viernes, 22 de diciembre de 2017

Maybe I'll be amazed if Sir Paul returns to New Zealand

Maybe I'll be amazed if Sir Paul returns to New Zealand
December 22 2017

Paul McCartney looks odds on to return to New Zealand for another stadium concert just after turning 100.
Paul McCartney looks odds on to return to New Zealand for another stadium concert just after turning 100.

OPINION: Paul McCartney's final words were "see you next time".

If proof were needed of the man's eternal optimism – against, say, the cynicism of a John Lennon – here it was.

Between The Beatles' tour in 1964 and McCartney's first solo performance in New Zealand, there was a gap of nearly three decades. Between that Western Springs gig and Saturday's near sell out at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium, 24 further years elapsed.

If history were to repeat, when "the next time" rolls around the Fab One will be either 99 or 104.

History was very much made on Saturday. A half century after the release of Sgt Pepper, Beatlemania had a more tempered expression, yet New Zealand's best and brightest still turned up to pay homage. Sir Peter Jackson took time out from Weinstein baiting to record proceedings on his smart phone. Neil Finn was nearby. I envied both men's seats and probable celebrity access to the Liverpudlian god. At least where I was nominally sitting, many a row back, you could stand up and dance.

To dance is what the music demanded. From the distinctive opening notes of A Hard Day's Night to the concluding medley from Abbey Road, some three hours and 35 songs later, McCartney's third and likely final performance in this country was his best.

Sure, the voice has deteriorated, but the selection of material and willingness to engage with the audience with well-worn, if nevertheless welcome, name-dropping anecdotes, ensured the gig had warmth and intimacy, surpassing that of 1993.

McCartney is now an artist comfortable with his Beatle past, segueing seamlessly between classic 60s numbers, the odd Wings hit and selections from the 21st-century catalogue.

The living legend could not possibly play everything, but a set list that balanced necessary, cornerstone songs like Let it Be and Live and Let Die against the unexpected was hugely satisfying.

I felt privileged. It was as though there had been personal consultation, that Paul's people had somehow accessed my internal wish list.

Image result for paul mccartney new zealand 2017
Paul McCartney One on One Tour Final, Auckland NZ (16th Dec 2017)

Maybe I'm Amazed, which my vastly more knowledgeable travelling companions assured me is now vocally beyond our man, was forcefully put across, the dedication to first wife Linda upping the emotional ante.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, long loathed by the McCartney naysayers, got the rapturous reception and grand singalong it deserved.

Best of all was Paul's George Harrison tribute, a version of Harrison's Something begun on ukulele. Part of the McCartney repertoire since the 2002 memorial show Concert for George, hearing it live had a poignancy that matched that of the more obvious Lennon tribute, the ballad Here Today.

The fact that Paul now plays Beatles numbers originally sung by other band members is an indication that old animosities are well and truly resolved.

Something was preceded by Lennon's For the Benefit of Mr Kite, which in turn came after I Wanna Be Your Man, a ditty associated with Ringo, not to mention The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger.

The night's least likely song choice though was In Spite of All the Danger, a McCartney-Harrison composition that actually pre-dated The Beatles.

You would bet the house against hearing a Quarry Men number, especially one that Lennon sang lead on. Aficionados needed little encouragement to join in, having acquaintance with the material through the first Beatles Anthology album. For those in the know it was a surreal moment, nearly 60 years in the making.

Demonstrating both the length of his career and its artistic range, In Spite of All the Danger was bookended by McCartney's recent chart topper, the 2015 collaboration with Kanye West and Rihanna, FourFiveSeconds. In this case, lyrics were projected on the big screen, helping out those of the Beatles generation who have not kept pace.

Perhaps they could have also proved useful when it came time for the title track from McCartney's last album New, or its catchy single Queenie Eye. Despite their composer's defensive introduction, both stood up next to the classics.

McCartney's worth could be judged on encore alone. Yesterday, the most covered song in history, Mull of Kintyre – with local pipe band accompaniment – one of the most reviled, and a post-Charles Manson Helter Skelter, the proto-heavy-metal anthem par excellence. Ballads, odes, hard rock, he continues to do it all.

Such unfeigned enthusiasm even made you believe the long and winding road may yet twist back to the land of the long white cloud. We'd still love him at 104.

 - Stuff

Image result for paul mccartney new zealand 2017

2 comentarios:

  1. Long live the King of Rock👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼🙋🏻🍃❤️🍃🎸🎹

  2. Paul McCartney's final words at all shows are "see you next time".