1. Venus And Mars
Report by MACCA-Central member: bonovox66
Just got back this morning from the Miami show. With less than 3 hours sleep I am wide awake and already beginning to feel those post concert blues
Let me just say that the band was in top gear last night. I know everyone is raving about this band and it is much deserved. There were many parts of the show where I found myself getting lost in Abe's beat or one of Rusty's solos only to be pulled out of it and go "wait a minute! I should be watching Paul!" It takes some real talent to take my attention away from Paul, and these guys have it. This is the best band he has played with since those three other guys It occurred to me last night why everyone always has nothing but good things to say, and that's because these guys aren't just 4 guys playing with Paul. No, these 5 guys are a BAND and not just a bunch of guns for hire backing a musical legend. It feels like these guys have always played together. I could go on and on about how great they were, but I think we all know how great they are.
Anyway, enough of my praise for Brian, Rusty, Abe & Wix. On to the show....
As I mentioned they sounded great. The songs were tight, the vocals were great and the set list is the best I've heard Paul do in his post-Wings days. Even though I knew he would most likely open with Venus & Mars/Rockshow, it was none the less spellbinding. Here was an opener I never thought I'd hear outside of the Rockshow concert film and a few concert bootlegs. The segway into Jet was seemless and it was hard to believe these songs didn't come off the same album and flow like this always.
Everyone has seen the setlist, so I'll spare them a play-by-play analysis and just highlight a few things. Letting Go was another song my ears nver thought they would hear for themselves in person and the little jam towards the end was just the first of many times my attention wandered from Paul to Rusty & Brian. These guys have talent by the truckload. The next new addition is one of my personal faves and had my jaw on the floor... Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five. I've always said this is one of Paul's best live songs and he proved me right. Too bad the audience didn't really seem that into it (I"ll get to the audience in a minute). Let 'Em In was fun and even though its never been one of my favorites, I was surprised how glad I was to hear it. I'm Looking Through You also sounded great. It had me wondering, why hasn't he always done this song in concert? And Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da was certainly one of the highlights as it had the crowd on its feet, dancing and singing along in a noise that rivaled the Hey Jude sing along. Again, making me wonder, why he hasn't always had this as part of his set list.
Now on to some of the songs that we're use to or he played last year.
Dance Tonight was fun and his voice sounded great, but I couldn't help but feel this song would come across better in an arena. The stadium crowd didn't seem that interested. And not just the usual disinterest they show when he played a non-Beatle song. The audience was eerily quiet during this song.
Sing the Changes has to be one of the best live songs Paul has ever written. This was one of the few non-Beatle, non-Wings songs that the audience went crazy for. And last night I fell in love with this song all over again, like the first time I heard it coming out of my speakers.
All the standards were great. Paul's voice didn't miss a note from what I can remember, and none of them (with one exception) came across as if he was just going through the motions. Every song had the feel of it being something new and not a song he had sung hundreds of times before. The one exception was Yesterday. I had to ask myself if Paul was getting tired of his best known song? This was the only song he didn't seem enthusiastic about and felt like he was rushing through it.
What else can I say that anyone hasn't already said before. Its hard to believe he'll be 68 this year. He still plays with the vigor of a musician in his twenties. And unlike so many other artist of his age or even many 30 or 40 years younger, he never came across as a parody of himself. We weren't just watching a living legend. We were watching a performer still in the game and still playing music that sounded fresh.
Now, the only bad thing I have to say is to the crowd, and that is WAKE UP MIAMI! Sheesh, what is wrong with the Miami crowd?! I've always said Miami crowds are some of the most unenthusiastic. They often seem to be there to socialize and get wasted. Many times I looked down the rows and saw people sitting down, leaning on each other looking like they were about to vomit or pass out. There were whole sections of the audience that remained seated during a good 2/3 of the show and watch with a hazy-drunken disregard. People were actually talking to one another and turned around not facing the stage. And what is up with the whole taking pictures of yourself all through the concert. Wouldn't it make more sense to take a picture of the actual show? There is a reason I try to avoid going to Miami for shows, and last night just reconfirmed those reasons. This isn't to say the whole audience was like this, but it was enough of the audience to notice, and as I said it is the same experience I have had with every Miami audience over the past 10 years.
The concert had the potential to be one of the best ever. And Paul and the boys gave it there all. But there is something to be said about crowd energy that adds to the experience. It was not until he played Something that the audience really woke up. Something had one of the best reactions during the show and from this point forward the entire audience was on their feet and became an audience worthy of Macca. From that point forward the show changed (again amazing what crowd energy does) and this became one of the best Paul experiences I've had.
