Lou Rera: McCartney brings joy to a strife-filled world
The Buffalo News
November 5, 2015
For three hours or so, the troubles of the world were suspended. Trump’s poll numbers didn’t matter, the Benghazi hearings were silenced, there was no Afghanistan, no violence, corruption or discord domestically or worldwide. I realize the troubles of the world sped on like an unstoppable, out-of-control freight train on the outside. But in the world inside First Niagara Center, Paul McCartney spoke to us as friends.
He interacted with the audience in a relaxed demeanor that is a result of his lifetime as a performer and entertainer. I sat there mesmerized by his style of working a concert. He was speaking to all of us. He was speaking to me.
Paul McCartney performs at the last stop on his tour to a sold out crowd at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)
The show was about the music – music for which most of us know every lyric and melody. Music that brings me back to a time in my life that is filled with memories that make me wistful for days that are long past.
It is easy for me to think in retrospect. But in all the pressure and stress of life, the McCartney concert stopped everything except what was happening inside the arena.
It was clear that McCartney enjoyed the audience and his own interaction with everyone. Many of us in the audience grew up with McCartney. First, of course, with one of the world’s most prolific songwriting teams with John Lennon, and their musical craftsmanship with the Beatles and George Martin. Society changed in part because of them, or at the very least they were one of the lenses through which we viewed the world.
Paul McCartney performing live in Buffalo on October 22, 2015 at the First Niagara Centre
McCartney’s show carried with it decades of his accomplishments. He even said at one point, “This is for all you Wings fans.” He went on to play songs from his era with that band. I suspect even for McCartney, that is an era past.
But he is so much more than one era or another. It was clear that his body of work speaks for the man. He paid a lovely tribute to Lennon and George Harrison in separate, but heartfelt, ways.
The pre-show video screens rolled down like image credits of a movie, a montage of stills and videos that started then stopped, with paint swatches here and there binding the pieces together. For 20 minutes it reminded me of all the years; all the accomplishment and contributions this man has given the world. And that he has given me.
PAUL McCARTNEY OUT THERE BUFFALO NY 2015
I am a musician myself, inspired in my early years because of McCartney. He is a Renaissance man in every sense of those words. I have heard some say, “He is the Mozart of our time,” but comparisons don’t always work so neatly. Throughout our time here, we have had Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, Stephen Hawking and so many others whose contributions to our world are measured by what they have done, directly or indirectly, for all of us.
McCartney helped me realize that we all are part of something beautiful and wonderful. That music is one of life’s essentials for us to escape and reflect on what it has to say to us. That we all have a place here, amongst each other. That we all belong and that there are no divisions and that we truly are equal in this one way, which should translate that we are equal in all ways.
The concert ended, like all things must, with the lovely lyrics from Abbey Road’s “The End” – “And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.” Thank you, Paul McCartney, from all of us.
Paul McCartney FirstNiagaraCenter,Buffalo,NYC (Oct22,2015)