Paul McCartney – One On One Tour (Duluth, GA) 07/13/17

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I’ve had the pleasure, as so many have, to be a Beatles fan since youth. While it’s not the same as my Dad, who grew up listening to their records as they came out, I’ve still had my own path of discovery with The Beatles music as I’ve aged. Between being a fan of certain albums at certain times of my life, and favoring certain artists more (George, Paul, and John in particular) -in recent years I’ve found myself leaning more towards John Lennon’s music. There’s just something about John’s quirkiness, and his almost manic switches between optimism and pessimism i.e. “Imagine”, “God”, “Working Class Hero”, etc.

However I’ve always felt a lingering soft spot for Paul McCartney’s music. It’s often cheerier, delving into love both at its cheesiest and its most heartfelt, and it’s created in such a way that I know his music will remain timeless. So even though, if asked what artist would I want to see, alive or dead, if pressed, I’d probably answer The Beatles (or if I could only choose one Beatle, than John Lennon), to see a living legend such as Paul McCartney, it made my year already even before the concert itself!

From the moment the first iconic strum of “A Hard Day’s Night” hit, I was starstruck, and so was the whole crowd alongside me! Paul McCartney was at this point, and perhaps for the rest of my life, closer to me than ever before -I did not care if that meant a hundred plus yards away or not!

 

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Paul wants to play Wings deep tracks? No problem! Bring on “Letting Go” and “Let Me Roll It”. Play the cult (though in my ear, wincing) “Temporary Secretary” – well, ok if you have to. New tracks, too? It’s your show Paul! (A fact he noted, when he quipped he could tell which songs were more loved because “the lights of the cameras and phones would light up the audience”.) That’s ok, because he’d play the new songs anyways. And he did: playing the appropriately titled “New”, “Queenie Eye”, and also “My Valentine”, a song written for his wife Nancy, who Paul said was in attendance.

Paul’s a veteran musician though, with a back catalogue that’d make the encyclopedia jealous, and more hits than a MLB baseball player -so there were plenty of classic Beatles tracks too. Early on in the show, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, “We Can Work It Out”, “Love Me Do”, harkened back to the heyday of the Beatles. While tracks such as “Fool on the Hill”, “I’ve Got a Feeling”, and “Let It Be” brought us forward to their final days.

For a man Paul’s age (who’s lost friends and loved ones as he has), it’s understandable there would be some reflective moments too. George Martin got a shout out, as Paul stated “the Beatles wouldn’t be here without George”. Paul played “Here Today” in recognition of John, whose untimely demise inspired Paul to reflect in verse on what he would say to John if here were still around. Perhaps, most moving to me though, was Paul’s recognition of George Harrison. He was lovingly recognized by Paul before playing “Something” on the ukulele – one of the instruments most associated with George. One the stage’s digital screens shots of George flashed across, showing him with his bandmates both during the Beatles’ era and after.

I found myself, more than perhaps at any other concert, simply overwhelmed by the emotions that were brought forth by the music, the crowd, and Paul himself, as cheeky and delightful as he’s always been. In the most emotional moments you better believe there were tears, as we all sang our hardest to songs such as “Hey Jude” and “Live and Let Die”. “Yesterday” had the most subdued lighting of perhaps any song, but you’d never have known that as we lit up the audience with phones and lighters, still singing out, and all the while swaying along.

 

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I can say for certain I’ve been to over 100 concerts, and to say that this was the best I’ve ever seen, might be an understatement. Even the inclusion of the unnecessary, and frankly forgettable “FourFiveSeconds” (a collaboration he did some years ago with Kanye and Rihanna) couldn’t mar such a perfect night. Like all things wonderful though, it couldn’t last forever. Paul went without stop for 2 hours, and followed by an epic encore that included the Abbey Road medley “Golden Slumbers” / “Carry That Weight” / “The End” -we all still wanted more.

Alas we didn’t get more music; however, I’d be remiss if I did not note that Paul took a few minutes at the end to welcome some fans on stage. One family he brought up came all the way from Bowling Green, KY, dressed up in their best Sgt. Pepper’s outfits, which Paul absolutely loved. Paul then also welcomed a young girl who came out on stage to her father in the audience. Paul had run out with a set of flags earlier in the show, including a rainbow pride flag, so though his support for this girl was not surprising it was indeed touching and yet another wonderfully emotional moment to cap the night.

 

Setlist:

  1. A Hard Day’s Night
  2. Save Us
  3. Can’t Buy Me Love
  4. Letting Go
  5. Temporary Secretary
  6. Let Me Roll It (followed by ‘Foxy Lady’ jam)
  7. I’ve Got a Feeling
  8. My Valentine
  9. Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
  10. Maybe I’m Amazed
  11. We Can Work It Out
  12. In Spite of All the Danger
  13. You Won’t See Me
  14. Love Me Do
  15. And I Love Her
  16. Blackbird
  17. Here Today
  18. Queenie Eye
  19. New
  20. The Fool on the Hill
  21. Lady Madonna
  22. FourFiveSeconds
  23. Eleanor Rigby
  24. I Wanna Be Your Man
  25. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
  26. Something
  27. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
  28. Band on the Run
  29. Back in the U.S.S.R.
  30. Let It Be
  31. Live and Let Die
  32. Hey Jude

Encore:

  1. Yesterday
  2. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
  3. Hi, Hi, Hi
  4. Birthday
  5. Golden Slumbers
  6. Carry That Weight
  7. The EndZippyPaul4

All photos by Zippy, unless noted otherwise.

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