I can't really say whether I enjoyed last year's stint or this year's the best. If the audiences had been switched it is very possible he would have topped last year.
One final note. As I've said in other posts, it never ceases to amaze me how the under twenty crowd reacts to these songs. These kids always get more into the song than the adults they come with. I love seeing how kids react to this music. It reminds me how great it truly is, that it transcends all generational barriers. It warms my heart to know that the love of this music continues to reach new generations. This may all sound cliche and is certainly nothing no one here has not heard before, but I think it is that important that it needs to be mentioned. Just as this music had touched me when I was younger (still after the beatles) it was touching these kids in just the same way. It brought beck fond memories of my first introduction o this music and made me feel like it was my first time all over again. After the show one young man mentioned he was not familiar with about half of the setlist, but he was going home and downloading his Wings and solo stuff after this (not sure if he meant legally or not though). My only fear is how many more kids would be able to experience this for themselves? How long can Paul keep this up at this level? I have learned not to count Paul out. As I am sure 20 years ago I never would have thought Paul would still be performing at this level. this only goes to confirm my original theory... Paul is not human. No one can be this brilliant or have this much energy.
I've rambled enough. I'll post some pics once I sort through them all.
Report by MACCA-Central member: amazedbypaul
I just got back home this afternoon from Miami after seeing Paul last night. I was on the far left 3rd row floor seats. I don't know if you noticed Bono but I think alot of people were being very intimidated by the hard core security. If you even tried to get a little closer to the center or even just wanted to dance in the aisles they were all over you. From the very beginning they were screaming at people to sit down and were being very rude to people. I had never seen any security act like such bullies at any concert. I don't recall that experience when I last saw Paul 4 and a half years ago in the arena in Miami. That may be part of why the crowd on the floor seemed subdued anyway. As far as Paul and the band they were just so tight and on it like you said. Paul's voice was very strong. I don't think he missed a note. 1985, Let em in, Something, and Helter Skelter were my personal favorites. I have the "after concert blues too". It was just such an awesome experience. I just feel so lucky to have seen him again. His energy at his age is just super human. My 22 year old niece went with me and she thought he was fantastic. Thanks Paul so much for giving your all again. Your are truly an amazing showman. Can't wait to see you again one day.
I just had to add to my concert report how impressed I was how little time Paul took between songs to even catch his breath. It was a very humid day in Miami and he had to be feeling the heat. He took his jacket off after the third song and was definetly perspiring like everyone else. I just cannot emphasize enough how strong his voice sounded. One example was on "My Love". That is a very difficult song to hide any voice cracking or fluctuations and he hit every note without a hitch. If any of you are hesitating about seeing Paul on this tour and are going to be in the vicinity do not hesitate!! He is performing like a twenty year old. I just cannot believe still that I saw and heard him open with Venus and Mars. And 1985 blew me away. But most of all he just seemed to be so damn happy!!! I just cannot say enough good things about his performance.
Paul McCartney rocks Beatles songs, solo hits at Sun Life Stadium
BY MICHAEL HAMERSLY MiamiHerald.com
Sometimes it's easy to forget that Sir Paul McCartney is Beatles royalty. He's so frequently in the public eye - touring every few years, performing at 2006's Super Bowl halftime show and enduring tabloid harassment following his failed marriage to Heather Mills - that it can't help but detract from his mystique, making him seem almost like Everyman.
In concert, however, even at 67 years old, McCartney is more like Superman. Watching him perform 40 vocally demanding songs over nearly three hours Saturday night at a near-capacity Sun Life Stadium, one could only wonder: How does he do it?
On the third date of his oddly named ``Up and Coming Tour,'' McCartney, displaying the energy and vocal ability of a man decades younger, gave fans of the Fab Four and his later hits with the Wings a night to remember. With a superb backing band, he performed just about every song anyone would want to hear, from the obvious ("Hey Jude,'' ``Let It Be,'' ``Lady Madonna,'' ``The Long and Winding Road,'' ``Jet'' and ``Band on the Run") to the delightfully surprising ("All My Loving,'' ``Got to Get You Into My Life,'' ``I'm Looking Through You,'' ``Two of Us,'' ``I've Got a Feeling'' and, performed for the first time live in the U.S., a deliriously bouncy ``Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da").
