stateless: (paul)
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paul mccartney//staples centre//29 nov 2005

this nearly speaks for itself:

setlist
magical mystery tour
flaming pie
jet
i'll get you
drive my car
til there was you
let me roll it/foxy lady
got to get you into my life
fine line
maybe i'm amazed
the long and winding road
in spite of all the danger
i will
jenny wren
for no one
fixing a hole
english tea
i'll follow the sun
follow me
(bouree - bach)
blackbird
eleanor rigby
too many people/
she came in through the bathroom window
good day sunshine
band on the run
penny lane
i've got a feelin'
back in the USSR
hey jude
live and let die
++
yesterday
get back
helter skelter
++
let it be
please please me
sgt pepper reprise/
the end


holy shit, yeah? i'm having trouble finding words. i had a seat with my mom, first level straight across the arena from the stage, but cheryl managed to score a ticket from ticketmaster on sunday night and because the disabled part of her section was full she wound up just above where our seats were. though the people directly behind us were cool with us standing i knew it wouldn't be long until i had some sort of comment made to me. lamest section in the whole arena! it only took one "sit down" just before 'got to get you into my life' for me to dash up the stairs and join cheryl. immediately it was like a weight off my shoulders, i was able to get so much more into it, jumping around for the rest of the show with nothing but a wall at my back.

i'm having trouble remembering what exactly i heard last tour in terms of the obvious stuff that i've heard a million times on bootleg, like 'magical mystery tour' and 'get back' and the like, so while i could go and and on about everything he said and did, let's focus mostly on things of note and the random shit that sent me reeling, yeah? k.


'flaming pie'! what the hell? i think we've been going on for years about how he should play this song live. it's may of 1998 but it's also driving to the beach with cheryl, joy and dave and there was no 'OW!' which made me sad but who cares because FLAMING PIE!! however, there are more songs from this record not to mention two other records made in 1989 and 1993 that have been completely ignored yet again and i kind of want to slap him but how can i after this?

after the song he licked his finger, put it out to the crowd and winced. oh yeah, we were hot, baby. "we have come to rock you and rock you we will!"

'i'll get you'! that was surreal. fucking hell.

'til there was you'. also with the surreal. what year is this?

i don't care how many times i hear 'let me roll it'; it has apparently worked its way up to being one of my favourite songs. it started with that damn video i saw as a kid (don't remember whether it was the 'flowers in the dirt' or the 'off the ground' tour?) of paul and robbie in that lift which moved up from the stage and out over the crowd, the two of them soloing to each other. but this time they didn't end the song, they went straight into the riff for 'foxy lady'. i know my jaw dropped. they played with it for a minute before ending and i saw paul mouth "foxy!" to no one in particular.

he's upped the amount of new songs from three to four! it's a minor miracle! no really, i love the new stuff. that's the point, right? i'm not here to see a greatest hits act, thanks. 'fine line' was great, with cool green lines in lights behind him. oh yes, and he joked about falling in the piano hole opening night in miami. "it's like.. everything's moving in slow motion. and i'm thinking, 'how deep is this hole, anyway?'"

near the end of 'maybe i'm amazed' he lifted the last "ever help me" an octave higher, the falsetto piercing and amazing.

i also don't care how many times i hear 'the long and winding road'. i knelt and stared at the screens, the rain and the trees projected, and sank.

'IN SPITE OF ALL THE DANGER'. never in a million years, mate. this is the first song he/they ever recorded, and it makes an appearance on the first beatles anthology. we sang the back up 'wo-o-o-ah's.

'i will'! what the fuck! beautiful. the way he played it is a lot simpler than the way i've been doing it. bollocks.

his voice sounded great throughout, though not perfect. his lower range was fine and his falsetto was surprisingly superb, but there was a spot in the middle that seemed a bit broken, which is where 'jenny wren' falls. slightly disappointing. however: accordion.

'for no one'. just... wow. such strength in that pull. i found myself transfixed with his reflection in the piano. i need a photo. need.

'fixing a hole'. still a surprise though i believe he did it the final leg of the tour in '02. the end was insane, him just repeating 'fixing a hole! fixing a hole!' over and over.

i don't care what anyone might say about 'english tea'. it is an adorable song. also: PERADVENTURE! it is sweeping america. peradventure i'm amazed.

i think i can die because i've now heard 'i'll follow the sun' live. .. i'm not sure i can add much more to that. he remembers writing it in his childhood home, staring vacantly out the window through the lace curtains. they ended and then repeated the last four bars again. and again. and again. it was so funny and great. "it's just such a short song!"

