A magical night with Sir Paul McCartney honoring The Beatles.
The stage was set for a Beatle. I expected only Paul and his touring bandmates, but instead I got to experience Paul, George and John singing together for a few selected songs, (via a video screen behind him.) Which turned this performance into an historic event!
Last time I saw Paul McCartney was in the "1900s", (circa 1977), he was with Linda and Wings. This tour was very different. It wasn't just about the music, Sir Paul spent the evening honoring The Beatles, telling stories of the early days of he and his bandmates.
The photographers were shooting this show from the back of the arena, at the soundboard, which is technically called, "front of house". We only got to shoot the first two songs. And the distance made the shoot a bit challenging. The shoot is the real rush for me, normally. But when I saw the setlist laying on the soundboard I knew it was going to be good. Then after I stowed my gear, I made my way to my seat, (13th row, center) to join my friend, I was in for a treat. We both felt it. In the next 2 and a half hours, Sir Paul gave the audience way more than expected. As this "Got Back" tour incorporates John, and George on the video screens behind Paul. It worked so well. And was truly amazing! First, Paul played the ukulele that George had gifted him. He performed a beautiful rendition of "Something" with George footage rolling behind him, including sound, as if they were singing together. Then later, he played, my personal favourite part of the show was when he sang "I've got a feeling" with John. The duo playing this song together was bone chilling in a very good way. Simply wonderful! Not at all cheesy, but so genuine and sincere. As the song ended, Paul turned around to face the screen behind him and saluted his 'bandmate, 'his brother', John'. It was a very special moment. And it did strangely feel like seeing The Beatles performing together.
This "Got Back" tour is a significant one as Paul McCartney is only weeks away from turning 80 years old and he's playing places that he hasn't played for nearly twenty years, like the Oakland Arena. At this show, McCartney took it to a whole other level I've not witnessed...making this tour, a part of musical history in my opinion. The setlist, chock full of the songs that have been woven into the fabric of nearly everyones 'life soundtrack' alive today! And it showed...there were many people at the show, that may have been once the screaming girls in footage that we've all seen, from back in the day when The Beatles first arrived in America. Now they made it to this show pushing walkers and in wheelchairs. Indeed a heartwarming sight to see. McCartney told many stories of The Beatles, including how it was when they came to this country, with all the screaming girls that may have been in the audience tonight. And how that felt to the young lads from Liverpool. Even asking for a repeat of that sound, and the audience was only too happy to accommodate.
I highley suggest...If you have not yet watched, the 9 hour, "Get Back" on Disney+, I suggest you do. You'll see the fab four composing their music in front of your eyes. As well as lots of unseen footage from their beginnings. Its a stunning 9 hours to take in. Closing with the unannounced rooftop concert, ending their union as a band for the last and final time.
Paul and band played for a whopping 2 hours and 40 minutes. Leaving the stage towards the end, only to re-emerge holding huge flags, from Ukraine, USA, UK and pride. Magical. He then came onstage for a four song encore capping the evening with, "Golden Slumbers". If you have a chance to see one of this 13 stop tour, do yourself a favour and go! You will not be sorry you did. An epic evening of music and memories, shared with others in these weird dark times we're living in, adding a certain sweetness to life. I'm very grateful I got to experience this wonderful event. A big thank you to Lennon and McCartney for adding beautiful tunes that have made up a big portion of our lives' sountracks.