Live: Paul McCartney (9-28-14)

Live: Paul McCartney (9-28-14)


Date: Sunday, September 28th 2014
Line Up: Paul McCartney
Location: Petco Park. San Diego, CA

It was an easy decision. Paul McCartney’s ‘Out There’ tour, the holy grail of concerts for us “boomers” was coming to Petco Park in San Diego and we vowed to get the best seats available. Research revealed that the most coveted seats were part of a “Sound Check VIP” ticket package and that fan club members would receive a special code giving early access to purchase before members of the general public. My husband and I agreed to forgo any winter vacation and spend it instead with Sir Paul on 9/28/14 for a once-in-a-lifetime concert experience. After quickly joining the fan club, I poised myself in front of the computer at 10am promptly clicked on the “find tickets” button and waited. “No tickets available” popped onto my screen and my heart sank. I desperately clicked “find tickets” over and over until, miraculously, two “Soundcheck VIP” tickets were offered and after a gulp over the price and a click of the mouse, our Paul McCartney concert attendance turned into the Paul McCartney EXPERIENCE.

We arrived at the Media/VIP gate at Petco Park long before the required time of 3:30pm dictated in the pre-event e-mail. After our ID’s and bags were checked, concert lanyards distributed, sound check and floor access wrist bands applied and pre-sound check open bar and appetizers PaulMcCartney7consumed, we were escorted inside the ballpark. Empty of people, with the exception of staff, roadies, musicians and us, the 107 “sound checkers” (as Paul later called us), waited for the arrival of Sir Paul McCartney.

We heard screams of “we love you Paul” from outside of the ballpark which told us Paul had arrived and shortly after, he took the stage to our cheers. He elicited additional enthusiasm with his fist pumping “Go Chargers!” shortly after his arrival. He seemed relaxed and kept us laughing as he moved from instrument to instrument singing an entire song on each while the sound engineers fine-tuned the system for the big night. He played two pianos (one grand, one upright), a ukulele and countless guitars of all sizes, both acoustic and electric, all the while whimsical Beatles graphics (used only at sound check), appearing on the jumbo screens.

We expected a “phone-it-in” level of energy in order to pace himself for the real-thing later that evening, after all, he is 72 years old. But we were thoroughly entertained with full renditions of McCartney favorites, reggae inspired “C Moon”, “Let’Em In”, “Every Night”, “Bluebird” and “Lady Madonna” while he cycled through each instrument that would be used to entertain the crowd that night. Fun, sing-a-long renditions of Buddy Holly’s (“Linda Ronstadt”’s if you’re of that generation) “It’s So Easy” and Creedence Clearwater’s “Midnight Special” rounded out this amazing musical experience.

Although anticlimactic after our private concert, our package also included dinner (vegan, a McCartney requirement) and an assortment of gifts including a high quality TSA approved back-pack, embroidered with the concert logo containing a travel cup and a program for the concert. Inside the program was 3-D glasses for viewing the 3-D portion of the program.

The concert itself began late, so by the time the opening strains of “Eight Days a PaulMcCartney5Week” rang out, the sold-out crowd of over 42,000 was ready to rock. This was the first time in 38 years that Paul McCartney performed publicly in San Diego, CA! From the center section, 3rd row, our seats were such that we immediately became immersed in experiencing the soundtrack of our lives (and Paul’s as well) over the next 2 ½ hours.

Emotions ran high during poignant tributes. “Here Today” written to express his relationship and love for John Lennon less than two years following his murder was described by Paul as an imaginary conversation they never had. He gave a loving shout-out to his wife Nancy, a former San Diego resident before performing, “My Valentine”, written in her honor. He also celebrated his late wife, Linda, the inspiration behind “Maybe I’m Amazed”, written shortly after the Beatles broke up as a way to thank her for helping him get through that difficult time. Paul also shared with the audience a beautiful acoustic rendition of “Something” as a way to remember George Harrison, his musical contributions and his friendship.

McCartney is a true rock and roll hybrid – He conforms to no specific musical style, but allows himself to be influenced by all genres and Sunday’s performance exemplified that perfectly. From pop ballads (“Yesterday”) to heavy metal (“Helter Skelter”), psychedelic (“Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite”) and Hard Rock (“Get Back”), it was all represented and celebrated.

Strong reggae and ska influence was evident in “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” one of the first songs with a reggae beat to find commercial success. A reggae reference appears in the form of the songs character “Desmond Jones” a tribute to one of the first internationally renowned Jamaican ska and reggae performers Desmond Dekker. Following a short PaulMcCartney4anecdote about being the first rock band to perform in red square, the crowd’s energy emulated the crescendo beginning to “Back in the USSR”, a musical tribute to the styles of Chuck Berry and The Beach Boys, a Russian “California Girls” if you will.

Relevant and fascinating stories preceded most songs but the night was about the music. McCartney played a great variety of Beatles, Wings and solo-McCartney tunes, a herculean task considering the extensive catalog of songs in his possession. After 31 songs, 8 additional songs in 2 encores, the audience sang along with the last lyrics of the night, “And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.” There was a lot of love at Petco Park Sunday night.

Paul McCartney Set List:
1.) Eight Days a Week
2.) Save Us
3.) All My Loving
4.) Listen to What the Man Said
5.) Let me Roll It
(with snippet of Foxy Lady by Jimi Hendrix)
6.) Paperback Writer
7.) My Valentine
8.) Ninteen Hundred and Eighty Five
9.) The Long and Winding Road
10.) Maybe I’m Amazed
11.) I’ve Just Seen A Face
12.) We Can Work It Out
13.) Another Day
14.) And I Love Here
15.) Blackbird
16.) Here Today
17.) New
18.) Queenie Eye
19.) Lady Madonna
20.) All Together Now
21.) Lovely Rita
22.) Everybody Out There
23.) Eleanor Rigby
24.) Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite
25.) Something
26.) Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
27.) Band on the Run
28.) Back in the USSR
29.) Let It Be
30.) Live and Let Die
31.) Hey Jude
First Encore:
32.) Day Tripper
33.) Hi, Hi, Hi
34.) Get Back
Second Encore:
35.) Yesterday
36.) Helter Skelter
37.) Golden Slumbers
38.) Carry That Weight
39.) The End

Related Links:
Paul McCartney Website
Paul McCartney Facebook

Article & Photos by: Berda Taylor (Mother to our own Blake Taylor)

More photos from the event…