Good day, sir: On opening night at the Golden 1 Center, Paul McCartney asked the more than 15,000 people in the audience where they were from.
Yeah, there was decent applause for Sacramento.
Not from Sacramento, “but nearby”?
Not from anywhere near Sacramento at all?
Sizable. Arguably greater than Sacramento proper.
“Well, on behalf of the tourists board, I welcome you,” he said.
It was one moment in a nearly three-hour set that showed McCartney still rocks the charm at age 74. In between songs, he shimmied, wiggled and shook his hips to the glee of fans holding such clever signs as, “I’ll still love you in 40 years when I’m 64.”
And sure, his age showed a bit in creaky high notes and typically powerful vocal displays, but McCartney steadfastly remains a must-see legend. His set spanned his career, starting with 1958’s “In Spite of All the Danger,” from his pre-Beatles days, to 2015’s “FourFiveSeconds,” his collaboration with Rihanna and Kanye West. In between, he kept the Beatles hits coming: “A Hard Day’s Night” felt like a particularly joyous way to kick off the arena; “Blackbird” saw him rise toward those in the nosebleeds; “Let it Be” brought at least one nearby man to tears, and certainly he wasn’t alone; and “Something” was sung in painful, stark beauty as a tribute to George Harrison.
The only oddity was McCartney’s electro-pop song “Temporary Secretary” from 1980, which felt terribly outdated. The blue blazer looks great on McCartney, but not any attempts to be edgy. Ditto the slinky woman dancing sexily on the screen behind him for one song.
Much better—and more touching—were the old photos of McCartney and the Beatles during particularly heartfelt songs. Golden 1 Center certainly has the capacity to deliver some spectacles in the future: McCartney brought a light show at times worthy of a rave as well as stunningly loud pyrotechnics. More importantly, the sound quality is a big upgrade over Arco Arena.
Fans started gathering outside 90 minutes before the 8 p.m. starting time, buzzing with anticipation. They posed for photos outside before glancing at Piglet, the Jeff Koons sculpture in the plaza’s center. One by one, they said “8 million dollars?!” either with a tinge of shock, anger, confusion or disgust.
Still, by the end of the night, no one was talking about Piglet. Street performers provided the beat as the enormous mass of people flooded out onto K street, still high from the show and filing into neighboring bars. The air felt a little different. Sacramento has indeed entered a new era—of major downtown concerts, at least.
Maroon 5 plays the arena next on Saturday, October 15.
Bay Area boutique fest: What will Treasure Island Music Festival be without Treasure Island?
Luckily, we don’t have to find out just yet. The 10th annual edition, taking place Saturday, October 15, and Sunday, October 16, will be its last on the island.
However, festivalgoers won’t get to marvel at fabulous views of the San Francisco skyline per usual. Thanks to a multimillion-dollar construction project, Another Planet Entertainment had to move its event to the other side of the island.
The good news? The East Bay looks pretty cool too, and for the first time, there will be free shuttle service from the West Oakland Bart station in addition to the typical spot in downtown San Francisco.
The other good news? Treasure Island’s major benefits—like the lack of overlapping sets and quality selection of rock, electronic and hip-hop acts—are still intact. And what better way to close out this decade of memories than with a sure-to-be-magical set by Icelandic band Sigur Rós?
Other lineup highlights: Rapper Ice Cube headlines on Saturday, supported by synth singer Zhu, British rockers Glass Animals and deejay Duke Dumont. On Sunday, British producer James Blake and synth-pop duo Purity Ring perform, along with Sacramento-born chillwave act Tycho.
Two-day tickets cost $179.50 and single days cost $105. Get them at http://treasureislandfestival.com.