Review: Paul McCartney at the ECHO Arena
28 May 2015
Macca wows Liverpool with glorious home coming gig
Tickets to see Paul McCartney sold out in five hours
I've seen Paul McCartney a few times now, and every time is better than the first, like seeing an old friend who you don't see often enough, and each time you're reminded how much you miss them.
Seeing McCartney should be compulsory, or at least be available on the NHS, it's such a life-affirming, soul-warming experience.
Tonight's Arena crowd came in their thousands and whatever troubles or aches they brought with them they soon forgot.
Nearly everyone stood the whole way through, even when McCartney went for a sit down at the piano and even during his newer songs.
In a set which mixed songs from across his 50 year (and the rest) career, he played the tunes casual fans knew and loved, while still serving up album tracks and less familiar material for the more committed fans.
Kicking off with the upbeat Eight Days A Week, he jumped straight into new track Save us, one of a number of recent tracks on the extensive set list.
In a set lasting almost three hours he swapped between his six and twelve string acoustics, he played the darkly tinged I'm Looking Through You from Rubber Soul and then the upbeat Wings number Another Day, which went down just as well.
With an old electric guitar that was clearly a right hander strung the left hand way slung round his neck, he talked about Jimi Hendrix covering Sergeant Pepper at the Marquee club two days after the record was released. This followed a little burst of Foxy Lady at the end of Let Me Roll It.
To hear him talk about Hendrix - who has been dead for more than 40 years - you realise not only that McCartney has been everywhere and seen everything, but he's lasted, relatively unscathed, doing it for such a long time.
Before the gig, as you felt the excitement of the crowd build, you knew he would be equally excited to be back stage, waiting to perform in front of a Liverpool audience. While he plays in cities all round the world, he only comes from one of them, and that's here.
After the solemn ode to his long lost friend John, Here Today, he upped the tempo with the likes of Ob La Di and the anthem of the terraces, All Together Now.
There were some unusual moments, including a bizarre video package for Lady Madonna, with princess Diana, twiggy and the queen mother, mixed with old footage of people running and doing the can can. But nothing could dull the crowd's palpable enthusiasm for their hometown hero.
Ever cheerful, slightly humble, he talked fondly about growing up in Liverpool, the childhood memories which have inspired him all these years.
It's hard, seeing him live, to reconcile the jolly man on the stage with the musician who wrote some of the best pop songs the world has ever seen.
He segued from stories about him and George getting the bus into songs that are as tightly stitched into our cultural fabric as nursery rhymes. Songs that I can't remember when I didn't know. Songs that, really, no mere mortal should have been able to write.
There were tributes to George and to John, with songs too for late wife Linda and his current love Nancy. He has a knack for opening up his life to thousands of people (including a young couple who he let propose and accept marriage on stage). There's nothing cynical about a McCartney gig, no clever reinterpretations of the songs, just what people want to hear.
That's why we all keep coming back. Just don't leave it so long next time.
Paul McCartney returns home to perform at the Liverpool Echo Arena
Gabriel and Eduardo Roggerio from Brazil
Dana Nikulaskova and Gyula Barta-Kondas from Warrington
Bernard Mayor from Bolton
Ji from South korea is a big fan
Local and international fans wait in queue to see Paul McCartney in concert at the Echo Arena tonight
PAUL MCCARTNEY 26/5/15. Back home in Liverpool.
Paul McCartney - Backstage @Echo Arena in Liverpool (Meerkat live)
Paul McCartney - Paperback Writer - Liverpool Echo Arena - May 28th 2015
Paul McCartney - Live And Let Die - Liverpool Echo Arena May 28th 2015
Paul McCartney - Why I Like Coming back to Liverpool