SIR PAUL McCARTNEY’ S SONIC LOVE BEACON
(MAC STAX MAX TRAX) DODGER STADIUM
JULY 13TH BY
After a lengthy DJ set and video collage of archival footage complete with nostalgic Beatle imagery, the stage exploded with a star burst version of “Hard Days Night.” Sir Paul looking trim, well coiffed, and smart in his stylish jacket and crisp white linen shirt wowed the sold out crowd of 57,000 inside Dodger Stadium who roared their adoration and approval.
With such a massive catalogue of beloved songs spanning almost 6 decades what to include must be a tough call. The next song “Junior’s Farm” was from his third band, Wings and set the tone admirably for the evening’s diverse blend of old classics and new compositions.
Throughout their illustrious career the Beatles’ message of Love was their running theme and tonight Macca drove that message home when he said; “If you’ve got something really nice that you want to say to someone, you sometimes put it off, you say, ‘Oh, I’ll tell them tomorrow, or I’ll catch them next week.’ And sometimes it can be too late and you don’t get to say it.”
This led into the song “Here Today,” which McCartney wrote following the death of Beatles mate John Lennon in 1980 and released on his 1982 solo album “Tug of War”. “When we were kids in Liverpool, it’s not the kind of thing you could say, in those days anyway, to a guy; you couldn’t say, ‘I love you, man,'” he lamented. “You were just trying to be too hard, you were trying to be macho and cool, so you never really got around to saying stuff like that.”
Seven songs into the evening, McCartney had warmed up enough to shed his black jacket, “That is the one and only wardrobe change of the entire evening,” the 77-year-old said to settle down his adoring fans. “That’s it.”
Before the Beatles, way back in 1958, there was The Quarrymen, a five-member Liverpool group that originally included Paul, John, and George, along with Colin Hanton and John “Duff” Lowe. Before performing the group’s first-ever recorded song, “In Spite of All the Danger,” McCartney told the story of how the quintet used to share possession of the lone copy of the recording. “We’d keep the record each of us for a week; John kept it for a week, then George kept it for a week, then he gave it to me, I kept for it a week, I gave it to Colin, he kept it for a week. And he gave it to Duff — who kept it for 20 years,” McCartney quipped. “And then he sold it back to me for a highly inflated price.”
Speaking of inflated prices it was sweet, charming, and serendipitous to meet a inventive, determined, and lucky young lady outside the stadium holding her hand-made sign that read: ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE AND ALL I NEED IS A TICKET TO PAUL MCCARTNEY WILL GIVE THE BEST HUG EVER FOR A TICKET! Since the price of admission to this sold-out affair was hovering in the $200 range, (a bit steep for folks on a budget), Kristi, the poster artist was able to score a free ticket from a benevolent hispanic family and was ecstatic to catch this, the last night of Macca’s 2019 tour.
His new album “Egypt Station”, that dropped in September was his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 since 1982 and his first-ever chart-topping debut. Three standout tracks ;”Fuh You,” “Come On to Me” and “Who Cares.” were strategically inserted into the evenings setlist and he commented on the difference in fans’ reactions to the fresh tunes. “When we play a Beatles song, your phones all light up. The whole place is like a galaxy of stars, and then, when we do a new song, it’s like a blackhole,” he explained.”We don’t care, we’re gonna do ’em anyway!” Fans decided to prove him wrong with next song, holding up their luminous phones en masse as he performed “Egypt Station”s lead single “Fuh You.”
Suddenly the night sky erupted with a spectacular pyrotechnic fireworks show to the opening strains of “Live and Let Die.” That frenetic theme song from 1973’s James Bond movie offered the fans a dazzling display of sound and vision. Coincidentally, actor Pierce Brosnan who played James Bond was caught in the crowd on the Jumbotron just a few songs later.
While sitting near home plate with my pal Russ about midway thru the show we dared to dream of the possibility of an appearance by the other surviving Beatle, Ringo Starr. We hypothesized all the reasons why he could/should show up i.e.; he was not on tour yet with his All Star Band, he lives in nearby Beverly Hills, why the f not? Much to our amazement during his encore Paul exclaimed…“We’ve got a surprise for us, a surprise for you, a surprise for everyone: Ladies and gentlemen, the one and only, Ringo Starr,”introducing his former band mate to a rapturous Dodger Stadium crowd. Goose bumps galore!!
After a quick embrace – “I love you, man,” McCartney told Starr both before and after the reunion – the drummer stepped behind the kit as McCartney and his band launched into the minute-long “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise).” McCartney and Starr also joined forces to perform “Helter Skelter” off “The White Album.”
Throughout the energetic three hour, 33 song show McCartney was backed by his excellent tour band, which consists of Rusty Anderson on guitar, Brian Ray on bass, Paul Wickens on keyboard and percussion, and the animated Abe Laboriel Jr. on drums. Laboriel couldn’t contain his gleeful enthusiasm behind the drums and got up to do a celebratory happy dance. Eagles guitar virtuoso Joe Walsh also made a cameo appearance trading riffs with McCartney, Anderson and Ray on Abbey Road’s rocking “The End.” Several of the early Beatlemania era hits like “Can’t Buy Me Love”, “From Me To You”, “Love Me Do”, and “Something” induced intense multiple Eargasms . Appropriately the final lyrics of the night were… “And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.”
Move over Aerosmith! You guys rocked it opening night of the “Deuces Are Wild” residency at the Park Theater in Vegas last April but Paul McCartney’s “Freshen Up Tour” takes the prize when it comes to best concert experience of 2019 thus far.
Hard Day’s Night
Can’t Buy Me Love
Got to Get You Into My Life
Come On to Me
Let Me Roll It
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