I’ve got a lot going on in my life right now, including a trip to a high school reunion, an out of town adventure and my first two-week vacation in my professional life to Norway.
That being said, something compelled me to buy tickets to Paul McCartney on July 19th, 2013. A whimsical moment found me on the Internet when I heard tickets were on sale, and, after checking with my wife that we had that date open, I committed to spending more than I like to on a concert featuring someone I felt I should see in-person while I could. Both Paul and I are starting to rack up the years and who knows if both of us would be around the next time he felt like touring.
I knew the concert was coming up, but viewed it as just one of the events of the summer. What I attended was an event that was historic in so many ways, both musically and personally, I had to count them:
1) Paul’s Still Got It His voice, his personality, his wit, his contentment with life. It’s all still there and we got to experience it. It was like having an old friend come over and perform.
2) He Gave It His All This was no junior edition or cash-in quickie concert. Sir Paul was there to deliver the goods and from the time he started playing until that last song, was almost three hours of musical memories.
3) First Concert Ever in Seattle’s Safeco Field The venue worked great. The acoustics were great and we didn’t miss a note.
4) First Time in Seattle Songs Paul knows what he’s performed here and excitedly pointed out when he was about to do a song that he’s never played here before.
5) Two Encores Fans were not going anywhere and he came back twice in a couple of very satisfying encores.
6) Nivanna Reunion No kidding. When Paul came back on stage for his first encore, he introduced others that would join him: Krist Novaselic and Dave Grohl from Nirvana, along with Pat Smear, who was with Dave as part of the Foo Fighters. What a treat to see them performing together in Seattle!
7) Embracing His Beatles Roots Mr. McCartney went through a phase after the Beatles broke up where he felt the need to prove how talented he was. He’d push his solo songs or the ones he did with Wings and, oh yeah, his Beatles days. In this concert, he was Paul, the Beatle we knew growing up, who also had some other musical efforts. But he just played the hits.
8) His Musical Salutes He did a song that he wrote when John Lennon’s life was taken too soon. He also told about the time he and George Harrison worked on one of their songs while playing ukuleles and then broke into a version of “Something” that started on the uke, then migrated to the full band. He even performed a song he had written to his late wife Linda.
9) His Band The guys were tight, energetic and blended with Paul to make you feel like you were hearing the Beatles or Wings.
10) Everything else. The perfect Seattle summer night. The hand-operated scoreboard that instead of inning by inning scoring had the words “Paul McCartney” up there. The smiles and excitement of everything one there, sharing the feeling that we all were watching something special. The fact his relatively new wife Nancy had traveled to Seattle with him and he even played a song he had written for her. The giant flames and fireworks that exploded during “Live and Let Die.” The helicopter arrival. The salute to Jimi Hendrix and the story and song he performed. In all, they spread out 40 songs over three hours.
This is the concert people will be saying they were at for years. I could only hope they have plans to release it as a DVD.
People on Facebook are putting it in their top five. I’m not even hesitating to make it the greatest concert I’ve ever attended. I saw a musical legend, still in his prime, performing songs that have been the soundtrack of my life.
Thanks, Sir Paul, for an amazing evening.
PS Thanks to Joe Bryant, here’s a link to part of the encore http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbL56-Bux4A&feature=share