Paul McCartney in Concert = AMAZING

19 July, 2009 at 11:03 am (Concert, Music, The Beatles, The British Are Coming!, Weekend Update)

Last night I went to see Paul McCartney in concert at Citi Field. Citi Field is the new home of the Mets…wait, let me Beatles Geek-out for a moment and explain. See, The Beatles played the first-ever concert at Shea Staduim (the former home of The Mets). Not only was that show the first at Shea; it was the first show at a stadium ever. Pre-Beatles, there weren’t big stadium and arena shows…anyway, last year they shut down Shea, and Billy Joel did a big “goodbye” concert there – and Paul made a surprise appearance. So, since he’d been in the first concert at Shea and the last concert at Shea, it only made since that he’d do the first show at the new “Shea”!

Perfect weather for an outdoor concert

Waiting for the show to begin...


Note: Pics were taken with my iPhone, which has the unfortunate side-effect of making us look further away from the stage then we actually were.

So, last night was that show. It was, in a word, Incredible. Best concert I’ve ever been to? Absolutely. Am I still on a post-concert high? Hell yes.

First, though, there was an opening band, The Script. They’re an Irish band I’d never heard of before, but they were good! I’ll definitely check their stuff out.

And then…out came Paul. He came on shortly before 9:00 and started his set…and because I knew I’d want to blog about it, I kept track of the set list during the show…

Drive My Car
Jet
Only Mama Knows
Flaming Pie
Got to Get You Into My Life
Let Me Roll It/Foxy Lady
Highway
The Long and Winding Road
My Love
Blackbird
Here Today
Dance Tonight
Calico Skies
Mrs. Vandebilt
Eleanor Rigby
Sing the Changes
Band on the Run
Back in the U.S.S.R.
I’m Down
Something
I’ve Got a Feeling
Paperback Writer
A Day in the Life/Give Peace a Chance
Let It Be
Live and Let Die
Hey Jude

And at this point, the concert “ends”. Of course, we all know that encores are a requirement for live shows at this point…though frankly, after the last few songs he had played, I had no idea what he’d do for an encore. Well, he did:

Day Tripper
Lady Madonna
I Saw Her Standing There

That was ending two…and then, though I wasn’t sure he’d do it…encore two!

Yesterday
Helter Skelter
Get Back
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band (Reprise)
The End

So yeah. Fucking amazing set list. Granted, he does have 5 decades (!) of material to choose from…but he played every song I wanted to hear, and then some. The man may be 67, but he played for 2 1/2 hours. And during the entire concert, he never even stopped for a drink of water. I don’t even know how that’s possible.

And the thing with Paul is, he’s so adorable. There’s a reason he was called the cute Beatle – he was always the flirty, charming one. That hasn’t changed. And there is nothing better than an artist that plays and still seems to know how lucky they are, that they get to be a successful musician, one that thousands of people will pay good money to go see. I’ve been to some concerts where the performer seems pissed off to be there – that ain’t Paul. He still seems like he’s having so much fun with the whole thing.

But highlights from the show? Well overall, there is this sense of nostalgia that’s sort-of permeated his work for the past few years (not including his last album, released as The Fireman). During the whole show, there was a giant screen at the back of the stage showing whatever might be relevant to the song at hand. They were all really good – and then, for some reason, during “The Long and Winding Road” they were showing photos of the American desert. Random…until I remembered that, when he was married to Linda, they lived in Arizona – in fact, she died there. So all of a sudden it made sense, “subtle tribute to Linda”…and sure enough the next song was “My Love”, which he had written for Linda when they were married and which he dedicated to her. And then a couple of songs later he played “Here Today”, a song he wrote for John after he was murdered. Paul actually seemed to choke up a little while he was singing that one, it was pretty touching. And later still, he played George’s song “Something” on a ukelele George had given him. So yeah, lots of reminiscing.

However, it wasn’t all downers! He played new stuff, more than I thought he might (which is great, because his last couple of albums have been pretty good, especially his most recent). And he of course played tons of Wings stuff. But he didn’t disappoint those that only know him as a Beatle (like my coworker who came with me) – he played a TON of Beatles numbers at the end.

My favorite moment of the night? It would have to be “Live and Let Die”. Yes, yes, this is a Wings song and not one by my beloved Beatles. But “Live and Let Die” is a total stadium-rock type song – Wings did a huge stadium tour in the 70s, and this was always one of the highlights. Big pyrotechnics, the whole bit. So I was curious to see what we would get last night, as it was the first time i’d ever been to an outdoor concert of this magnitude. Fireworks? Why yes, yes indeed…

Live and Let Die

Live and Let Die


That photo also give a good sense of how the venue was set up – the screens they had to the right and the left were ENORMOUS, and yet totally HD (that doesn’t come across in the photo, either).

So here I am, the day after. My voice is hoarse from the yelling, my hands sore from the clapping. And I’ve already created a playlist on iTunes to recreate the set list from last night. (note: I’m missing way more songs than I should be, five or so. It’s downright embarrassing). The concert was absolutely the best I’ve ever been to (including the last time I saw McCartney). I’m so glad I was able to go – and able to blog about it, so I can try and re-live it in the future 🙂

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5 Comments

  1. Rosella said,

    I am so happy for you. Everyone should have something in their life that makes them that happy. Enjoy the music!!

  2. Karen said,

    Way to go, Joey. I’m so glad you enjoy Mr. McCartney, all his past incarnations and the music he continues to make. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this experience.

  3. Lover of hickies said,

    suck it.

  4. adayinthelyfe said,

    For the record, Mike, I wrote this before you screwed up and forgot to buy tickets. I actually almost felt bad that I was “ruining” the set list for you…so YOU suck it.

  5. Kelli said,

    Sounds like an AWESOME show. I’m also glad that you liked The Script. I really enjoy the song, The Man Who Can’t Be Moved. That band has a lot of buzz around them right now. I’m just getting into them. I’m happy to hear they’re good live.

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