Around March of 2016, it was announced that Paul McCartney would be returning to Philadelphia for his new One on One tour. Members of his website would be able to have exclusive first dibs at tickets. Naturally tickets sold out within minutes, but I was able to get two tickets in section AA. The extreme left of the stage. I was happy in that I never had floor seats before. The tickets arrived and there was nothing left to do except wait until the July 12th concert.
On July 11th, the night before the concert, I was laying in bed unable to fall asleep so I began looking on stubhub for people selling their tickets last minute. I found two tickets in row four of section DD. Directly in the centre of the stage. I tossed the idea around of buying them being as they were expensive, at nearly $625 USD a seat. In the end I made the decision to buy them as it was my home city and I didn't know if I'd ever have the chance again.
This would be my 5th time seeing Paul. I previously saw him in Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New York City. I was able to sell my AA tickets to a man coming down from NYC. I contacted my friend Joy, who I had met when there were only a few of us in the Facebook group 'Fans On The Run'. Now with over 12,000 members, it's the place to go when seeking out Paul McCartney concert information. I talked with her about ways to improve my odds. Afterwards I promised her that if I was called up, and since she would also be attending, I would give her a shout out. I went to my local hobby shop and bought the brightest neon coloured signs I could find. I made two signs.
I was taking my girlfriend Marissa with me. This was her second time seeing Paul McCartney with me. Marissa is one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I have ever met. I knew from the second that I met her that she was going to change my life. She instantly accepted my love of the Beatles. When we moved in together, she had no problem with the amount of Beatles decor around the house. We even have a China cabinet in our dining room simply filled with my Beatles memorabilia. She knew from the beginning that it was important to me and she fully embraced it. I knew I couldn't imagine life without her. I made it my mission to propose on stage to her.
|China cabinet with Dylan's Beatles memorabilia.|
We arrived to the show, received our floor wristbands and headed to our seats. Much to my surprise we had seats 18 and 19 which put us directly underneath Paul. I had no idea when buying the tickets where in the row I would be. Marissa and I were both shocked with how close we were. It was the experience of a lifetime.
Paul took the stage and as expected blew everyone away. He played his normal three hours without drinking any water and was a true professional. We told the people sitting next to us and behind us prior to the show that we would be holding up the signs and they were all encouraging. We only held them up in between songs, never during. Paul finished his main set-list and left the stage. It was at this point that we figured it wasn't going to happen. Even though we had great seats and a fantastic show, I would be lying if I said I wasn't slightly disappointed. Paul returned to the stage for his encore. He began playing 'Yesterday' and I noticed a bright flashlight being shined into my face. It was Paul's head of security and he was waving me down. He instructed us to move to the isle, where he sent us to the left side of the stage. Another security guard opened the fence and told us we had to run to the stage side. He said we had to be waiting to go on when Yesterday was over. Marissa and I were in complete disbelief that it was happening. Something I thought impossible was becoming a reality.
|Dylan, Marissa and their signs.|
"Paul, I've followed you for five shows. Can I propose?" and "He said he'll marry me if he meets you Paul. Can he propose?"
The conversation with Paul went as followed;
Paul: What's your name?
Dylan: Dylan Berwick.
Paul: Where are you from?
Dylan: Philadelphia (at which point the crowd roared with approval)
Paul: (whispered into my ear, not into the mic) Are you nervous?
Paul: (Still whispering) Well you should be! Look at all these people.
Paul:(Back on the mic) And what's your name?
Marissa: Marissa Gray
Paul: And where are you from Marissa?
Marissa: Also from Philadelphia (again a roar of approval)
Paul: So you guys want to propose huh?
Marissa: If you'll allow it.
Paul: It's got nothing to do with me, so I don't mind. Well, down on your knee boy."
I dropped to one knee and took Marissa's hand and began speaking. I didn't know I was supposed to speak into the mic which Paul had moved down to my level. So the first few sentences weren't picked up.
Dylan: I love you so much, and I want to do this with you for the rest of my life. I want to propose to you here in front of my mom and my dad. In front of Bonnie and Judy. In front of all the other Fans On The Run here in the city of brotherly love. Will you marry me?
Marissa: I will
Paul: She said yes!
I slid the ring on her finger and kissed her on stage. There was a roar of approval from the crowd and Marissa and I waved to the crowd. Paul grabbed my hand held it into the air as if we just won a race. He proclaimed that we needed a group hug and the three of us hugged on stage. I shook his hand and thanked him for everything. Marissa also shook his hand and told him to "Keep rocking." to which he laughed and said "See you later, kids."
|Happy couple and Paul.|
After the show, hundreds of people came up and congratulated us as we were walking to the car. Some even stopped us for pictures. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I am so appreciative of Paul for giving me this opportunity and memories that will stay with me forever.