And those songs weren't even the night's true highlights. Halfway through the show, Paul strapped on an acoustic guitar and performed a chills-inducing, solo version of ``Blackbird,'' followed by his loving 1982 tribute to slain Beatle John Lennon, ``Here Today,'' before which he said, ``I wrote this next song for my dear friend John. Let's hear it for John! Sometimes you don't say all you mean to say to people, and then when they pass away, it's too late.'' A few songs later, McCartney again appeared solo with his acoustic guitar to perform a tender rendition of ``Eleanor Rigby,'' flanked by the drummer and guitarist, who came up to sang flawless backups on the chorus, ``Ahh, look at all the lonely people.'' Simply lovely.
The tributes to his fallen loved ones weren't limited to Lennon. Before his ballad ``My Love,'' Paul honored his wife Linda McCartney, who died of breast cancer in 1998: ``I wrote this next song for Linda, and tonight this is dedicated to all the lovers in the audience.'' And McCartney brought out a ukulele - one of the many instruments he played on this night, including the usual bass and piano, plus electric and acoustic guitar and even mandolin - for his jaunty version of the George Harrison-penned Beatles staple ``Something.''
``George was a great ukulele player - let's hear it for George!''
Before ``Paperback Writer,'' which featured perfect five-part harmonies, McCartney pointed out for the guitar lovers in the crowd that he was playing ``the original guitar I made the original record with in the '60s'' - a gold-and-brown sunburst, hollow-bodied Epiphone, for those who care about such details. Other highlights included ``A Day in the Life,'' on which Paul's reverb-soaked vocals did John proud, leading into an audience singalong of ``Give Peace a Chance"; ``Live and Let Die,'' during which explosive bursts of fire and other jarring pyrotechnics jolted the crowd; an amped-up version of ``Day Tripper"; and, fittingly, ``The End,'' from the iconic album ``Abbey Road,'' which ended the second encore and the evening, with the classic line, ``And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.'' From the awestruck looks on fans' faces as they headed home, it seems as if Sir Paul is way ahead of the game in that department.
Paul McCartney, “Coming Up” to brilliance at Sun-Life Stadium!
By Leslie Gray Streeter Palm Beach Post
The show: Paul McCartney’s “Up and Coming” tour, stopping at Miami’s Sun-Life Stadium
When: Saturday, April 3, for almost three very, very exciting, tune-filled, sentimental and musically fulfilling hours
Songs we heard: A well thought-out mixture of Beatles (”Ob La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” never done live in the States ’til this tour, “All My Loving,” “I’m Looking Through You”), Wings (”Jet,” “Band On The Run” and the wicked pyro-accented chorus of “Live and Let Die”) solo McCartney hits and rarities and a snippet of John Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance.” Pretty much everything but, ironically, “Coming Up.”
The low-down: Here are just a few of the random thoughts I had during Paul McCartney’s mind-blowing show at Miami’s Sun-Life Stadium, on one of the gorgeous, temperate South Florida early April nights that would elate you just to be outside listening to live music. Even if the music wasn’t being provided by the MOST SUCCESSFUL SONGWRITER OF THE ROCK ERA. Of course, it was. So that was even better, wasn’t it?:
— This crowd was incredibly diverse, age-wise, from the Boomers bouncing around happily to the 20-something hipsters so happy to be there that they forgot to be ironic and are just gleeful.
— It’s amazing that at 67, McCartney needs no more than a several-second break, after which he bounded back onto the stage and announced “You knew we were coming back!”
— Without an album to promote, he gets to do whatever he wants, which includes a giant retrospective of his career, great stories about a lot of famous people, and this funny dance he does at the end of pretty much every song, where he lifts the guitar above his head and everybody cheers. Well, they’d cheer if he lifted a poodle over his head, because he’s Paul McCartney. He’s in charge.
— Is “Live and Let Die” the best Bond theme ever? I think it is! Discuss!
— After moving tributes to late fellow Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison, you couldn’t help but wonder, like the kid behind us did, if Ringo was gonna get one, too. (Sadly for both Ringo and the kid, the answer was “No.”)
— It’s rare for one show to be such a mixture of emotion and fun. I don’t think I’ve had such a musically complete time since…McCartney’s Miami show in 2005!
Because, as I said. the “Up and Coming” tour wasn’t tied to a new album, the famous former Beatle was freed from obligatory cuts to push the new product. Instead, he was free to spread his suspender-bearing shoulders out and touch the wide, wonderful expanse of his songbook, with a combustible energy that melded with a beautiful sense of ease. It seemed that, given the clearance from security, McCartney and his band could have stayed for another two hours. They certainly had more songs to chose from.
