy, executive director of the University of Montana’s Adams Center. “The biggest compliment came from the tour accountant, who said his boss was very happy. Of course, his boss is Paul McCartney.”

Missoula made musical history Tuesday night by hosting the largest ever concert in the state and the first big show in Washington-Grizzly Stadium since 2006. In doing so, the city may have raised its standing yet again on the list of stops worthy of any reputable tour.

As the story goes, the 2006 performance by the Rolling Stones went so well that Mick Jagger told McCartney he should give Missoula his serious consideration.

McCartney took the advice to heart and added Missoula to his “Out There” tour in April. With the rock icon happy with the results, one has to wonder who’s next? Can Sir Paul convince Lady Gaga to play Missoula? Or Beyonce and Jay Z? Maybe Coldplay? Is Justin Timberlake up for the task?

“We’ll always be working on something,” said Murphy. “We’re always working to get another stadium show. With what was accomplished yesterday, that reputation will be enhanced.”


University of Montana Police Chief Marty Ludemann said the night went swimmingly from a law enforcement perspective. Of the 25,000 fans, just two were removed from the concert, a ratio that pleased the chief, along with the other 24,998 people inside the stadium.

The Missoula Police Department also saw a quiet evening after the concert ended.

“With a crowd that size, things went well,” said Ludemann. “Everyone was pretty happy and mellow. We had some medical issues, some heat issues, but that was our busiest part.”

The concert gates opened at 6 p.m. as temperatures hit 92 degrees. When McCartney took the stage at 8:30 p.m., the summer heat had subsided to 85 degrees before dropping to 74 by show’s end.

While fans agree that McCartney put on a great performance, Murphy said the tour was equally pleased with the turnout, the energy and the venue.

“The tour thought Missoula was wonderful, the crowd was wonderful,” Murphy said. “They felt very welcome and they appreciated it. They couldn’t believe the press coverage they got for this show. They don’t see that in some other markets.”

The week of music in Missoula continues. Nickel Creek plays Thursday at the Wilma Theater, and ZZ Top and Jeff Beck will play Ogren-Allegiance Park on Friday.

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Reporter Martin Kidston can be reached at 523-5260, or at

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