McCartney Live?

I'll be going to see Paul McCartney live in FedEx Field in DC next week.

Having never attended a concert by any Beatle, I figure this is something I just need to do.

So my question is what should I expect? Does McCartney still got "it" live?
yes he does....rock show indeed.
I attended the 7/17 show at Citi Field, Queens, NY. Paul McCartney returned (almost) to the spot of the Beatles triumphant and historic 1965 Shea Stadium concert in New York City. I say "almost" because Shea Stadium has been torn down and last night's show was at the brand new Citi Field ballpark, adjacent to the site of the old Shea.

It was my 1st visit to this new facility and it really is beautiful and a lot of fun. This concert was billed as the first-ever concert at the new stadium. That really doesn't mean a whole lot, as concerts in baseball parks aren't exactly a common occurence (football stadiums are usually used), but it was nice that Sir Paul got to "break in" the new stadium, so to speak. He certainly deserved to, what with the historic 1965 concert at Shea.

Highlights (YMMV): Jet, Band On The Run, I'm Down, The Long And Winding Road, My Love, I've Got A Feeling, A Day In The Life, Let It Be, Live And Let Die, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band(reprise)/The End

Overall, a most enjoyable concert. I've never been much of a fan of Paul's post-Wings work, though of course there is the the good song here and there. At times it could be a bit jarring to go from the newer stuff to the ol' audience favorites. But his band was top-notch, besides himself there were two guitarists, a keyboardist, and drummer. That's it, and it was conducive to rockin' out in a tight way. Paul was in good voice, he has great crowd-pleasing charm, and he still has the capability of blowin' the roof of the joint. (Well, there was no roof in this instance!)

Good audience as well.
No disrespect to the fans, but I am always surprised when stuff we have all heard 9 million times gets people excited . Do you really need to hear "Drive my car" again? Hey, I like the Beatles. Sir Paul was a great force in music. But there is actual creativity happening and it is fresh, vital, and alive. Sir Paul, all due respect, is milking it.

Plus...'The Firemen' stink, IMO. No one is going for that anyway. It is a nostalgia gig, pure and simple.
if you haven't seen a favorite artist, nostalgia or not, its a good different than the nostalgia of hi fi.
I saw McCartney 15 years ago and he opened the show with "Drive My Car." At the Citi Field show, he opened the show with "Drive My Car" and I said to myself, uh oh. Is this going to be an identical show? And yes, quite a few songs were repeated, songs that will probably be part of every McCartney show like "Live And Let Die." But there were enough differences in the setlist to make it interesting. And seeing "Let It Be" twice 15 years apart? No problem with me. And I'm sure there were many in the crowd who had never seen a Beatle in concert before. It was a worthy concert!

Why is it bothersome that some of us actually enjoy hearing those great old songs? And that younger people get a chance to hear them live before the artist retires or dies?

Going into the show I felt that if I never heard "Hey Jude" again by Paul or anybody else, I probably wouldn't even notice, as I think it is perhaps the most overrated Beatles song of all. Of course he sang it. And you know what? I enjoyed it.

I saw the Rolling Stones for the first time a few years ago. Nobody was there for their new stuff, either. But I am very glad I got a chance to see them live. Great show!

I think it inevitable that rock stars lose some creativity as they get older. They aren't young & hungry anymore.

Eventually, the younger generation of today will end up seeing their favorite bands of today 30 years from now, and will be taken to task by someone telling them that they are just going for nostalgia, and ignoring the new music.
"I think it (Hey Jude) is perhaps the most overrated Beatles song of all."

Hey Jude is OK, but I'm hoping the "Na Na Na Na Na Na Na's" are kept short to save time for some other stuff.
McCartney for us was a absolute thrill to see live...Especially performances of early Beatles songs.
I was just checking out the set list for some of his concerts to date. Should be a fantastic concert.

I'm psyched to hear Mrs. Vanderbilt live with Paul on bass.
I saw him at Coachella back in April, and he was superb. I didn't know what to expect, but he did not disappoint. Lots of Beatles, Wings, and choice solo tracks. He can still hit all of the notes he sung in his twenties, and of course, he plays like a MF. Highly recommended.
My gut feel is that he would not tour anymore if he was not able to meet peoples high expectations. Everybody I talk to indicates he does just that.

I am not a fan of concerts in large outdoor stadiums generally. Haven't been to one like this in 30 years I would say after a bad experience at an outdoor Stones concert back then with over 100000 people in attendance.

But I suspect I"ll be happy I did it this time.

