My night out to see Paul McCartney did not start off well... I had a mediocre dinner (how someone can screw up a grilled ham and cheese sandwich is beyond me!) and then after walking the 10-15 minutes from the restaurant to the SAP Center I was greeted by a new policy that restricted bags to 5"x8" or smaller. If they were larger they needed to be clear bags or you had to check them for $5 and get a clear bag in return. I briefly considered checking my bag, but when I saw how long the line was to check bags I knew it'd be ten times worse retrieving it after the show, so I turned around and walked the 10-15 minutes back to my car to lock my purse in my trunk after taking out the essentials I'd need for the evening. I'll save my rant about the stupidity of this security theater for another day, but will just say this -- how hard is it to send an email to people who bought tickets in DECEMBER for this show to inform them of a new policy enacted on July 1?! Annoying as hell.
With the need to trek back to my car and then return to the arena, it was nearly 8:00 by the time I actually got inside. I wasn't too concerned -- I've seen Paul often enough to know that he doesn't start his show a the stated ticket time. I grabbed a bottle of water and made my way down to my seat. I knew when I bought the ticket that I'd gotten a pretty good seat, but I had rather forgotten where it was when I got to the arena. Third row up from the floor, right near the stage! Wow! Definitely the closest I've ever been for McCartney. As I worked my way down to my seat, I passed a couple of women who were in a bit of a tizzy. I assume that they, like pretty much every other woman I chatted with on my way in to the arena, were annoyed by the new bag policy. Nope, they had gotten seriously scammed on scalped tickets and had lost several thousand dollars! Yikes! It all ended well as they wound up with pretty decent seats, but also learned a really valuable lesson.
Paul took the stage about 8:25 and kicked off the show with "Hard Days Night" and everyone was on their feet singing and dancing along. Being so close to both the floor and the stage meant it was an up on my feet show most of the way through. Fine by me, though brutal for a school night, I was gonna pay the next day at work! Paul's got a new album out which I received a copy of when I purchased the concert ticket, and he played a few songs from it to an okay response from the crowd. While everyone appreciates his talent, folks are there to hear songs they've known and loved for decades. I will say, however, you know you're a rock god when you can get Meryl Streep (among many other A-list celebs) to dance around a recording studio for your music video (from an album released a few years ago.)
Still, the highlights are always the Beatles' classics, and while I didn't get "Michelle," I did get a lot of my favorite tunes. Personal highlights included "Let 'Em In" -- the first solo McCartney song I recall hearing as a kid, his tributes to John and George ("Here Today" and "Something"), and of course the finale of the show "Let It Be," "Live and Let Die," and "Hey Jude." Being so close to the stage when all the pyrotechinics went off during "Live and Let Die" was amazing. And HOT! Wow! Lots of flames (including one that didn't quite go out at the end of the song and kept burning a bit at the beginning of "Hey Jude".) While there are always songs you wish you could hear when someone has a catalog like Paul McCartney, I was a bit surprised not to hear "Yesterday" at all. Especially with the new movie out.
The show ended about 11:30 -- so a solid three hours of a well paced show, which considering Paul is 77 is impressive as hell. I hiked back to my car humming songs that are older than I am and appreciative of another opportunity to see an absolute legend at work.
Set List (courtesy of setlist.fom)
A Hard Day's Night
All My Loving
Got to Get You Into My Life
Come On to Me
Let Me Roll It (followed by "Foxy Lady" jam)
I've Got a Feeling
Let 'Em In
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
Maybe I'm Amazed
I've Just Seen a Face
In Spite of All the Danger
From Me to You
Love Me Do
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
Band on the Run
Back in the U.S.S.R.
Let It Be
Live and Let Die
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
Carry That Weight