Everyone who is living their life properly has a live-concert bucket list. Those giving it the proper consideration have populated it with names like Clapton, Franklin, Floyd, and The Stones. The truly fortunate were able to checkoff Elvis, Tupac, Bob Marley, Amy Winehouse, etc.,while they had the chance. Everyone with any honest interest in music wishes they could see The Beatles. On September 28, 2014, Sir Paul McCartney gave 42,000 San Diego locals and well-organized visitors their best glimpse of living history.
The Beatles performed their historic Dodger Stadium concert in Nineteen Hundred and Sixty Six, to the shrieking delight of American fans. A year earlier, the world's and time's greatest band made an appearance in San Diego, in the now decommissioned Balboa Stadium. The group did not return. In 1976, Paul McCartney played the San Diego Sports Arena. Those who have attended a concert at the pillbox by the bay know how awful the acoustics are. They were much, much worse in the 70's. Now, recall a Beatles' concert was essentially a gathering of an unbridled wailing mob, which would surround the stage and scream while history's most talented musicians struggled, failed, rather, to be heard. McCartney's '76 concert was much the same. Steve Howard, who was in attendance that night, commented, "I couldn't hear a thing. Not a dang, thing." The irony, and the tragedy, Steve Howard was McCartney's percussionist on that tour. Yeah.
Thirty-eight years later, Sir Paul retains much of the same allure, and, thus, attracts much of the same hysteria. The 2014 Petco Park concert sold out before the tickets were printed. The fans assembled and were screaming well before he took the stage, many before he even arrived at the stadium. Fortunately, for history, posterity and those at the show, McCartney's primary demographic is aging more quickly than he is, and eventually lost some if its steam, and allowed for the enjoyment of one legendary spectacle.
His voice is how you remember it, that is flawless. His presence is even more than you could imagine, as things likely go with living mythology. The performance, the movement of the collective parts, from backup singers, to lighting, to sound mixing, to the tiny glimpses behind the curtain Mr. McCartney offer between songs, is the stuff of which audiences and concert promoters can only dream. Everything you could want from life, much less a live concert, is wrapped up and delivered to you at the capable hands of one who has ascended to musical and lyrical divinity. A thirty-one song set. Two three-hit encores. Every bit of it flowing from the mouth, mind and genius of Paul McCartney.
Yes, there was a fair amount of screaming. To be accurate, there was an excessive amount of it. It just goes with the territory. The outdoor confines of Petco Park were far more accommodating, and again McCartney's longtime fans don't have the inertia they once did. The twenty-somethings, and there were many, probably could have caused disruption, though were far more interested in taking in the experience. Bless them for that. They, and all involved, witnessed something akin to perfection. You would like to believe, with the success of this show Paul McCartney would return soon. As the level of achievement must be similar everywhere he plays it could be some time before history, again, repeats itself. In every event, we are blessed to have Sir Paul, his talents and his influence Out There.