I know sound quality in M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore Ravens home field) is actually very good at football games. I'm optimistic that FedEx field will be similar for this event.
Milking it???? Now that is a real creative thought!!
mapman, hey jude may be a 'toss off' but i remember seeing the fab four on tv(making their first appearance in front of an audience in about a year (which was forever when your a kid)playing it. even my parents and their friends and neighborhood kids (who where the must unhip people in the world) were glued to the tv, and by the end of the song, kids and adults alike were singing that refrain, even though they had never heard the song before....surreal(much like the ed sullivan show us debut)...and just another reason there won't be anyone like them..ever.
Yes, I think that clip is on the Beatles Anthology DVD set somewhere. I will likely break that out again for the first time in awhile after tomorrow.

I'll probably be "NA NA NA"ing along with everybody else there tomorrow.
You know, you guys are right. If you enjoy it, that's fantastic. However my personal criticism is that Sir Paul stopped growing as a musician in 1970. Although I love the Beatles, I see him as a has-been and a hack. It is a little sickening hear the hits one more friggin' time with NO improvisation or creative interpretation after all this time. That said, I LOVE the original versions! So, don't think I am a hater. I am just sick of the regurgitation of the product that had been over-digested 35 years ago. We are not talking about the Mass in B Minor here, it's still pop music (albeit arguably the best pop ever created). But hey, you guys enjoy it. I salute you.
"I see him as a has-been and a hack"

Definitely not a "hack" as I understand it.

Has been?

How many rock era music figures will be well known 100 years or so from now, like Bach, Beethoven or Mozart today?

I'd wager Paul McCartney will be one.
Yes Mapman he will be remembered, but for the things he wrote before 1970. That is my point. He has not grown, and seems not interested in growth. Since 1970 he has been a business-showman, like (god forbid) ole king Elvis (who I will NEVER understand). Before 1970...great. After 1970...hack. Wings? Please....
My point is that it is possible to keep growing and innovating indefinitely for the mind of a musical genius.

Yes, it is true I am not a huge rock fan. But it is possible to keep growing. Hey, just look at Neil Young or Bob Dylan for example. They are agruably just as musically vital now as they ever were (whether you like the new stuff or not), and they seem just as engaged and full of insight as musical thinkers. Sir Paul became a one man corporate industry, and dropped being a creative thinker a year or so after the Beatles broke up, IMO.

I understand your point.

Personally I lost interest in his new stuff in the early 1980s for the most part. He has had lots of good output as a solo artist more in the pop rather than rock vein through post 1970. I suspect he is also still an awesome bass player worth listening to just for that to boot.

McCartney was always antipolitical, the anti-John Lennon even in the Beatles. Comparisons to Dylan and others are not really relevant. He is what he is. He likes to write songs that make people feel good, not that necessarily make them think. Others do plenty of that. As such I believe he remains relevant, if no longer particularly innovative, to many.

His legacy will be cemented in that he was a key part of a cultural revolution of sort and has produced many songs that just simply make people happy as a byproduct.
In his prime he wrote some of the most evocative and poignant melodies one can imagine. His harmonic accompaniments as a bass player were UNREAL. I am a fan, don't get me wrong. I am saying this more out of frustration. After 70 I just wish he had become more than he became. And I wonder why he didn't.

Ever hear the 'Liverpool Oratorio'???!!!??? (P.U. as they used to say)
Ever hear the 'Liverpool Oratorio'.

Nope. Passed on that one.

I think McCartney is the type who composed best with a collaborator.

Lennon is his best known collaborator but he did well with Denny Laine and Linda McCartney as well when motivated.

The Beatles were a tough act to follow.
If I didn't know better I would think 'Liverpool Oratorio' was a Korean war era punishment for P.O.W.'s invented by the Chinese.
Well, the McCartney concert is in the books.

I'll post more shortly.

Suffice it for now to say he did not play "Liverpool Oratorio".......
Wow, I can understand not caring for McCartney's newer music. However, to call him a has been and a hack, wow.
That's all I can say, wow !
Chashmal , I agree , McCarney pre 1970.
However personally I wouldn't go as far as labeling him as a hack and has been.

Though thinking about it as I type this, here's another issue.
You would think the man learned a few thing's all these year's with what come's with fame and fortune.
Not to mention Linda's old money root's.

Now what was that peg leg's name again?
Remember guys, I also called him a genius!
It is simple: a genius turns his back on innovation and the creative process
and thus becomes a buisness interest
a hack
a has been
could it have been different?
of course!
Sir Paul chose fame and money over his art
too bad
but we still have his great realy recordings
The concert was quite fabulous.

McCartney and his band played for almost 3 hours straight.

