Even though we saw Sir Paul in Dallas, TX a couple of years ago, we (wife and I) are going to see him again, this time in Shreveport, LA. Again, my brother and his wife also got tickets for this show, except this time we are going to be sitting near one another. Same section, same row. The concert is in July. I hope it is as good as it was the time before. It was really good.
This will be my third time to see Paul McCartney in concert. The first time was Memphis, August 1966. He was in a band at the time.
So, will anybody else see him this year?
Yeah, I know, it's expensive, but you can't take it with you, and we're geezers.
Okay, just getting around to this. We did get to see McCartney, back in July, in Bossier City, Louisiana.
Here's how it went:
We had seen McCartney in 2014 in Dallas. Paul was somewhat grayer this time. I think he is using Just For Men in spots only and leaving the gray temples. I could be wrong. But he was grayer than when we saw him in 2014.
McCartney and his band, consisting of himself and two guitarists (one of whom played bass for what seemed like most of the night), a drummer, and keyboard player, began with "A Hard Day’s Night", with that iconic chord for a beginning. The lead guitarist played what appeared to be a Gibson ES 335-12. Not a Rickenbacker 12. I believe that was the only number he played that guitar on. The concert was very loud. And distorted. I think if they had turned down the master volume on the whole it would have sounded better and still been quite audible. I don’t remember the Dallas concert being that loud and distorted when Paul played the American Airlines Center there in 2014.
My wife, my brother, his wife, and our other brother and his oldest daughter were in attendance. We got to sit near one brother and his wife, but our other brother and his daughter could barely be seen. They were in the bottom section facing the middle of the arena. We were in the upper section in the back. End zone seats, if you will. After the concert, I told one brother that everything after the concert was sounding like my old Vox guitar amp when the midrange resonance booster was on. He was somewhat concerned, but I told him it had happened before and I would get the bass and treble back in my hearing.
As the concert progressed, I made notes on my phone. Not so much as to take my attention from the concert. I lost track of the number of makes and models of guitars the lead guitarist used.
Second number was “Junior’s Farm.” It was pretty good. Lead guitarist had an SG on this one. Then “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Then “Jet.” (Some of those Wings songs were better than I remember.) Then “Temporary Secretary,” a song I was not familiar with.
Up to that point, Paul had played his Hofner bass. My brother and I were discussing whether or not that was the exact same bass he played with the Beatles. We think he just buys new ones and removes the pickguard to make it look like the old one.
At this point he put away the Hofner bass and picked up an Epiphone Casino, a guitar made for a right-handed person that Paul played lefty. My brother wanted to know why someone of McCartney’s wealth would not spring for a lefty model, but I think it was forsentimental purposes, since he had that model guitar before John and George got their Casinos that they played on their final tour.
With his Epi, he did “Let Me Roll It,” with a “Purple Haze” instrumental outro. He then told the same story he told in Dallas about seeing Hendrix for the first time, where, two days after Sgt. Pepper came out, Hendrix already was performing songs from that album. And how Hendrix used his vibrato tailpiece to the point of knocking his Strat out of tune. And asking Eric Clapton, who was in attendance, to come retune his guitar, to which Clapton declined.
They then did the Beatle song “Got a Feeling.” More loudness.
Next, Paul sat down at a piano on the right side of the stage (viewer’s right) and played “My Valentine,” a song for his wife Nancy, “1985”, and “Maybe I’m Amazed,” (for his first wife Linda).
He then picked up an acoustic guitar and made notice of signs in the audience. One was from a woman in her very late stages of pregnancy, the sign stating she was violating doctor’s orders by being there. The group then did “We Can Work It Out,” with the keyboardist playing an accordion. Then Paul talked about the very early Beatle song “In Spite of All the Danger,” which he performed. Then the Rubber Soul song “You Won’t See Me.” Then “Love Me Do,” on which the keyboard player played the harmonica. If you looked closely at the screen they showed the harmonica player on, you saw him pressing in a lever on the instrument. “Love Me Do” calls for a chromatic harmonica, having both F naturals and F sharps in the harmonica part.\ Then the Hard Day’s Night song “And I Love Her.”
He picked up the acoustic guitar and did “Blackbird.”
He introduced “Here Today” as being about John Lennon, which caused thunderous applause.
On the electric piano he played two songs I did not know, but learned they were “Queenie Eye” and “New.” Later in the concert, Paul said that when he does newer stuff, the band does not see so many cellphone lights as when older songs are played, but they still like to play the new stuff.
Then “Fool on the Hill” and “Lady Madonna.”
Then he strapped back on the acoustic guitar for another unfamiliar (to me) which I later learned was “Four Five Seconds.” But after that it was “Eleanor Rigby.”
Then he got his Hofner bass back on for “I Wanna Be Your Man,” the Beatle song originally sung by Ringo Starr. Paul told the story of letting the Rolling Stones record the song for their first hit. He also said that the story about a rivalry between the Stones and the Beatles as “Fake News.” He got big applause for using that expression. Then “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite,” the Sgt. Pepper song originally sung by John.
Then Paul got out a ukulele and did “Something,” George Harrison’s song. At some point during the song, he put down the uke and played an acoustic guitar.
Back with the Hofner, they did “Obla Di Obla Da”, “Band on the Run,” and “Back in the USSR.” He told the story of performing in Red Square and having conversations with Russians who told him they had learned English from Beatle records. And Paul does a great Russian accent.
Back at the piano, he did “Let It Be” and “Live and Let Die,” with all the pyrotechnics filling the arena with smoke that lingered past the end of the concert. The latter number was even louder than the rest of the concert.
On the electric piano, they played “Hey Jude.”
And that was the end of the show. Or at least the main part.
They came back out for a 6-song encore.
With an acoustic guitar, Paul sang “Yesterday.” With his Hofner they did “Sgt. Pepper Reprise”, and “HI Hi Hi." And “I Saw Her Standing There.”
It ended with Paul at the piano on “Golden Slumbers”, “Carry That Weight,” and “The End,” on which Paul picked up his left-handed Gibson Les Paul, red sunburst and shiny, for the only time in the evening.
A splendid time was had by all.
I enjoyed it, but I would’ve enjoyed it that much more with less volume and distortion. But he played more than three hours.
McCartney ain’t cheap, but if you can afford it, it’s worth the money.