'follow me' is one of my favourites from the new album and was particularly uniting, as a mass of people in the front had signs with the name of the song that they lifted at the line, "you hold up a sign that reads 'follow me'." it appears to be a tradition with the traveling fans. at the end of the song there was a shower of sparks that rained down onto the stage, a waterfall of fireworks. it was absolutely breathtaking.

it sort of struck me during 'blackbird' that i think i can put my entire reasoning (starting age eight) behind playing guitar onto that song. he said it came out of playing "smoochy" songs to get themselves into cabarets where they could make more money. he and george used to play a "semi-classical" (meaning they didn't fully know it) version of "J. S. baccch's 'bouree'. he gave us a taste of it and said how he was fascinated by the use of the bass notes with the melody. bloody cool.

'eleanor rigby' was so gorgeous, wix (the multi-instrumental 'musical director') with "strings on his hands and strings on his feet", and abe (the drummer) up at a microphone at the front of the stage. harmonies, voices, swelling.

'TOO MANY PEOPLE'. allow me to repeat myself. TOO MANY PEOPLE!!!!! i think i was one of like five to not only know that song in the first place, but absolutely flip the fuck out over hearing it. i think i stomped in circles for a good thirty seconds before regaining my composure. he said afterwards it's a wings song, but he lies. that was pre-wings, folks. it did strike me as a strange choice as it was originally written as a dig toward john, but whatever. my mom told me later it was rusty (one of the guitarists) and the breakfast with the beatles dude who convinced him to do it. thanks, lads! it went straight into 'she came in through the bathroom window'. i was thinking i'd heard this before but i don't even know anymore? by this point i can safely say i was loving everything in the world ever.

'good day sunshine' was really cool cos of the NASA people who got stuck up in space over summer and when they learned they could finally return to earth they put on the song. paul had video of them and told the story of how at the anaheim show he got to link up and speak to them, and that it was strange to think when the transmit was over that they were up there, "like sharks.. swimming at the bottom of the ocean. ... it's kind of magic."

abe (the drummer) raised then crossed then opened then raised then crossed his arms in between the beats for the verses of 'penny lane'. he's a spaz. it was brilliant.

paul's tech handed him the les paul again and somehow i knew what was coming. it was the only song that had been spoiled for me (cos of meg's frames post in which she discussed mentioning to glen the contact she'd had with mark after the paul show in atlanta) and though i hadn't thought about it during the concert, as soon as he had the guitar i knew it. and it was solidified by the shape his hand fell into on the neck, before he even started playing. and the SOUND. the things you think you'll never hear, yeah? modified by space and time and yet there before you. there were three dimensional stacks of blaring speakers on the screens and it was so fitting. i'd been studying the band all night, rusty especially as he's my favourite (aside from wix, who is the king), and then he stepped up to sing john's part. you know how normally when you hear someone's voice in place of someone else's it just doesn't feel right? i don't know what the hell it is about this guy. it was so strangely perfect.

there was a moment at the end of 'hey jude', when the crowd takes over singing, where i had to stop and just listen to the bass. you'd think i'd be focused on the 20,000 voices. no. BASS. that and i will never see a tambourine the same way again.

the explosions for 'live and let die' were the coolest yet (and hot enough that i could feel them where i was), and were accompanied by vibrant colours and shit on the screens that was so overwhelming i couldn't even take in, i just remember the beauty of it.

'yesterday' was played on the same epiphone he played on the ed sullivan show. "before my time!"

OH MY FUCKING GOD 'HELTER SKELTER'. i will never hear anything the same ever again. it broke my brain forevermore. so fat. so dirty. so raucous. i don't think i can describe the physical effect of it. the way i was spinning, spinning. on the giant screen behind the stage we were on a rollercoaster track. perfect. the stage is made of light boxes that curve up into a short wall behind the band, and brian (the other guitarist) took off running, making it a few feet up the wall then back down onto the stage. insanity. it left me in shock and i didn't know if i could handle them coming back on stage.

paul lit a single candle on his psychedelic piano for 'let it be'. so much beauty.

"and now we have to go. which strangely coincides with when you have to go."

'please please me'! oh yeah - this man was a beatle. and fuck did it sound like the beatles!

rusty, paul and brian traded guitar solos for 'the end'. it turned wanky pretty quickly but for paul, who has the best style of them all. i was so focused on the guitars all night, how really, i don't even know how to play like that. for the most part i don't want to, but it wouldn't hurt to get some other techniques under my skin. i loved watching abe as well, and missed being right to the side of the stage as i was last time, because i am a little in love with wix. paul introduced each band member at different points in the night and let them each say something. before 'too many people' wix was like, "now i'm gonna play one of these!" and lifted up his guitar for all to see. "watch out front row!"

they held hands and bowed, paul calling us "stupendous" and saying, as is his custom, "see you next time!" yeah, you will.


i kept stumbling on the word 'magic' as the night went on. the colours were blazing, the art on the screens was at times hypnotising and seemingly tangible, paul was charming and cheeky as ever, and then the music... of course it would be nothing without that. these are some of the best songs this world will ever hear, and the fact that they're acknowledged by the man himself as coming from somewhere other - having that element of magic as he himself says - all that combined with the joy it brings me is why i love this all so much, it's why i belong here.
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