Excitement soars as Paul McCartney takes Bryce Jordan Center stage

Good things come to those who wait.

Twin lines stretched from Gates A and B of the Bryce Jordan Center for Paul McCartney’s highly anticipated Thursday evening performance in State College.

Beatles T-shirts adorned the young, the old and everything in between, many of whom appeared relaxed and casual as they trecked toward the entrance — even the smaller fans didn’t seem to mind the wait.

“The line is moving pretty quickly, I think,” a small bespectacled boy in a Beatles T-shirt said.

He was right. The pace of each line resembled more of a brisk walk than a stilted shuffle. Even Dylan Perry and Alicia Reilly, who took their place at the back of the line at approximately 7 p.m., didn’t get to enjoy their streetside view of the Pegula Ice Arena for very long.

Perry is a freshman at Edinboro University and Reilly is a sophomore at Penn State Behrend in Erie. Both were just coming off of a three-hour car ride and, if anything, this was a terrific opportunity to stretch their legs prior to the show.

“Then we have to do it again tonight, so I’ll have fun at classes (tomorrow),” Perry said.

It was a trade-off he gladly made for the opportunity to see McCartney perform live.

“We grew up listening to his music and the Beatles,” Perry said.

Farther up the line, Keith and Glenda Tressler were quickly approaching the security guards wanding people before they passed through the doors to the BJC.

They traveled to State College from Herndon, a trip that Keith Tressler rounded out at two hours before his wife immeadietly chimed in with a more precise two hours and 17 minutes.

The Tresslers are longtime McCartney fans.

“We recall his music from 1964,” Keith Tressler said.

He named “Let it Be” as his favorite — not that he was being picky. In fact, everyone inside the BJC seemed more than happy to listen to whatever McCartney cared to play.

The moment the musician stepped on stage he was greeted with the sound of hundreds of voices coalescing into one gigantic cheer.

McCartney opened with “Eight Days a Week,” and much of the crowd remained on their feet, clapping, waving their arms and dancing throughout the first few songs.

Some held up signs — “For My Sixteenth Birthday I Chose Paul Over a New Car” was a highlight.

For Anja Lee, a 9 year-old from State College, McCartney’s performance marked the rite of passage that was her very first concert.

Her father and a uncle are both huge Beatles fans so the musician and his music were anything but unfamiliar to her. Still, it didn’t quite compare to the wonder of seeing it performed live.

“It’s really amazing what some people can do on stage,” Anja said.

Her face lit up when McCartney began playing “Four Five Seconds,” her favorite song. It was a rapid-fire sensation, a look that in an instant shifted from surprise to recognition and finally, joy.