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Sir Paul wows 'em at the ACC

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Beatles legend Paul McCartney delivered a large mix (about 35 songs) of solo material to go with signatures from The Beatles at The Air Canada Centre in Toronto Aug 8. The 68-year-old performer released a live CD/DVD last year called Good Evening New York

That McCartney kid looks like he could very well be an up-and-comer.

At least that’s how a sold-out crowd at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre could’ve seen Paul McCartney’s simply stellar first night of a two-night stand as part of his current Up and Coming 2010 Tour.

Over the course of nearly three hours and three dozen songs in a set brimming with solo hits and Fab Four jewels, McCartney and his seasoned, strong four-piece band could basically do little wrong.

What might have been the biggest surprise though was not how the songs have stood the test of time but perhaps just how well the 68-year-old McCartney stood up vocally to the rigours of delivering the parade of singles. Not bad for a singer who would have to change the song When I’m Sixty-Four to When I Was Sixty-Four (Four Years Ago).

With a large screen on either side of the stage and one behind him, the dapper looking McCartney opened with Venus and Mars/Rockshow before the punchier Jet had him working off of guitarists Rusty Anderson and Brian Ray as drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. and keyboardist Paul Wickens plied their wares. Soon the first of numerous offerings from The Beatles appeared with All My Loving, Drive My Car and the roots-y I’ve Just Seen A Face that had McCartney stomping along to. The newer tune Highway recorded under the moniker The Fireman was okay but nothing spectacular.

Thanking the crowd often – who in turned thanked McCartney loudly with applause after every song – McCartney opted for a piano portion with The Long and Winding Road that led nicely into the up-tempo Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five as well as the well-crafted, terribly melodic Let ‘Em In.

If there was any miscue early on, it might have been his performance of the tender Blackbird where he had the “verses the other way around.” Afterwards he admitted concentrating on the guitar parts and lyrics was tough enough but then seeing various homemade signs in the front only added to the workload. “You say to yourself don’t look at the signs,” he said, noticing one sign from a fan asking for a hug after travelling 2,000 kilometers to see the show (which he obliged near the end).

For the most part McCartney was pretty much flawless on Eleanor Rigby, Something (played on a ukulele George Harrison gave him), Band On The Run and Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, the first song which had the primarily baby boomer audience finally on their feet and clapping. Looking at some rather unenthused sections one got the impression the ticket prices were literally an arm and a leg, not just figuratively.

During the 13-song homestretch, McCartney opted for more signatures such as Paperback Writer, Let It Be and the pyrotechnics-riddled Live and Let Die. Only the fusing of A Day In The Life with Give Peace A Chance seemed to be problematic, yet the sing-along refrain of Hey Jude more than made up for it.

Following the first encore, McCartney returned for Yesterday but it was the lovely Mull of Kintyre which sealed the deal, complete with the Paris Port Dover Pipe Band sauntering onstage with drums and bagpipes for a dramatic result.

Overall, there is definitely no shadow hanging over Sir Paul.

Sun rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Sunday Night, Air Canada Centre

Setlist

Venus and Mars/Rockshow

Jet

All My Loving

Letting Go

Drive My Car

Highway

Let Me Roll It

The Long and Winding Road

Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five

Let ‘Em In

My Love

I’ve Just Seen A Face

And I Love Her

Blackbird

Here Today

Dance Tonight

Mrs Vandebilt

Eleanor Rigby

Something

Sing The Changes

Band On The Run

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Back In The U.S.S.R.

I’ve Got A Feeling

Paperback Writer

A Day In The Life/Give Peace A Chance

Let It Be

Live and Let Die

Hey Jude

Day Tripper

Lady Madonna

Get Back

Yesterday

Mull of Kintyre

Helter Skelter

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/The End

Last Updated: 08/09/10 12:52 See Related MACCA-News Articles:
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News Summary

Over the course of nearly three hours and three dozen songs in a set brimming with solo hits and Fab Four jewels, McCartney and his seasoned, strong four-piece band could basically do little wrong.