Quake-hit Mexico gets lift from Paul McCartney

British musician Paul McCartney performs during the One on One tour concert in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
British musician Paul McCartney performs during the One on One tour concert in Porto Alegre, Brazil. PHOTO: REUTERS

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - Paul McCartney lifted spirits in quake-hit Mexico at a concert here punctuated with the cry "Fuerza Mexico".

More than 48,000 fans gathered in the Azteca Stadium on Saturday to hear the former Beatle in his first Mexico City concert in five years.

Before launching into Maybe I'm Amazed, McCartney raised his fist, evoking the hand signs used to call for silence during the search for survivors in the ruins left by the September earthquake.

"Fuerza Mexico," he shouted to the roar of the crowd, delighted by his use of the Spanish phrase meaning "be strong, Mexico".

The 7.1 magnitude quake toppled buildings in the city, killing more than 400 people and leaving thousands homeless.

Shortly after the quake, McCartney sent a message on Twitter to Mexicans expressing his affection and support "in these difficult times".

During his previous Mexico City concert, he filled the giant plaza in the heart of the city known as the Zocalo with 200,000 fans.

On his current One On One tour, which began in the United States last year, the British legend has performed 41 shows before 1.2 million people.