August 18, 2010

Paul McCartney - Sgt. Pepper Parade


PHILADELPHIA - Beatlemania is in fact, alive and well, judging by the sold out crowd that filled the Wachovia Center to see Paul McCartney in Philadelphia Saturday night. Tickets for the first of his only two tri-state area appearances on the “Up and Coming Tour” sold out in just two minutes, breaking a record for the fastest-selling show in the Wachovia Center’s history.

McCartney’s repertoire spanned decades and generations, ranging from Beatles to Wings to songs from his extensive solo career, even including songs that have never been played in the United States, such as “Ob La Di Ob La Da.” The hometown crowd was thrilled to hear that it would be the first time that song had been played in Philly.

Fans of all ages were treated to three hours of the pop icon’s hits, including two encores. He would even invite two ecstatic fans on stage to get autographs and hugs. McCartney was personable and entertaining throughout, pausing between songs to tell stories about the writing process of some of his most famous tunes, and crack jokes about his seemingly endless guitar collection.

“Some of you have asked why we are always swapping guitars,” McCartney quipped as he slung another new guitar around his neck. “It’s because we are showing off. You did pay for a show.”

Highlights included a moving tribute song to former Beatle John Lennon, entitled “Here Today,” based on an imaginary conversation between McCartney and Lennon about their friendship and history together. McCartney also played former Beatle George Harrison’s hit “Something” on a ukulele, while standing in front of a large screen that showed candid photographs of the two during their time together as band mates.

Though McCartney recently celebrated his 68th birthday in June, he hardly acts his age, impressively jumping, kicking, and holding guitars high above his head all throughout the long set. Even his voice sounded as youthful as it had on the recordings he’d made in his early twenties.

A true showman, McCartney kept the audience singing, dancing and even laughing at every moment, treating fans to classic hits as well as his insightful and uplifting newer material. It truly was an incredible experience to see him perform live in concert, and should be considered a “must” on any Beatle fan’s to-do list.

McCartney’s setlist included:

Venus and Mars Rockshow Jet All My Loving Letting Go Got to Get You Into My Life Highway Let Me Roll It Long and Winding Road 1985 Let ‘Em In My Love I’m Looking Through You Two of Us Blackbird Here Today Dance Tonight Mrs. Vanderbilt Eleanor Rigby Something Sing the Changes Band on the Run Ob La Di Ob La Da Back in the USSR I Got a Feeling Paperback Writer A Day in the Life Hey Jude First Encore: Day Tripper Lady Madonna Get Back Second Encore: Yesterday Helter Skelter Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band

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