By Jillian Mapes
(Jill Mapes/

(Jillian Mapes/

Times Square is a place New Yorkers tend to avoid, but Sir Paul McCartney made the tourist spot a must-see for even the most jaded natives this afternoon (October 10).

Five days ahead of the release of his new album, New, Macca played a quick gig at 1 p.m. EST at the intersection of 46th and Broadway. The show appeared impromptu, announced by Macca on his Twitter around noon, but clearly was not: there are certainly permits involved with opening up one side of a semi truck in the middle of Time Square, surrounding it with NYPD and letting a full band play.

It lasted a mere 15 minutes and consisted of four New songs, played by a smaller band made up of some of McCartney’s touring players. Macca started with the single, also named “New,” from behind his colorful upright piano. He then moved to the bass for the album’s opening track, the upbeat rocker “Save Us,” before switching to acoustic guitar for “Everybody Out There.” Back at the piano, he closed with another unnamed track off the upcoming release before fleeing the semi.

mccartney_times sq

(Jillian Mapes/

Though the setlist was largely unfamiliar to fans, the charm was not. McCartney let the banter rip, joking that he’ll soon be putting out a hat for busking purposes. He suggested staying there all day, which, for the many Midtowners on their lunch break, sounded more than appealing. “I’m only allowed 15 minutes up here,” he surmised. “Mr. Andy Warhol predicted I would get 15 minutes of fame. This is it.”

McCartney’s lead-up to New has involved playing a Queens high school yesterday, three songs on Fallon earlier this week and a big ol’ Kimmel concert in the streets of Hollywood last month. As Jay Z would say, #NewRules.

mccartney-time sq 3

(Brian Ives/


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