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Summer 2009 Tour: Washington 08-01-09 : (slideshows, video)

  • Source: Fan Reports

Report by Bob Gannon:

Hi gang,
Just getting back from the show and getting my photos together. Another good show but lacked the energy of the New York shows. Not that Paul and band didn't deliver, they most certainly did. There just was much less audience banter on this stop. Two major changes was of course the addition of Washington D.C. being the first city that the Beatles played a concert in and a tribute to Michelle Obama by playing "Michelle" last time did in 2007 in Paris and the 2nd Half of the Driving USA tour. Set list other than that was basically the same. Point and shoot cameras were allowed in despite some employees in the parking lot telling myself and others that no cameras of any kind would be allowed in. We were early and decided to try anyway and got it in with no problem. For the most part they didn't bother people unless the cameras were held up constantly. It was also very a muggy night. Also during "Hey Jude" instead of asking the men to sing first, started with the people in the back and then to the men and finally to the women. Can't think of anything else of note to report...

Click to Enlarge/View Slideshow
SlideShow (43 images)

photos by Bob Gannon
01. Drive My Car
02. Jet
03. Only Mama Knows
04. Flaming Pie
05. Got To Get You Into My Life
06. Let me Roll It/ foxy lady
07. Highway
08. Long and Winding Road
09. My Love
10. Blackbird
11. Here Today
12. Dance Tonight
13. Calico Skies
14. Michelle
15. Mrs. Vanderbilt
16. Eleanor Rigby
17. Sing the Changes
18. Band on the Run
19. Back in the USSR
20. I'm Down
21. Something
22. I've Got a Feeling (with extended jam)
23. Paperback Writer
24. A Day in the Life
25. Let it Be
26. Live and Let Die
27. Hey Jude
Encore #1
28. Daytripper
29. Lady Aadonna
30. I Saw Her Standing There
Encore #2
31. Yesterday
32. Helter Skelter
33. Get Back
34. Sgt. Pepper reprise into The End

Report by Penny:
The Fedex concert in DC was incredible. I heard people having traffic issues and didn't know where the entrances were but I left early and had no issues or complaints at all. The show was the greatest show I have ever seen. I bet he played close to 30 songs. It was at least a 3 hour show and no one wanted to leave it was that good. The Washington Post had a great review also. I'm ready for another one.

Report by Robie Sprouse (bonovox66):
Sorry for the late post, but I just got back from the DC show last night. Decided to stay in DC and do some tourist things.

Before I start on the concert, let’s talk some concert etiquette.
1. No dancing on chairs. If you want to dance, do it on the floor.
2. Every time Macca does a song that is non-Beatles don’t shout “play (insert Beatle song here)”
3. If you’re only purpose in going to a show is to get trashed… STAY HOME!!! Seriously, why do these idiots always get the best seats and are then gone half the show at the bar.

Now on to the show.
The show started almost 2 hours late. He had a couple DJ guys do a little opening bit before the show. The opening montage was pretty cool but ran through twice before he finally came on.
I got to the venue about 4:30 after 2 ½ hours on the Metro with what should have been a 45 minute trip.
When I walked up I could hear the faint sounds of Paul doing sound check. Here are the songs I could make out.
Only Mamma Knows
Sing the Changes
C Moon (has he ever not done this at a sound check?)
Midnight Special
Dance Tonight

I’m not gonna post a whole setlist, just what were the highlights for me.

Sing the Changes- No video of this song live can do it justice. I was completely in awe of how great this came off. It was unlike anything I’ve experienced at a Macca concert before. During this song he flashed some firework-like images of Obama on the screen. Words can’t describe how great this song was. He could’ve done just this song and walked off stage and I’d have been a happy camper. ^:)^

Helter Skelter- When I last heard him do this in 2005 his voice sounded like it was struggling with some of the notes, but he nailed it. It was like he just did the track yesterday for the first time.

Mrs Vanderbilt- The audience loved it, and a song I never thought I’d hear live. The HO HEY HO song-a-long was so much fun and the crowd ate it up.

Something- Started off with just Paul and his ukulele then went into a full-blown version. The reaction from the crowd was tremendous. They reacted better to this than John’s Give Peace A Chance. There were loud cheers for George as images of him and Paul together flashed across the screen. It was very touching and I enjoyed it much more than the all ukulele version from 2002.

Calico Skies- I know I said before this song doesn’t work live, but I was dead wrong and I’ll admit it.

Live and Let Die- I’ve been a little tired of this song lately, but he renewed my love of it. The energy was so high during this song.

