Paul McCartney made good on promises to Get Back...Maccas' Got Back tour!
On the 6th of May, 2022 in Oakland, I experienced what it may have felt like, being front and center at a Beatles concert minus the hoards of screaming girls. John Lennon and Paul McCartney singing "I've Got a Feeling" together in front of my eyes! And, George and Paul, performing "Something", accompanied by Paul playing on a Ukelele gifted to him by his bandmate, George Harrison.
In 2019, Paul McCartney promised he'd get back, when his tour was stopped by Covid. It started spreading in the U.S., and McCartney had to halt the entire tour. Macca made good on this promise, that after Covid he'd Get Back to the tour. On February 18 the Macca team announced the GOT BACK tour, Paul’s 13-city return to U.S. stages, starting April 28 with Paul’s first show in Spokane, Washington. So here in 2022, Maccas,' "GOT BACK" tour is on! With a Beatles' loving tribute to the Beatles. I never expected a show quite like this. To be honest, I never really expected anything that night apart from an opportunity to capture an ex Beatle through my lens. I never anticipated the goosebumps, or to be high on that show alone, for weeks to follow, and I never expected writing my second story about that night. Complete with words by friends' about the event.
That night began with a bunch of photographers reuniting after a two year hiatus. These are a core of photogs that I see at most of the big shows. After years of shooting side by side, we've all grown familiar with each other. After the two year shut down of the music industry, many of us hadn't seen each other for the entire two years. Tonight, we got to shoot again! This time we were shooting on a purpose built platform next to the soundboard at the back of the floor in Oakland Arena. Technically called, Front of House (FOH). A place only a long lens will due.
Until I saw the set list for the show, I wasn't as excited for the show as I was for the shooting of it. But I must say, when I saw a glimpse of the set list I knew that this evening may be a very special show indeed. I was absolutely correct! I'm not even sure what happened to me that night. All I know is that I was moved beyond I ever thought was possible. To witness this show, from 13 rows back, front and center, was an event I will not forget anytime soon. I don't know if I'll be able to even put it in words, or to do any justice whatsoever...thats why I have some friends joining me and helping to convey their own personal takes from their "Got Back" show experience. For me, the show was near perfect. The experience of witnessing The Beatles play together onstage in front of me, spoke to the core of my musical joy, that the evening gifted me.
I went to the show with one of my dearest friends and concert buddies, Stefanie. We are both in agreement about this historic event we experienced on 6th of May. Stef had not yet 'been back' to concerts post Covid before McCartney. So this was her first show that she Got Back to, since the pandemic had erupted and forced us into our homes for two years. When I asked Stef to put into her words what she felt from that night she wrote:
"I get chills & tears recounting the 2.5 hours of love and memories. The image of a young Paul and his baby son in his jacket during “Baby I’m Amazed” was mesmerizing. Collectively singing “Hey Jude”was like prayer. I could write something special about all 34 songs performed so well by his fun band. We danced, sang and laughed. It was one of my favorite concerts in a lifetime shows. ♥️"
One of my British friends, Davy, in Florida, saw this show on 28th of May in Orlando. Davy is a musician, playing drums, guitar and vocals, and had been lead singer in Pepperland, a Beatles tribute band for many years. Now Davy is in The Petty Experience. This is what Davy had to say about his experience with Maccas' Got Back tour in Florida: "This show was at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium. Great show. The production was monstrous but didn’t overshadow Paul’s performance in the least. He’s the master when it comes to commanding the audience and making a stadium of 50,000 people feel that they know him personally." Davy added, "I bought Band on The Run in Inverness, Scotland the day it came out in 1973. I was 9. It blew my mind and still does. So when Macca brilliantly performed the magnificent title track it was a truly special moment. I also liked the emphasis on later Beatles albums, especially White Album and Let It Be. It may not have worked for everyone but personally I thought the selections from more recent solo albums were beautifully integrated within the set and sounded good. Time for me to dig into McCartney III. "
My drummer friend, Robin, had this to say about his experience on the second Oakland performance, May 8th: "The sound was amazingly good for the size of the venue. As to my take away of my impression of Paul McCartney and his show I have to say that I loved his warm approach and lovely stories he told. I also loved his duo with John Lennon who was soloed from the Beatles’s rooftop concert footage of January 1969. John’s image and voice was taken from the movie, Let it Be to allow Paul and John to virtually sing together for us at the concert. It was a beautiful and powerful thing to experience. Paul’s choice of clips of Ringo and George were wonderful to see as well. The Beatles tracks he performed with his killer band combined with the incredible imagery created and shown on the big screen were especially moving for me. At times during the performance I was filled with emotion and happiness that only a live performance such as this can provide. For a Beatles fan, this was a show to be sure not to miss. And of course seeing Paul McCartney days away from turning 80 and still bringing it like no one else can, is something I will never forget. And yes I believe it was worth it in every way."
And last but certainly not least, Herlinda went to both nights, and her thoughts when asked about the Macca shows went like this, "I’ve been in love with Paul McCartney since I was 4 years old. First I was too young for him and now; apparently with all his energy; I’m too old for him. I’ve seen him 10 times. At almost 80 years old for this show, he played almost 3 hours with no breaks. He gave his band a break while he did his solo stuff like Blackbird. Wow what stamina! His wife Nancy is a lucky gal!! You guys understand my feelings for Sir Paul now, right? What an incredible human being he is. Late in the show, they brought out the Ukraine 🇺🇦 flag, rainbow 🌈 flag, USA 🇺🇸, California flag, and others on stage on both nights. He is all about peace ☮️ and love ❤️."
Here are a few of my shots from the evening: