Abuelitos Get the Tears Rolling at Paul McCartney’s Emotional Concert in Mexico City
Transcending music itself, concerts have become an arena to bond and create memories. From parents taking their children to other cities (or even abroad) to see their favorite stars to friends planning outfits, concerts provide an opportunity to bond and share interests with your closest circle. Think of the dads-on-duty driving their children to see Harry Styles or the friend groups crafting Taylor Swift friendship bracelets.
Long-time fans of The Beatles had a taste of this experience at Paul McCartney’s recent concert in Mexico City. But there was a twist that had us all shedding tears.
Unlike the many concert stories going viral in 2023, this time, the main characters were parents and grandparents. On TikTok, the emotive videos of children and grandchildren taking their elders to McCartney’s show are making the rounds for good reason. (If you’re in for an emotional rollercoaster, search “abuelitos van al concierto de Paul McCartney,” and you’ll get what we’re talking about.)
A heartfelt surprise
“He took a shower early in the morning and had coffee in his Beatles’ mug,” shares Dorothy Cortés about her father, Victor, a die-hard fan of The Beatles whose video preparing for the concert has gathered more than 500k views on the video-sharing platform.
The video in question shows him receiving tickets for the show along with a replica of the jacket that McCartney wore on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
“Since there were four of us, we thought that the best [option] was going as The Beatles, so I started buying material and making [the costumes] in advance. The plan was to give him his suit with the ticket. When we did it, he couldn’t believe it. He told us, “Is this a joke?” Since the concert was announced, he kept telling us, “Do you know Paul is coming [to Mexico]?” and we kept pretending [we didn’t know], but we already wanted to break the news.”
In a follow-up video, Dorothy shared the emotional images of her dad enjoying the show. But not everything was smooth sailing. At first, Dorothy and her two siblings couldn’t secure any tickets. Fortunately, a new concert date was announced, and their “fight” for tickets paid off. “When we gave him that surprise, he couldn’t stop talking about it — movies, concerts, playing music with his Alexa […] It was nice to see him so excited those days,” she tells FIERCE.
They sang, danced, and even drank some beer
Ximena Pérez had a similar experience taking her grandmother to watch McCartney perform at Foro Sol, a venue accommodating up to 50.000 people. “I planned it as a surprise. To be honest, I didn’t know if I was going to find tickets, and I didn’t want to get her hopes too high, so I didn’t tell her anything until I got them,” she shared.
Just like many of her family members, Ximena grew up listening to The Beatles under the influence of her parents and grandparents. The band and their music have accompanied them throughout moments of happiness and tribulations, so watching McCartney on stage was inevitably emotive.
“We bid my uncle goodbye chanting Paul’s songs,” Ximena says of her late uncle, who passed away four years ago. “I had a great responsibility. In addition to taking my grandma in a wheelchair in a big crowd, it was a very emotional moment for her,” she explains.
Despite the concerns, on the appointed date, Ximena and her 81-year-old grandmother seated among the many smiling and equally excited fans to watch McCartney’s return to Mexico after six years. “We enjoyed it so much,” she says. “[Grandma] sang, danced, and even drank some beer.”
Making dreams come true
Dorothy and Ximena were hardly alone in their commitment to gifting a moment of joy to their loved ones. On TikTok, several users documented parents and grandparents relishing this highly-anticipated show. Shy, almost skeptical smiles, teary eyes, and unbridled delight were the telltales of die-hard fans finally watching their idol stand on stage. Next to them and with matching expressions, children and grandchildren recorded the moment for posterity.
Leilani Arroyo was one of them. She and her brother took their maternal grandfather to the concert, and as she wrote on TikTok, it became “one of the happiest days in her life.” Regarding the experience, Leilani tells FIERCE, “It was a surprise for our grandfather. Paul is one of his favorite artists and we wanted to live the experience of going to a concert with him.”
“I love you., I know that when you’re not here, I’ll remember and relive these moments watching the videos I took of you at the concert,” another user wrote to caption a video of her father cheering for McCartney. “Thanks for introducing me to The Beatles’ [music] an afternoon in 1998, you changed my life forever,” she added
Vlogging about the surprise she prepared for her father, another user shared: “Pov: you go with your dad, the [biggest] Beatle[s’] fan, to Paul McCartney’s concert, and you realize you’re living the dream of both of you.”
No age limits
As an intergenerational music icon, McCartney attracted a motley crowd to his concert. People of all ages flocked to Foro Sol to watch him on his first post-pandemic visit to Mexico and remind us that regardless of ageist discourses online, there’s no age limit to enjoy the things we love. But music was just a part of the entire experience. For this multigenerational audience, watching McCartney held a deeper significance.
A first for many, McCartney’s show was a full-circle moment for long-time fans who had waited years for a chance to see one of the Fab Four. It was an opportunity for others to make their elders’ dreams come true. As Ximena put it on TikTok, it was a reminder to “fulfill the dreams of those who fulfilled ours.”
Many others, like Dorothy, created lasting memories with their loved ones — memories that even strangers and passersby are now part of. “I’m just thankful for living this,” she says. “During the concert, many people asked us for photos. Dad had no idea I had posted the video [of him preparing for the show], so as we left the venue, we told him everything. He said he had his minute of fame. I [want to] thank all the people who gave him happiness through words, little gifts, and photos. Without a doubt, it was a beautiful, unforgettable day.”