We arrived at Arco Arena Monday night in a curious position: with a photo pass but no reviewer seats. Fortunately, Sir Paul McCartney’s “people” had seen fit to open up a section of seats located to the right flank of the stage (the show had been officially declared “sold out” months ago), and for 50 bucks each, photographer Tom Angel and I were able to enjoy an impressive show from “Macca.”
Space limitations permit only highlights:
“Hello Goodbye” got the audience on its feet, followed by “Jet” from 1973’s Band on the Run. McCartney’s voice only barely hit those high notes, and he wisely avoided them whenever possible. Fortunately, his terrific backing band of L.A. session musicians (the same who backed him on the recent Driving Rain) also sang beautifully, lending his vocals strength as needed.
Surprises: From Sgt. Pepper’s, “Getting Better,” an excellent “She’s Leaving Home” and, near the end, the “Reprise.” From Revolver, “Here, There and Everywhere” and an actually chilling “Eleanor Rigby.” From The White Album, “Back in the U.S.S.R.” and “Blackbird.” And, as tributes, a delightful ukulele-fueled rendition of George Harrison’s “Something” (Harrison loved ukuleles) and 1981’s “Here Today,” written in memory of John Lennon.
Macca and the band returned for two encores, finishing off an excellent evening with jamming guitars and the final lines of “The End,” from 1969’s Abbey Road. Utterly appropriate. Although I must admit, Tom and I listened to The Kinks Kronikles all the way back to Chico.