I tried taking a few photos & videos, but most of them didn't turn out very well. I mostly let my phone sit in my purse, and just let the music and emotions (and there were many) wash over me. (Set list here.)
He and his fabulous band opened with "A Hard Day's Night." I had flashbacks to seeing the movie for the first time in a theatre re-release in the early 1980s, to watching the Beatles cartoon show with my sister & cousin as a child, and to my mom taking me to see "Help!" at the movie theatre when I was a pre-schooler.
He played "Maybe I'm Amazed," quite possibly my favourite of his solo songs and a strong contender for our wedding first dance song (although we wound up picking something else).
He sang "Let 'Em In," and I remember my grandpa singing along & chuckling over "Auntie Jin" (he had an Aunt Jinny too).
They played "Band on the Run," and I was a young teenager again, listening to the song on the radio and to the album in my friend's basement rec room.
They played "Live and Let Die," complete with explosions, and I thought of how much the world had changed since he wrote the song in the mid-1970s for the James Bond movie of the same name. (Frankly, both my sister & I were surprised the explosions were still allowed, in this very different day & age...!)
We all sang along to "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" -- and he ended off with the ultimate singalong -- "Hey Jude" (of course) -- and I remembered all the junior high dances where that was always the last slow dance, desperately hoping someone would ask me to dance. (They never did.) And I thought about how cool it was to be sitting in an arena, more than 40 years later, singing the same song along with Paul & 14,000+ other people. I wondered if Paul imagined, back in 1968, that 50 years later, he'd still be singing that song in front of thousands of people. I know that 14-year-old me from 1975 would never have imagined the day when Paul McCartney (or any Beatle, for that matter) & I would share the same space.
(He & the band then came back for a kick-ass encore set that started with "Yesterday," and wound up with (of course) "The End" -- "And in the end the love you take/Is equal to the love you make." Perfection. :)
Probably my favourite moment of the night (among so, so many memorable moments) was when when he came out to the edge of the stage with an acoustic guitar and played "Blackbird." The lights dimmed, the glow of hundreds of cellphones lit up the arena like tiny stars, and the stage rose up and up and up into the air, high above the audience. It was magical. It was hugely emotional. I blinked back tears. He told us he'd written it with the civil rights marches of the 1960s in mind (and I couldn't help thinking of the present day, and of Christine Blasey Ford & all the brave women who have come forward with stories of courage and survival). "All your life... you were only waiting for this moment to be free."
And then he sang "Here Today," which he wrote after John Lennon was murdered, saying all the things to him that he never got the chance to say, and the stage slowly lowered back to its regular height.
His voice is not quite what it once was... but he played for three solid hours, bouncing from his famous Hofner bass to electric guitar to acoustic guitar to ukelele (George taught him how to play it) to grand piano to upright -- back & forth, and telling stories along the way. Did I mention the man turned 76 years old (!!) this summer??! We should all be so energetic at that age...
He clearly still loves doing what he does, and I hope he keeps on doing it for as long as he's willing and able. I feel so very lucky to have lived almost my entire life with Beatles/Wings/McCartney songs as a major part of the soundtrack. And so very lucky to have finally seen him in concert.
Concert review & newspaper photos here.
One local couple got the ultimate photobomb for their wedding album! :)
You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here.
|He's hard to see here ;) but that's Sir Paul McCartney himself, singing "Blackbird" with an acoustic guitar |
on an elevated stage (with larger images on screens on either side of the stage).