Monday, July 15, 2013

Paul McCartney at Nationals Stadium, Washington, D.C., July 12, 2013

Paul McCartney

"Out There Tour"

Nationals Stadium, Washington, D.C.

July 12, 2013

     I am afraid that Sir Paul McCartney may have ruined rock concerts for me forever.  I think that any show I could ever see would pale in comparison to the virtuoso performance at Nationals Stadium on July 12.  First and foremost, Paul McCartney has created a body of work with no equal.  His music has staying power as evidenced by the huge number of young people at this concert.  His songs energize, entertain and amaze.  And they keep coming.  One after another he pulled out gems which delighted the enormous crowd.  From the set list I have included below, you can see that this was no nostalgia-fest.  He mixed in recent compositions as well as old favorites.

     I was asked yesterday to pick the one highlight of the show which I would experience again if I could.  That was a difficult task.  After a bit of reflection, that one highlight above all other highlights would have to be Paul's tribute to George Harrison.  He played George's "Something", starting out by himself on the ukelele and then joined by his whole band for a truly touching performance.  After the crowd hysteria quieted down a bit, Paul broke the somewhat maudlin tone by quipping "And to think Frank Sinatra said that was his favorite Lennon-McCartney song!"

     Performers take a significant risk performing a set list of such familiar songs.  The crowd knows every lyric, every guitar solo, every harmony, every drum beat (Admit it: you have "air-drummed" Ringo's solo from "Abbey Road").  One slip-up and all 50,000 people in the audience will know it.  Well, Paul McCartney and this amazing band hit every note.  Every harmony was pitch-perfect.  The timing on every song was dead on.  The precision and perfection with which these songs were delivered was truly a wonder.

     Paul McCartney is the consummate entertainer.  From the opening D-E-G, D-E-G jangle of "Eight Days a Week" through the pyrotechnics of "Live and Let Die", the poignant renditions of "Something" and "Yesterday", the raw energy of "Helter Skelter" to the coda of the ending medley from "Abbey Road" the crowd was engaged, energized and entertained.

   Wow!  What a show!



1. Eight Days a Week
2. Junior's Farm
3. All My Loving
4. Listen to What the Man Said
5. Let Me Roll It (Foxy Lady)
6. Paperback Writer
7. My Valentine
8. Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five
9. The Long and Winding Road
10. Maybe I'm Amazed
11. I've Just Seen a Face
12. We Can Work It Out
13. Another Day
14. And I Love Her
15. Blackbird
16. Here Today
17. Your Mother Should Know
18. Lady Madonna
19. All Together Now
20. Lovely Rita
21. Mrs. Vanderbilt
22. Eleanor Rigby
23. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
24. Something
25. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
26. Band on the Run
27. Back in the U.S.S.R.
28. Let It Be
29. Live and Let Die
30. Hey Jude

Encore 1

31. Day Tripper
32. Hi, Hi, Hi
33. Get Back

Encore 2

34. Yesterday
35. Helter Skelter
36. Golden Slumbers
37. Carry That Weight
38. The End

(NOTE: I do apologize for the quality of the photos.  The camera policy on the ticket read "no cameras with detachable lenses" so I brought a point and shoot Canon digital camera with a 20x zoom.  The resolution on these photos leaves a bit to be desired, but I included them anyway to give readers a feel for the visual spectacular that accompanied the musical one)

"Helter Skelter"

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