Paul McCartney Brings It On

Iron Man

Paperback Writer.  That’s what he’s singing.  And, like the thousands of other people that were in the Jobing Arena in Glendale (Phoenix) Az., I was impressed and happy to be hearing Paul McCartney do one of the classics of rock and roll right there on the stage.  The awesomeness (yep) of the experience is still settling in for me.  I was in the same space as the incomparable Sir Paul.  This is one of the four guys who changed music as the world knew it, and set the path for everyone who’s shown up since.  He stands alone now as the most important musical figure of the past 50 years, with Ringo filling in his own spot but one not quite as untouchable.

The concert started an hour late, almost to the minute.  No one cared.  The “pre-show” of recorded music and graphics of pictures and animations was very entertaining.  It included Paul’s music as performed by other people.  How many performers do that?  Probably only him.

He came on with Jet, after a nice little introductory chatter.  He used to have a ranch in Tucson, so he’s familiar with Arizona and seemed so at home with the crowd you’d have thought it was a repeat of something recent. He was charming and loose, pointing out signs in the audience and vowing (laughing about it)  to not sign another arm for a tattoo, although he seemed to relish the love that prompted a fan to ask for one.

He will forever be “Beatle Paul”.  As much as George and John wanted to shed that image,   Paul is keeping it alive, and the audience loved it.  The most well received numbers were the Beatles’ tunes, with Live and Let Die coming in close behind.  The sentimental numbers, My Love and his tribute to John, This Day, were accompanied by a few tears from the audience.  The biggest surprise was the reaction to his ukulele rendition of Something.  It was almost disproportionately applauded, and was, perhaps, one of the best received performances of the night.  I have always been a fan of George, and so are many others, it seems.  The accompanying photo slideshow that backed him up was sweet and a nice reminder of just how close they all once were.  I think it shows that for Paul the affections remain unaltered.

One of the highlights of the night was the encore segments that ended the evening.  During one of them he came out alone, with his acoustic guitar, and sang Yesterday.  Then, in what was a surprise for me, he launched into Helter Skelter.  After all of that singing and he still belted out the original hard rock classic.  It was fantastic, and the audience was wild for it.  The last encore ended with Sgt. Pepper, and we all, grudgingly, had to leave what will remain a highlight in my memory book.  I’m grateful to have some pictures, even if it was the big screens that brought me most of the show, not having tickets within the first 100 yards!  Still, I wouldn’t have missed it, and can only hope that I might get at least one more chance to see this natural wonder of a showman.

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