McCartney Live in SF

13 07 2010

This past weekend I drove up to San Francisco with Lady GG and the pup. The impetus for the trip was to see Sir Paul on the west coast swing of his US Tour but this was my first time in San Fran so, needless to say, I was psyched to check out the city. San Francisco has a very musical history being the home and breeding ground of such bands as The Grateful Dead, Santana and Jefferson Airplane. There are also numerous famous venues like The Fillmore, The Warfield, Yoshi’s and more. Because of this history, there was a lot I wanted to see upon arrival. Of course, I had to get in all the standard SF sights as well. With just a few days, I knew it would be quite a trip.

Let me start by stating the obvious: Paul was AMAZING! I had never seen him before, which even surprises me given I’m a huge fan. The guy puts on a great show and when you consider the scale of this show it was especially fantastic. He does about 30 songs, that includes 2 three song encores. Throughout the show he engages the audience in a way that is extremely charming, which makes you think that only Paul could pull that off. I was not at all surprised by his spot-on playing regardless of instrument (bass, guitar, mandolin, ukelele & piano) but I was surprised at the man’s endurance. It takes some serious stamina to go that long with such sustained intensity and enthusiasm. I guess it should be expected from the Beatle that always wanted to tour hard even in the post-Beatlemania days. But it’s really hard to believe he’s 68 years old. Back when he was lobbying for more time on the road he was still in his 20’s.

Here is a little video I took on my shabby Flip camera. The quality of the video is mediocre but the quality of this performance is incredible. It’s Paul’s tribute to John, “Here Today”. If you are not familiar with the song, it was written after John’s death. Paul has said in earlier interviews that he never intended to write the song but at a certain point he had finally come to terms with the loss of his dear friend and the song just came out. He has also said that out of all the (amazing) songs he has written it’s one of his favorites, alongside “Maybe I’m Amazed”, “Blackbird”, “Hey Jude” and a few others. “Here Today” is a fitting tribute that really conveys how close they were and expresses Paul’s regrets about their petty quarrels and disagreements. It’s really powerful and, taken in context of their relationship, it’s very sad.

Like I said, the whole show was great. If you have a chance to catch an upcoming date, you have to go. He plays a ton of Beatles tunes, hit and otherwise. He also does all that great Wings material like “Jet”, “Band on the Run”, “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five” and “Live and Let Die”. They even roll out some awesome pyrotechnics for “Live and Let Die” which is so crazy you wonder how they can keep going and maintain that momentum… but they do. Paul even slips in some of his songs from the solo years and 2 from The Fireman years as well. No surprise, they’re equally as great.

He played 40 songs at our show. 40! But I guess we really shouldn’t be surprised considering Paul is officially the most successful songwriter of all time… accordingly to the people at Guiness World Records. I know, crazy. Among the onslaught of pop hits, this weekend, I particularly liked “Mrs Vanderbilt”. It was also cool to see him do “San Francisco Bay Blues” given the location. He also played “Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da” which was a huge surprise. He’s been playing it on this tour but it hasn’t appeared in his repertoire for decades.  As you might imagine, it’s a great live song so the crowd went nuts upon the first chord. Check out the whole Saturday 7/10/10 setlist from AT&T Park right HERE. At that same link, you can even sample the songs… although they are not from this actual performance. But, they serve as a good reference.

All and all it was a very cool trip that included some great music, great food, a little site seeing, a really cool hike through the trails of the National Park and on top of it all we got to bring the pooch along too. I will be going back sooner than later and I have big plans to do all the stuff I missed out on. Maybe this time I’ll actually get to check out Yoshi’s.

References:

More info on San Francisco

More info on The Golden Gate Bridge

More info on AT&T Park

More info on Paul McCartney

More info on The Beatles

More info on Wings

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