McCartney back in U.S.

Ex-Beatle to kick off stateside tour Sept. 21

Paul McCartney is set to stage another British invasion this fall.

Just a few months after completing this year’s highest-grossing tour to date, the superstar ex-Beatle said Tuesday that he will kick off the aptly named Back to the U.S. tour Sept. 21 at Milwaukee’s Bradley Center.

Expanded circuit

Tour, which adds 22 dates in 20 cities to the 27 shows McCartney played during his Driving USA outing in the spring, will be put on jointly by Clear Channel Entertainment and AEG Live, with House of Blues handling McCartney’s October stop-off at Portland, Ore.’s Rose Center.

McCartney will hit the road with the same touring band that supported him for Driving USA, including guitarists Rusty Anderson and Brian Ray, drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. and Wix Wickens on keyboards. Set list is expected to include between 30 and 35 songs, with about 20 Beatles classics.

Gotham date absent

Tour, which will wind up Oct. 29 at the America West Arena in Phoenix, will pass through Los Angeles’ Staples Center the previous night. A New York date is not on the itinerary, but McCartney will hit the Hartford (Conn.) Civic Center on Sept. 27 and Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on Sept. 28.

The Driving USA tour topped all U.S. rivals in the first half of 2002, grossing a reported $53 million over April and May. Outing was a ray of light in an otherwise mixed touring season this year: A recent survey by touring pub Pollstar showed that revenues for the top 50 tours from January to June were up 6% to $538 million, but the number of tickets sold slipped by 3% to 10.6 million.

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