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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sir Paul McCartney Live – It's All About BIG

When my good friend, Steven Lee, first suggested we go see Paul McCartney at the AT&T Park last night I must admit to being just a bit reluctant. It's not that Paul is known for disappointing. To the contrary I saw him perform twice in one year in San Jose and was just as amazed the second time around. But when tickets are $250 a seat you want to make sure you get your money's worth. The best adjective to describe last night was B-I-G. Our first clue was when we were greeted by the massive sign that hung below the clock on the AT&T tower.

Whether you are a huge Beatles fan or not seeing Paul McCartney live is a very big deal. Everything about this production was huge and it started with the massive stage they constructed in center field. This shot is of my friend, Howard Friedenberg, with the stage in the background. We were standing near home plate for this picture which was just about as far away as you can get from the stage area.

Although our tickets said 7:30 for showtime it was 8:30 when the band finally charged onto the stage. Massive video screens in a portrait layout flanked both sides of the stage which also entertained us with old photos and memorabilia while we awaited the performance.

No warm up act, no intermission and not much chatter in between songs. It was an onslaught of three solid hours of music, lighting, videos and even fireworks. The fog had rolled in but the magnitude of this show brought the outside temperature up at least ten degrees. We had the good fortune of sitting just 23 rows back center stage.

The other highly entertaining factor was the sea of fans who were all there with equally high expectations and enthusiasm. These two characters spent much of the evening posing for photographs.

For those of you who are curious I kept a set list on my iPhone notepad.
1. Venus And Mars/Rock Show/Jet Medley
2. All My Loving
3. Letting Go
4. Got To Get You Into My Life
5. Highway (The Fireman)
6. Let Me Roll It (Jimi Hendrix Foxy Lady riff & story)
7. The Long & Winding Road
8. Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five
9. Let 'Em In
10. My Love
11. I'm Looking Through You
12. Two Of Us
13. Blackbird
14. Here Today
15. Dance Tonight
16. Mrs. Vandebilt
17. San Francisco Bay Blues
18. Eleanor Rigby
19. Something (began just ukulele then full band)
20. Sing The Changes (The Fireman)
21. Band On The Run
22. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
23. Back In The U.S.S.R.
24. I've Got A Feeling
25. Paperback Writer
26. A Day In The Life/Give Peace A Chance Medley
27. Let It Be
28. Live And Let Die
29. Hey Jude
30. Day Tripper
31. Lady Madonna
32. Get Back
33. Yesterday
34. Helter Skelter
35. Sgt. Pepper Reprise/The End Medley

The other thing that makes Sir Paul deserve his title is the sheer talent of entertaining. From the quiet acoustic only version of "Yesterday" to the explosion of fireworks in "Live And Let Die" he moves brilliantly from not-a-hush-in-the-stadium-crowd to near hysteria. Your only option is to be completely engaged.

My parting shot is one of several I took when the video camera was tight on Paul singing. These images were so large they loomed over us sitting closer to the stage. But they were also in complete proportion with the scale of the entire show. At 68 Paul McCartney could be just resting on his laurels but instead he is out there continuing to over deliver to his fans. A splendid time was guaranteed and had by all. Thank you Paul for the great ride down the long and winding road.

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