I got to see Paul McCartney in concert the other night. We drove out to the middle of nowhere, to an amphitheater built into a fake hill, and watched one of the most amazing performances I have ever seen. I’ve been to rock shows where the audience sings every word of the songs of favorite songs; but by the end of this show, the audience seemed mostly in tune, harmonizing, and he had us singing the words to a song we didn’t know and had never heard before …
Paul looks amazing. He moves like a guy who is maybe 45, tops. He played a 3+ hour show without stopping. His voice is very strong, and only started getting scratchy/wobbly near the end … after the songs where he screams a bit.
It was like going to church, when church is good and how it should be. Everyone — all 28,000 of us — was there in the moment, enjoying it, uplifted by the music, feeling like we were in a special moment in time. Feeling grateful to be there, and that life had given us this gift.
He is a pure showman, is Paul, knowing what the audience wants and delivering it, with a mix of new stuff to keep himself from getting bored, and to stretch the audience’s imagination as well. He tells good, short stories from time to time, and the audience loves each one of them.
This show was one of the best-crafted rock-n-roll spectacles I have seen. The sets and lights and videography and camera work and fireworks were all beautiful and inspiring; even the photos of the Beatles managed to be nostalgic without being sentimental or saccharine. The back-up band was very good and having a good time. Paul is Paul.
I’m grateful to have a kid who said “we should go. How much is the limit to spend on tickets?” and organized us into going. I hate the process of buying tickets, but he manages it without anxiety. I’m also grateful for a boyfriend willing to drive us there and back even though it was way past his bedtime by the time it came to drive home.