Paul McCartney will turn 80 next month and he will step back in time on Saturday in Orlando.
McCartney’s “Got Back” tour arrives at Camping World Stadium at 8 p.m. For his fans, it’s a career retrospective that soothes their musical souls.
From the opening number – “Can’t Buy Me Love” – to the closing encore medley of side 2 of “Abbey Road”, this is the stuff that sonic dreams are made of.
Of course, McCartney’s voice isn’t what it used to be – and neither is he. But don’t let the gray hair or the sometimes hoarse voice fool you: this grandpa still rocks and loves to play.
Otherwise, how do you explain how a 79-year-old man can deliver almost 2.5 hours of music in a concert that spans songs from the Beatles, the Wings, and his solo career.
I’ve seen videos from the early dates of the tour and they’re filled with digital magic, colorful light shows, fireworks, nostalgic scenes on giant screens, and most importantly, memorable music. Here is a promotional video for the tour:
One of the highlights of “I’ve Got A Feeling,” from the 1970 film “Let It Be,” comes. Last year, director Peter Jackson turned previously unreleased video from the film into a six-part Disney documentary titled “The Beatles: Get Back.”
McCartney was able to get footage of him and John Lennon singing “I’ve Got A Feeling” at the famous “Let It Be” rooftop concert.
At the start of the concert, McCartney pays tribute to Lennon with the song “Here Today”. He explained that the song says things he wanted to say to Lennon, before Lennon died in 1980.
Then, towards the end of the concert, McCartney begins to sing “I’ve Got A Feeling”, a song he wrote with Lennon. After McCartney sang the opening stanzas, Lennon appeared on a giant video screen above the stage. McCartney turned his back on the audience to watch Lennon sing, “Everybody had a rough year/Everybody had a good time/…Everybody saw the sun. McCartney then sang his part and joined fellow Beatle in a digital duet.
McCartney also paid tribute to another deceased, former Beatle, George Harrison. He played a ukulele, given to him by George, as he sang a bright, upbeat version of “Something.” This song was written by Harrison, as McCartney urged the crowd to “remember George”.
A personal highlight for me was one of my favorite Beatles songs, “I’ve Just Seen A Face,” from “Rubber Soul.” It’s a difficult song to sing, with fast-paced lyrics and guitar, but McCartney pulled it off.
His band includes Paul “Wix” Wickens, keyboards; Abe Laboriel Jr. on drums, guitarist Rusty Anderson and Brian Ray on guitar and bass.
It’s not the Beatles, but with help from McCartney, they did the Fab Four justice on numbers like: “Getting Better”, “We Can Work It Out”, “Love Me Do”, “Lady Madonna “, “Got to Get”. You Into My Life”, “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La Da” and, of course, “Get Back”.
Oh, by the way, Sir Paul sat down at the piano and played ‘Let It Be’ and ‘Hey Jude’. He did an acoustic version of “Blackbird”. It was a bit slow and melancholy. Old Paul rocked again on “Birthday” and a thundering “Helter Skelter”. McCartney even propped up Jimi Hendrix with hardcore riffs on “Foxy Lady,” during a Wings song, “Let Me Roll It.”
There were more Wings sounds on “Junior’s Farm”, “Letting Go”, “Let ‘Em In”, and “Band On the Run”. And another personal favourite: “1985”.
No McCartney concert would be complete without his Wings masterpiece “Live and Let Die” and yes, the fireworks went off at just the right time.
He also made one of his first non-Beatles hits, “Maybe I’m Amazed”. McCartney even returned to the Quarrymen’s pre-Beatles days with “In Despite All the Danger.”
There was more music, memories and history in this concert. “It’s good to be back,” McCartney said, noting he hadn’t toured in nearly two years.
It’s good to have McCartney in his place: on stage to sing his songs.