Sunday, July 14, 2013

Paul McCartney Concert Review

How often do you get to see a member of The Beatles perform in the same place where Wily Mo Pena once played? Well, I had that opportunity on Friday when I saw Paul McCartney at Nationals Park. For me, the show's beginning was surreal. I was seeing Paul McCartney perform Eight Days a Week and All My Loving, classic and recognizable songs, live. Here are my thoughts on the show:

- At 71, how does Paul McCartney have the energy to perform a 2 hour a 45 minute show? It's not like he was just sitting in a chair either. He was playing guitar, piano and singing (his voice still sounds great too) while moving around the stage and he never seemed out of breath.

- Meanwhile, it was a long week for me, and with the show starting at 9:00 instead of the announced time of 8:00, I was getting a little tired early in the show. There were times when I fought to stay awake. Clearly, I'm not McCartney.

- At a certain part of the show, I mentioned to my friend that I only recognized about 50% of the songs. Then, this happened:

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Band on the Run
Back in the U.S.S.R.
Let It Be
Live and Let Die
Hey Jude

Holy crap! What a run of amazing songs. Live and Let Die may have been the single greatest performance I've ever seen live. Take a look:

This could have been an amazing end of the show, but then McCartney came back with this encore:

Day Tripper
Hi, Hi, Hi
Get Back

I didn't know Hi, Hi, Hi, but I would have been happy with Get Back as the final song. Then, Paul came back by himself for a second encore to perform Yesterday. I figured that would end the show, but then the band rejoined McCartney for several more songs including Helter Skelter and, fittingly, The End.

- McCartney must dye his hair, right? How can he not have gray hair at this point?

- There was no opening act for Sir Paul, which brings up the question, who could open for him? It would have to be someone big enough to handle a stadium tour but also not have the ego that they could not be an opening act. I think Cheap Trick could be a possibility. Alicia Keys would be an interesting choice.

- McCartney's Let it Be was slightly better than the Norwegian television station's version featuring Steve Guttenberg, George Wendt, Katerina Witt, and Philip Michael Thomas from several years ago, but this could be debatable.

- Random story. On the way to the concert, I almost got off at the Metro Center stop to transfer thinking I needed to switch there for the stadium. A guy heard me stating this, asked if I was going to the concert and told me to stay on the train. He then asked me if I was visiting from out of town.

Me: I've lived in the DC area for 12 years.
Guy: So you must not take Metro often.
Me: No, I take it every day.

A bit embarrassing, We got to the L'Enfant Plaza metro stop where I knew to take the green line rather than the yellow line. He made sure I knew this too. He was being partially helpful and partially a jerk.

Fast-forward about an hour and we get to our section to see the same guy in the row behind us. I made sure to go up to him, showed him my ticket and asked him if I was in the right place. He laughed and then mentioned something about 12 years in DC.

- While I understand wearing a Beatles T-shirt to the concert, I don't understand wearing a Who T-shirt.

- On the way out of the concert, I noticed a guy wearing a Baby Bjorn with a baby in there. The show was loud and it was about midnight, so bringing a baby to the concert seems like a terrible idea.

Overall, amazing show. Don't just take my word for it. Take a look at these show reviews:

- Washington Post

- Washington Examiner (with the complete set list)

- Pop Culture Lunch Box

- The Prices Do DC


Melissa said...

There's nothing in the world like a McCartney show. Nothing. (OK, except maybe a Springsteen show, but I've never seen Bruce in concert, so ...) I've seen Paul twice and you're right: at 71, he still performs like someone in his 30s. It's amazing.

I wouldn't know any of the newer stuff if it wasn't for my husband, a diehard Beatles fan. It's now some of my favorites.

Glad you enjoyed the show1

Unknown said...

I got to see him in late May when this tour came through Memphis. Great show. Sir Paul is the best.