“There does come a time,” he said, late in the evening, around the 2 hour, 20-minute mark, “when we do have to go home.”
Whatever, man. Get back behind that piano and do something else!
It’s kind of hard to determine high points in a show that was ALL high point, but here were a couple – the quiet, poignant “Blackbird;” a sweet, sentimental “My Love,” which, McCartney noted, “I wrote for Linda” and was dedicated to all the lovers in the audience; “Here Today,” his sweet, yearning song for Lennon written after John’s death; a tribute to Harrison that started “Something” sweetly on ukelele and then expanded to that song’s awe-inspiring guitar solo and McCartney singing Harrison’s words of a love that fulfills you even if you can’t name it; huge bursts of fire on “Live and Let Die.”
As great as the songs were, some of the best moments weren’t musical – “Something” was introduced with a story about Harrison’s surperior ukelele playing, and there was a funny story about how Jimi Hendrix learned “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” pretty much the day it came out and started playing it, and how he once did his signature distorted guitar-shredding style, realized his instrument was out of tune, and then called into the crowd for Eric Clapton to come and tune it for him.
I know there exists, or existed, the question of whether McCartney’s earnest, emotion-led writing is as artistic and meaningful as Lennon’s (you remember Yoko’s dis about Lennon not having to rely on trite rhymings like ”spoon and June” ). But even Yoko apologized for that in 2005, and I think it’s time to let that go. McCartney’s songs – and his show – are a complete picture of a life and career fully realized, with moments of love, regret and even youthful cheese thrown in there (Hello, “Jet!”) But how nice it is to be able to stand here, at 67, and realize that you lived the life that inspired all those memories.
And how nice to have been there, listening.
Paul McCartney gets back (again) in generous Miami show
“Up and Coming” is an odd name for a tour by Paul McCartney, who now can accurately sing “When I’m Sixty-Four” in the past tense.
But you’re as young as you feel, as the saying goes, and apparently Sir Paul, at age 67, feels younger than a lot of rock stars a fraction of his age. In front of roughly 40,000 fans on Saturday at Sun Life Stadium (let’s see the kids draw that kind of crowd), the ex-Beatle played for a solid 2 hours and 45 minutes, more impressively mining his formidable catalog than in his 2005 arena show in Tampa.
There was a little of everything: Good potential for a contact high. Beatles Rock Band images on the big video screen. AARP members storming the barricades just like in the ‘60s – only with digital cameras, not protest signs. A ukulele-powered version of “Something.”
Although he mixed newer material into the set, most notably the woozy, vaguely psychedelic “Highway,” off his experimental project, The Fireman, McCartney mostly reveled in the nostalgia. He was charming, though not overly chatty, introducing old favorites with recollections about his storied past that were well-known to virtually everyone in the audience.
He reminisced about his first trip to Miami, to perform with the Fab Four on the Ed Sullivan show. “It was like paradise,” he said. “We were kids from Liverpool and we’d never seen anything like it. And it’s still cool.”
Also still cool: That timeless Beatles music, performed by the one guy on the planet most qualified to do it. (Sorry, Ringo.) For the record, McCartney still sounds terrific, with a voice nimble enough to turn on a dime from raucous to honey sweet in a set that hit all the obvious targets (“Let It Be,” “The Long and Winding Road,” “Hey Jude,” “Get Back,” “Yesterday”) as well as a few surprises.
McCartney’s uke-strumming on “Something” was the most pleasant one. In an arrangement borrowed from his performance at George Harrison’s 2002 tribute concert in London, the whimsical sing-along in the song’s first verse segued into a spot-on rendition of the familiar studio version.
Although the members of McCartney’s economically constructed 4-piece band were anonymous enough not to even warrant individual introductions from their boss, the musicians tackled the songs with flexibility. It can’t be easy to translate the studio grandeur of “A Day in the Life” to a concert stage, but the group offered a capable approximation on Saturday.
McCartney hitched that song to “Give Peace a Chance,” but didn’t add too many other new wrinkles to the much-loved material. “Eleanor Rigby,” “Two of Us,” “Paperback Writer” and others were delivered faithfully to the faithful.
“Do you wanna ‘get back’?” McCartney asked the crowd before launching into the song of the same name.
Well, you came to the right place.
Last Updated: 04/07/10 10:26