Paul McCartney is a freak of nature – there I’ve said it.
Seriously, how can anyone over fifty years into their musical career perform a nearly three hour show, play several instruments (all really well I may add) including bass, electric and acoustic guitar, piano and even ukulele barely break a sweat while never leaving the stage.
And do all of that while keeping the audience in the palm of their hands – to quote the man himself maybe I’m amazed.
Then again I’ve seen McCartney in concert nine times previously so I pretty much knew what to expect but boy is he still able to deliver.
After casually strolling on stage at around 8:10 p.m. McCartney ripped into The Beatles classic “A Hard Day’s Night” and never stopped until nearly 11 p.m.
Looking fit and much younger than his age, McCartney was enthusiastic and thoroughly seemed to enjoy himself bopping from instrument to instrument through the night as he acknowledged the audience in all parts of the coliseum.
So, you may ask, how does this performance stack up to the nine previous McCartney shows I’ve had the pleasure of seeing? Quite well actually.
First off I must say that for the first third of the show McCartney’s voice was a bit ragged at times and there were signs of weariness especially on songs like the superb “Letting Go” (SO much better with real horn players!) and “Let Me Roll It” but by the acoustic set and the last two thirds of the show his voice settled into a groove and he sounded great.
I have to say the acoustic portion of the show was one of the best acoustic sets I’ve heard the man do and certainly the highlight of the evening for me.
Songs like “In Spite of All the Danger” (an old Quarrymen song, pre-Beatles), “From Me to You” and “Love Me Do” were all superb! There was even some fresh banter from McCartney when he talked of getting the Beatle screams in the old days with the women in the audience gladly providing a couple of samples.
The other slight drawback to the night was the sound. Again the first third of the night was a tad muddy (at least where I was sitting) and sounded a bit too loud but by the acoustic set it had settled down as well and was better the last two thirds of the night. It seems that since McCartney usually plays bigger arenas the sound may have been pumped a bit too high for this smaller setting.
I was really surprised at McCartney’s nice performances of the vocal shredding “Maybe I’m Amazed” as well as “Live and Let Die” both of which sounded really good and in the past have proved challenging at some shows but he pulled them both off beautifully last night.
As usual McCartney was warm and engaging throughout the entire performance and made the crowd of over 11,000 seem like they were at an intimate night club as he told story after story about his songs and storied career.
I must say too that the newer songs from his latest album “Egypt Station” all sounded terrific especially “Who Cares” and the notorious “Fuh You” which took me a while to warm up to on the recording but which sounded wonderful live.
The sold-out crowd was very enthusiastic throughout the entire show and were definitely glad McCartney had finally come to the Summit City.
As far as the ten shows I’ve seen McCartney perform this one was definitely the most relaxed, the easiest to get too and probably the most enjoyable. I was early enough to the show that even the merchandise table was a breeze and I managed to nab one of the 100 limited edition posters for this particular show that were offered for sale (see above).
Seeing as how McCartney will be 77 later this month this may be the last time I see him perform live. If it is it was certainly a great way to remember him as a performer. He always gives 1000 percent and last night was just a magical experience.
Ten down and who knows maybe an eleventh will manage to squeeze itself in sometime. Either way Paul McCartney has to be seen live to be believed!
Here’s the complete setlist from last night’s show in Fort Wayne, IN:
As usual I’ve posted a few photos above of the concert last night and since I have the day off today it’s time for a nap lol.
Until next time be well and Happy early Summer!!!