I was in the presence of one of rock'n'roll's founding fathers Sunday night and he did not disappoint.
68-year-old Paul McCartney took us on a musical journey through time showcasing all the hits that made him the billionaire that he is...and dare I say a legend to boot. The tongue-in-cheek titled “Up and Coming 2010 Tour” rolled into the Air Canada Centre for the first of two shows Sunday.
This musical love-in was a sold out affair, with roughly 20,000 fans enjoying the simple yet captivating stage set-up, three huge video walls and even some ear popping pyrotechnics during “Live and Let Die”.
I was pleasantly surprised by how many Beatles tunes he played. Over 20 songs from the band's catalogue were laid out for consumption by the crowd. Songs like “All My Loving”, “Drive My Car”, “Blackbird”, “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”, “Back in the USSR”, “Let It Be”, “Yesterday” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.
Songs from the era of Paul McCartney and The Wings were also favourites of the crowd, especially “Let 'Em In” and “Band On The Run”.
McCartney's smile alone was enough to light up the room. This is a guy who truly loves what he does and is not afraid to show it. You could swear that there were times he was having more fun than the rest of us. He sincerely recounted stories about the first time he met Jimi Hendrix and about what it was like to actually play in the USSR (he was surprised to learn that many Russians actually learned English from Beatles records).
And he was also a true gentleman throughout the night, paying heartfelt tributes to his wife Linda, as well as former band mates John Lennon and George Harrison. McCartney played “Here Today” his tribute song to Lennon and picked up the ukelele while he covered Harrison's “Something” against a back drop of rare candid shots of The Beatles playing on the huge video wall.
The night also marked McCartney's 10th solo concert in Canada (as was announced in a press release). “Canada is a great music loving country.” McCartney was quoted saying. “I love it. When I was growing up in Liverpool so many people were emigrating to Canada. We would see a lot of friends and family leaving and we’d see them off from the docks. I’ve a lot of relatives and friends who have moved here over the years so it’s always a brilliant place for us to visit.”
To honour his triumphant return to our country, McCartney played his massive smash hit single “Mull Of Kintyre” during his second encore. Rumour has it the song was only ever number one in Canada, so it's only ever played live here. The rousing version was made all the more special with the appearance of a highlander band from Port Dover.
Looking around the ACC, all age groups were represented, from strollers to walkers, but age didn't matter as long as you were willing to part with the cash for tickets that ranged from $57.25 to $250.00. And judging from the long and loud ovation from fans at the end of the three-hour show, it was well worth the price of admission.Last Updated: 08/09/10 14:22 See Related MACCA-News Articles: