A few weeks ago, I went with a friend to see Paul McCartney play at the Pepsi Center, one of the venues on his 'Up and Coming' tour. If you don't know Paul McCartney, he was mainly the bass player, and, along with John Lennon, a singer and songwriter in The Beatles. The Beatles are an older band from England. They formed in the 60's and broke up in the 70's. In that time they became one of the most popular bands the world has ever seen, and changed music forever. Two band members, John Lennon and George Harrison are dead now. The other two, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are still alive and still making music. Sir Paul was knighted by the Queen of England for his service to his country. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. He is a living a living legend, and now even though he's getting to be an old man, (68 years old) he's still touring, and he's still kickin it.
Wings songs, and even a tiny bit of his newest mandolin stuff. If I remember it right, he opened with "Jet" and ended with "Sgt. Pepper's." He played "Live and Let Die" with all the fireworks, which was pretty awesome, and the band finished with three or four encores. They kept leaving and coming back,"Okay, we'll do one more." Four times!
He included a really nice tribute to both John Lennon and George Harrison, and even a quick one for Jimi Hendrix. For John he played his song "Here Today," a really touching song in the form of an imaginary conversation they never had. It has lyrics like "And if I said I really knew you, what would your answer be?" and " I still remember how it was before, and I am holding back the tears no more." and "And if I said I really loved you and I was glad you came along." Then he went into John Lennon's song "Give Peace and Chance." which got everybody on their feet, chanting and waving lighters.
For George Harrison he told a story about George being a phenomenal ukulele player, and how he was at George's house one time and they were jamming on ukulele's to a song George wrote; "Something." Then he played the song, one the best one's of the night, with a slideshow of George Harrison pictures in the background.
For Jimi Hendrix he broke into a quick section of "Foxy Lady." and told a story about how only days after The Beatles released Sgt. Peppers, Jimi had learned it and opened with it at his next concert. It was a Jimi Hendrix-ed version, where he was constantly riding the whammy bar, putting his guitar way out of tune. Paul was at that concert, and Jimi asked him if he would come up and tune his guitar.
At 68 years old, he is still so lively and so much fun to watch. He told great stories, and played some really amazing music. He played everything- bass, guitar, piano, even some ukulele and mandolin. After every song he would hold his instrument up over his head triumphantly, (except the piano,) then hand it to a stage crew guy, then do a little dance. The rest of his band was great too. Overall it was an awesome show, and an amazing experience. It reminded me how fun and how rocking the Beatles really were. I was never around to see them perform, or to take part in the movement of John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance," or to see Jimi Hendrix play Sgt. Pepper's. But to see Paul McCartney play, and to hear his stories, is about as close as I'll ever get and I'm pretty happy with it.