It’s hard to have anything but positive things to say after seeing your favorite Beatle live for the first time.
Sir Paul McCartney rocked out to the Beatles, Wings and his own solo tunes at Citizens Bank Park July 12. I was lucky enough to hear all my favorite songs performed on the “One on One Tour” along with the thousands of other middle-aged concert goers.
After sitting through strange house remixes of Beatles songs for the better part of an hour, everyone sitting in my section started cheering and taking pictures of what seemed to be Paul McCartney zooming past in a golf cart. As he made his way to the stage, the crowd went wild. He immediately kicked off the show with “A Hard Day’s Night,” followed by another Beatles hit, “Can’t Buy Me Love” and then transitioned into playing songs from his solo career. This included “Temporary Secretary,” “My Valentine” and many more. I realized that much of the crowd, like myself, didn’t know too many of his solo tracks and took that time to sit down and rest. One thing McCartney deserves a lot of credit for is his endurance — the 74-year-old played for three hours with no breaks or intermissions, rocking non-stop.
While I greatly enjoyed his renditions of popular Wings tunes like “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five” and “Band on the Run,” I had the most difficult time keeping cool during the Beatles songs. I found myself singing and screaming louder than the intoxicated middle-aged women in front of me when tracks like “We Can Work It Out,” “You Won’t See Me” and “And I Love Her” were played. Before singing “Blackbird,” McCartney explained how it was a song he wrote back in the ’60s about civil rights and how it sadly is still relevant today. During the performance, he included small bits where he explained the relevance of the song he would be playing next. Two of them were in honor of former Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison. For Lennon’s tribute he spoke about telling loved ones what you need to while you still have the chance and sang “Here Today.” Harrison’s tribute was more lighthearted, as McCartney recounted a tale about Harrison’s ukulele skills and began playing a ukulele rendition of “Something.”
The night got crazier as it went on with the addition of flames and fireworks during the Wings’ “Live And Let Die.” At one point in the night, McCartney pulled a couple out of the crowd after reading their signs, which led to the guy asking his girlfriend to marry him while on stage. This was followed by the crowd gushing over the couple until it was time for the show to continue. The fans were continuously cheering for McCartney but I found that I was one of the few jamming to “FourFiveSeconds,” as the older crowd wasn’t familiar with the McCartney, Kanye West and Rihanna collaboration. After performing “Hey Jude,” which allowed everyone in the crowd to sing along loudly, McCartney wished us all a good night and walked off the stage. In less than five minutes he graced the stage once again for an encore and the crowd welcomed him like it was their first time seeing the former Beatle that night. He continued with iconic hits like “Yesterday” and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” before ending it once and for all with “The End” and “Carry That Weight.”
Not to be dramatic, but seeing Paul McCartney perform changed me. I had ridiculously high expectations going into that show and it’s safe to say McCartney exceeded them. If I have one negative thing to say it might be that the same exact spiels and jokes are performed at every other of his shows (as I’ve been told), but his charismatic demeanor makes up for it. This concert may just be my favorite show I’ve ever attended and it’s definitely a night I’ll never forget.