My Love- Now I’ve heard him dedicate this to Linda and sing it numerous times in recent years, but never has he seemed so saddened by the mention of her name. The look in his eyes almost made me cry. It was like he was deep in thought and remembering how much he missed her. His voice was incredible and emotion felt. It seemed like he was alone on stage singing it to her. I’ve never been so moved by this song.

The entire show was fantastic. Paul seemed hungry again. Like he wanted to prove something and wasn’t just out for a good time. I could easily imagine this was the Paul of the early Beatle or Wings days, when he wanted to conquer the world. This wasn’t an aging musician coming out of retirement to please his fans or ego; this was an artist hungry to prove something.
He talked about the first Beatle’s concert and that it was in DC before 8,000 screaming fans. He mentioned how they couldn’t hear what they were playing cause of all the screaming girls. This of course made all the girls (and some of the men) scream. He mentioned it again later just to get the creams and smiled saying he shouldn’t encourage it.
This was the first show I've seen of his that he barely touched the piano.This was a "Rockshow" all the way.
I don’t remember which song, but he couldn’t help but plug The Beatle’s Rockband during one song as the ad for it played in the background during one song. Plus ads for it were in the tour book.
As the band finished and walked off stage, Paul went to say something to the audience, but the mike was already turned off so I don’t know if anyone could hear him. Then the confetti exploded and the show was over.
Even though he played for roughly 2 ½ hours, it only seemed like minutes. I only hope I don’t have to wait another 4 years to experience it again.
It was nice to see all the young kids/ teenagers in the audience that didn’t seem like they were dragged there by their parents. They were just as into if not more so than most the adults. Its amazing how his music crosses so many generations and will obviously live on and remain popular even after he is gone.

The only bad thing I can say is that FedEx is a bad venue to go see a show at. It’s in the middle of nowhere next to a bad part of town. The venue staff is unfriendly and unorganized. The line I was in was moved twice because we were in the “wrong” spot despite what the signs said, only to find out we were in the right spot all along. The water broke and there were a lot of full toilets that couldn’t be flushed and hands that couldn’t be washed. The walk back to the metro (since buses were not allowed near the venue) took 40 minutes in some very humid nighttime weather.

But all this couldn’t ruin such a phenomenal experience. I would do it all over again. I’ll try to post some pics or links to them later. I took over 200, but only a few are actually worth sharing. I took some video too, that turned out good. If I can figure out how to upload them I will.


Last Updated: 08/21/09 09:09

view comments Comments (13)

13 people have commented on this story so far. Tell us what you think below.
by Juli : Elizabethton, Tennessee August 3, 2009 11:58 PM EDT (Guest)  click to register
My husband and I arrived at FedEx Field early to see Paul McCartney--we had a long wait before he came on at 9 p.m., but we were so relieved that the rain passed before that, we really didn`t mind. Our hotel was only minutes from the venue, and we had absolutley no problems with traffic--in fact, it was the fastest I have ever gotten out of concert traffice, but maybe that was only because we had just a great parking place close to the stadium. As for the concert, I was just in awe of McCartney`s stamina and performance. I am 32 years old, born years after the Beatles broke up, and so to see a "Beatle" sing Beatles songs live is an experience that I will treasure forever, and something I`m sure that many people in my generation will never get to experience simply because of the limited touring schedule that McCartny has. The crowd definitely seemed to liven up when he sang Beatles songs, but I was surprised at how good the Fireman material was as well--definitely will look into.
 Reply to this comment -
by Bison : York, PA USA August 3, 2009 9:28 PM EDT (Guest)  click to register
The show was very good. Paul, himself, sounded better than on last tour. The band was great as always, but the sound was nowhere near as good as at the Philly show in `05 (indoors). At times it seemed as if they were having a little trouble with the stage sound, too. Rusty would be playing but seemed as if he couldn`t hear. When Brian was on bass, from my seat in 41 the notes were overbearing and dominant. Paul`s bass was mixed well. I think that stadium, overall, is a poor venue. Although there are enough lanes going in, the police had many blocked. Hard to say what else they all were doing besides bs`ing, they sure weren`t directing traffic or doing anything at all to improve the horrendous traffic situation. The cops were totally disinterested in the problem. A 1 hr. 40 min. trip took me 4 hrs! Entire lanes and a whole exit were closed for no apparent reason. When you finally got to the stadium and asked what was up nobody spoke english. Sound+traffic+conditions+staff=poor venue.
 Reply to this comment -
by Paul : Fairfax, VA August 3, 2009 4:25 PM EDT (Guest)  click to register
Please let me weigh in on the Fed Ex situation. I am a season ticket holder for the Redskins, and have been for many years. FED EX IS ABSOULTLY A HORRIBLE VENUE. They have one escalator to the upper deck and it never works 100%. If you think about it, including concerts like Macca`s (which are not many), the place is only open to the public about 15 times a year!!! They were out of paper towels in the bathroom by 7:30, the floor was covered with water ( section 125 )they either ran out, or something was wrong with the soda by 8:30. Now Traffic is another story people. YOU CANT DRIVE 60,000 SOME PEOPLE, ALL AT THE SAME TIME, ANY WHERE W/O TROUBLE. LEAVE EARLY AND SAVE YOUSELF A HEADACHE!! All this said, PAUL was brilliant!
 Reply to this comment -
by rick : carlisle usa August 3, 2009 3:30 PM EDT (Guest)  click to register
Respectfully Penny, I have been to many venues and I stand by my opinion of Fedex Field and all the problems there were with traffic, food and the bathrooms. The Washington Post even did an article on the problems I am talking about. They reported that the water was even turned off at one point. That might explain why the women`s toilets would not flush and were overflowing. What a mess! Maybe you were in a section of the stadium where these problems didn`t occur. I should say in spite of these problems we did have a tremendous evening as nothing can ruin seeing Paul in concert. I would not recommend Fedex Field to anyone, Philly and Baltimore venues are much nicer and customer friendly. I look for the Redskins to build a new stadium in the city somewhere. Fedex field is ranked 25th out of 28 NFL stadiums for customer satisfaction according to
 Reply to this comment -
by Penny : Baltimore, MD US August 3, 2009 1:34 PM EDT (Guest)  click to register
We left home early no traffic or parking issues, food, beer or bathroom issues people who are not familiar with the place do not know that there are several entrances to the stadium. Best concert I have ever seen he definitely is a great songwriter, singer and showman. Loved it! No complains! Perfect afternoon and evening for me.
 Reply to this comment -
by Rick : carlisle usa August 3, 2009 11:40 AM EDT (Guest)  click to register
The traffic was terrible. I think the concert started late to accomodate those stuck on the beltway. The bathrooms at Fedex field were horrible, especially the ladies rooms. There weren`t enough employees for customer assistance - parking, bathroom cleanup, Coors light was sold out at 7:45, $10.00 hamburgers. Fedex field is way down on my list of places to go. Paul on the other hand was outstanding. I saw him in 2002 in Atlantic City and in 2005 in Philly and I have to say in my opinion, his performance at this concert equalled or exceeded the other two. The band was remarkably tight, Paul`s vocals were outstanding! Solo- acoustic efforts were flawless. He looks, moves, talks and sounds young. His banter with the audience was charming. The tribute songs for Linda, John and George were done passionately. Fireworks on Live and Let Die, wow! This was an outstanding performance by any measure. Paul continues to project the passion and positive spirit that The Beatles encompassed. Amazing!
 Reply to this comment -
by David Ronan : Utica, NY August 3, 2009 9:59 AM EDT (Guest)  click to register
Not True... Paul played Michelle in Quebec last summer.
 Reply to this comment -
by bison : York, PA USA August 2, 2009 9:49 PM EDT (FUNsite member)
Thanks for the pics!!
 Reply to this comment -
by bison : York, PA USA August 2, 2009 9:47 PM EDT (FUNsite member)
Well, that traffic was so bad...I finally got to my seat in time to catch the beginning of "Flaming Pie". 1 hr. 40 min. trip took 4 hrs. I thought Paul`s vocals were as good as I have heard them in the past decade, live or on video! The sound was not as good as in an arena, that stadium is surely a challenge. I thought "Blackbird", "Paperback Writer" and "Let it Be" were done especially well. Paul continues to amaze.
 Reply to this comment -
by G. Johnson : Raleigh, NC August 2, 2009 5:50 PM EDT (Guest)  click to register
The review seems rather flat. I thought and my friends who saw it says it rocked. IT was better than `93, last time they went. I would concur. I think that someone has been seeing so many shows, he`s getting into a rut. Anyway, splendid. Maybe our own reviewer was upset that the show started 1.5 hours late and did not want to wait so long. OR perhaps caught in all the terrible, terrible traffic that made so many people (myself included) quite late. We just arrived at our seats when the lights went down. Still, Paul played for 2 hours, 46 minutes. Amazing all the way, lots of talking to the audience and great responses. Paul would recount playing in DC w Beatles at first US concert that the girls were all screaming. To which, the women in the audience would gladly oblige again. He did this a couple times. He also had some great talking about many things. I thought he was much warmer and personable with the audience than I have ever seen.
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Summer 2009 Tour: Washington 08-01-09 : (slideshows, video)

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News Summary

Bob Gannon reports from Fed Ex Field, Robie Sprouse adds his reports and photos.