One acquaintance who has seen him 8-9 times over the years said this was the best.

The focus was largely on his more popular Beatles songs, and the more rocking portion of his Beatles and solo output including at least 4 songs from "Band On the Run". He also paid tribute to John and George playing several of their signature tunes.

I hope I look as good as him at 67.

Did I mention his band rocked? They did with the best of them.

And his vocals were still quite good to perfect even at times.

The sound at the event was fantastic/perfect. We did manage to score seats in the first row center, 2 sections back, truly in the "sweet spot". It was sweet indeed!

The crowd was of all ages. There were kids hugging parents and vice versa during Hey Jude. I did not mind all the Na Na Na'ing going on at was cool!

HE ended the second encore set and closed things out with the Sgt. Pepper closing version segued into "The End".

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make" were the last words said.

Truly a fantastic event. That coming from a Ravens and Eagles fan sitting in the middle of the Redskins home, FedEx field yet........

Set List (unconfirmed):

Drive My Car


Only Mama Knows

Flaming Pie

Got To Get You Into My Life

Let Me Roll It


Long and Winding Road

My Love


Here Today

Dance Tonight

Calico Skies


Mrs. Vanderbilt

Eleanor Rigby

Sing The Changes

Band On The Run

Back In The USSR

I’m Down


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

Day Tripper

Lady Madonna

I Saw Her Standing There


Helter Skelter

Get Back

Sgt. Pepper/The End

On the down side, traffic was absolutely horrendous getting in and out of FedEx Field and the concession providers appeared to be totally unprepared. The stands were out of food save bagged peanuts before McCartney even took the stage. No paper towels in the mens room and another reported no running water in the rest room they were in. These aspects of the event were a downright disaster. Never have encountered anything like this at M&K Bank Stadium for Ravens games there.

I'm not sure that Paul CHOSE the route you decribe. I suspect that his partnership with Lenon helped hide Macca's natural tendency toward excessively "sugary" songwriting. His post Beatles songs are probably a truer representation of Paul than those written with John.

Once John left the scene, I'd agree that Paul went "saccharine" - but I doubt that it was a calculated choice, as you believe. I know that some will disagree, but I also believe that once Paul left, John went a bit "sour". Their songwriting relationship may have truly been synergistic in a way that truly revealed itself only when the guys went their separate ways.


PS All that being said, there is a school that would argue in favor of Paul's "saccharine" solo songwriting. Evidently, there is a bunch of currently highly regarded indie bands that identify "Ram" as their touchstone recording. I see their point, but, personally, I'll take the Beatles' stuff.
Paul seems comfortable these days with his role as ambassador of the Beatles legacy.

I think I read recently that his cumulative #1 record sales both with and post Beatles establishes him (not Michael Jackson) as the most popular recording act of all time.

Isn't that enough? What else could anybody ask of the man?

In the 70's, Paul was determined to make his own name as a successful pop/rock artist post-Beatles. He did not embrace his Beatles musical legacy in those days as he seems comfortable in doing now.

Honestly, if Paul chose to perform "Silly Love Songs" or "Let 'em In" or even "Goodnight Tonight" at the concert
I would not have cared. Tunes like those are part of what makes McCartney McCartney and the talent for writing catchy tunes that went into creating those also helped make the Beatles as successful as they were.

I need to give "Liverpool Oratorio" a spin someday just to hear what McCartney doing classical sounds like. I'm pretty certain its nothing like Mahler, say.
"Isn't that enough? What else could anybody ask of the man?"

Well, it certainly is enough if one resigns themself to maintainance of their buisness and media interests. That's fine, let him enjoy it.

But that is not what an artist is. When it happens to a hugely successful creative person those who love and honor the creative process just have to sigh, and say 'there goes another one'.

If you look at pop stars today it seems they are much more interested in fashion line and marketing perfume than music. Sir Paul is closer to that camp than say, Bob Dylan is, IMO.

And yes, I thought with Lennon the synergy made it work and without it it vanished. At least he made those works and we have them.

I cannot argue with your description of an artist.

I am also a big Dylan fan and greatly appreciate what he has accomplished artistically over the last 10 years in particular.

But I do not see much of a practical difference between them as people.

Dylan continues to do what he has always done well well and so does Sir Paul.

To me that's just the way it should be at their ages. I would not compare either against the other and appreciate either less as a result though.
My 11 year old Son, Aaron loves the Paul McCartney I play ,I can see he is somewhat enchanted by it, there is a wonderful warm appeal with him (Paul).
The older I get, the more I like his music. Wonderful!
STILL I dearly love his work before '70!