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McCartney to play first Citi Field concert

Along with The Beatles, Paul McCartney christened Shea Stadium for rock and roll, ushering in the era of the stadium rock show in 1965. He is set for similar honors at Citi Field, announcing Wednesday that he would be the first musical act at the new home of the Mets on July 17 and 18.

"To be the first to play this stadium is incredible," McCartney said in a statement. "I am really looking forward to a buzzing show."

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. June 15. McCartney expects to cover his entire career, including songs from The Beatles, Wings and his solo career, as well as his recent album "Electric Arguments," released as The Fireman.

"There's no more appropriate artist in the history of rock and roll to play the first concert at Citi Field," said New York Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon. "The era of big-time rock and roll concerts started with Paul and The Beatles at Shea, and we're thrilled to continue that tradition at our new home."

McCartney also got the chance to be the final singer at Shea when he sang "Let It Be" as Billy Joel's special guest during Joel's concerts there last year. Asked if he would want to be part of McCartney's show to open Citi Field, Joel said he'd be happy just to see McCartney play, adding, "Hell, if he asks me, I'll be there in a heartbeat."

Of course, Joel would be available to play only the first show, since he and Elton John will be in the middle of a stadium tour, set for Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., July 18.

"Every time Paul McCartney steps on a stage is a special event because of the timelessness of the music and the enthusiasm and verve that this icon gives to each performance," said Randy Phillips, concert promoter AEG Live's president and chief executive. "Christening Citi Field as a venue will give this concert the added weight of the historical significance of The Beatles appearance at Shea Stadium 44 years ago."

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