Hello – Goodbye: J. A. Bove
Mr. McCartney, I salute you. Sixty-nine years old and still rocking! I wrote a blog about my group Koncrete Kite last week in where I was proud of the fact that we, as a band, have been performing for over thirty years. Well, that’s a drop in the bucket when you compare it to all the performance this particular Beatle has done for over the past fifty-one years. Fifty-one years … that’s simply unheard of this day and age. If not already, I would imagine that it must be close to a Guinness World Record for performances by a musician over that timeframe. I do not know of any other musician, with the exception of possibly Ringo, who has performed on stage as long as Paul McCartney.
Last Friday night I had the privilege of watching Paul perform his On the Run tour live in New York City. And in typical Beatle fashion, he didn’t perform at just any venue. No, he performed in a venue fit for a Beatle – Yankee Stadium. I still recall a scalper outside of the stadium yelling at a woman who was trying to low ball him on the price of a ticket. I believe he said, “You can’t see no Pau McCartney at no Yankee Stadium for forty dollars?!?”. Suffice to say, he didn’t sell her a ticket. That was her mistake. She should have doubled her offer. Paul put on a show of a lifetime.
My wife and I flew up from Tampa earlier that afternoon and after a three-hour flight, one-hour cab ride, and forty minute subway ride (D train baby) , we arrived at the door step of Yankee Stadium just minutes before the show began. We had just enough time to grab a shirt, some beers, and find our seats. This was my first trip into the new Yankee Stadium, and I have to admit, I was impressed. What a beautiful ballpark. I’m going to have to go back some time to actually watch a game. We had a seat behind home plate (Paul performed in the outfield), kicked back in our cushioned chairs, and put our feet up on the bannister in front of us. We were ready to rock.
He opened with Hello- Goodbye a classic from the Magical Mystery Tour album and continued to play hit after hit after hit from The Beatles, to The Wings, to his current songs released over the past decade. One of my favorites was when he performed The Night Before off of the Help album as he said, “This is the first time we’ve ever performed this song live.” If you closed your eyes, you would have sworn John and George were harmonizing right along with him. He then continued to entertain the masses with hits like Paperback Writer, Eleanor Rigby, Something, A Day in the Life, and a slew of other classics. I truly felt like I was at a Beatle concert.
Not only was the music spot on, his voice held up just fine thank you, but his demeanor was wonderful. He truly appreciated his audience. He took the time to speak with us between songs, he acknowledged some cards being held up (one particular one said – Hey Paul, I’m Jude), and he told some great stories. My wife was particularly pleased when he shared the back-story to why he wrote Blackbird, which he also performed flawlessly. Finally he shared a little joke. Considering we were at Yankee Stadium, he came out and said, “Who is this Derek Jeter guy? I hear he has more hits than I do.” His response from the audience was in typical Yankee Stadium fashion with a hearty salute of Paul Mc-Cart-ney stomp –stomp-stomp-stomp-stomp.
Of course he played the classics like Let it Be, and Hey Jude. At one point asking the men and women to sing along separately to the na-na-na parts. Personally I think the men had better voices (the women sounded like children), but my wife disagrees. During the encore he busted out tunes like Lady Madonna, Day Tripper, and Get Back finally ending with The End during the second encore. My only regret is that I didn’t bring the kids, they would have loved this show. So again, I salute you Paul McCartney. I only hope I get one more opportunity to see him perform before he finally decides to hang it all up, but considering his condition, energy, and showmanship, I think I’ll get that chance.