Paul McCartney Impresses at Wells Fargo Center

Paul McCartney didn’t belt out the old Beatles cut ‘It’s Getting Better All the Time’ but it would have been apt.

The iconic ‘cute’ Beatle continues to age like a vintage wine. McCartney, 68, looks very good for his age and sounds wonderful.

Macca was terrific Saturday night as he kicked off a two-night stand at the sold-out Wells Fargo Center, which concludes tonight.

His three-hour, 41-song set covered all the bases and then some. McCartney offered Beatles classics (‘All My Loving,’ ‘Hey Jude,’} deep album cuts from the Fabs collection (‘Two of Us,’), Wings hits (‘Band on the Run,’ ‘Jet’) and the seldom rendered (‘Ram On.’)

The spry McCartney was cool and casual and at his best while hitting the high notes during ‘Blackbird’ and when rendering yarns.

Prior to offering a searing ‘Back in the USSR,’ McCartney told an amusing story about an encounter with a Russian official prior to playing Moscow’s Red Square.

“He said, ‘I learned English from Beatles records. Hello, goodbye.’

Every tour McCartney slips in Beatles songs he hasn’t played in years or ever. For the ‘Up and Coming’ jaunt he added ‘Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da’ and ‘ A Day in The Life.’

McCartney tossed in a pair of cuts from 2008 disc ‘Electric Arguments,’ which was released under his alter ego, ‘The Fireman.’ The recent songs,  ‘Highway and ‘Sing the Changes,’ are well-crafted numbers, which were delivered with considerable energy.

Macca can obviously still write solid pop-rock songs and he is a master entertainer, who captivates an audience, which ranged from tykes to octogenarians.

“What’s amazing about our audience is that we’re getting a lot of kids,” McCartney noted.

That’s no surprise. My 11-year old daughter Jillian rode shotgun for the show and her enthusiasm for Beatles songs is typical for a child.  The Beatles tracks, which comprise just more than half of the set, are magical. The songs more than other pop-rock numbers somehow connect with our DNA.

Disliking Beatles songs is akin to loathing the sun. Beatles tunes transcend race, age and creed. McCartney wrote many of the best Beatle cuts ranging from dancehall (‘When I’m 64’) to incendiary raveups (‘Helter Skelter,’ a blistering version was offered at Wells Fargo.)

McCartney didn’t just pen pop songs. He crafted classics on the level of Gershwin and Porter.  Fortunately, he’s still around but the sad reality is how much more time do we have to revel in the McCartney live experience? You never know how much longer Macca has left for live performance. Hopefully there’s enough in the tank for another tour or two.  Long live McCartney!


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