Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Some photos and a report regarding the Paul McCartney concert on Monday night at the Bank of Oklahoma Center in Tulsa

We didn't have what you'd call prime seats, so this shot (all were taken with my handy pocket Casio Exilim digital) was taken off the video screen.

The big peace sign came out during "Give Peace A Chance," the post-Beatles John Lennon anthem. This was the part of the show that served as Paul's tribute to his famously deceased songwriting partner. Paul sang the song he wrote after Lennon's murder in 1980 -- I forget the name of it and don't like it all that much. Whatever. But Paul also sang "A Day in the Life," a hell of a great song penned primarily by Lennon but which included the bridge that Paul added (You know it, right? "Woke up, got outta bed, dragged a comb across my head...")

Another shot of the peace sign set, just for the hell of it.

This photo was taken during the opening song, "Drive My Car." Paul had on a Nehru jacket (remember those?) but quickly doffed it after a couple numbers to play with his shirtsleeves rolled up.

This is probably the best still photo I got, given the circumstances of seat location and obeying the rules of not bringing in a "professional camera."

A few other things:

* Before singing "Blackbird," Paul said he wrote the tune during the civil rights strife in the USA and imagined it being for a young black girl in the States. I have read previously that he wrote it with Martin Luther King in mind. So, if you take him at his word, MLK isn't the "blackbird" in the song.

* Paul was quite chatty, for a superstar, during the concert. As the coda of one song (I forget which one) he did a guitar riff from a Jimi Hendrix number; then after the song he related an anecdote about Jimi opening for The Beatles somewhere after the Sgt. Pepper's album came out. At least I think that's what he said. It was a bit difficult to understand him at times because of crowd noise and his Liverpudian accent. Sorry.

* He brought out a ukelele and told how George Harrison first played "Something" for him on a ukelele, which he said George played quite proficiently. Then he played "Something" on the ukelele in a faster, more upbeat tempo than the original Harrison song, and then the whole band came in and they played the song pretty much the way it was recorded.
* He never mentioned Ringo.

* Paul is quite a showman and crowd pleaser. I saw him in Houston in '95 at the Toyota Center so this was no surprise. He mugs a lot for the audience and gives the feeling that he's genuinely a pleasant person. There was one moment during the night when I said to myself that I just couldn't picture Lennon doing a show like this if he was around today. They definitely were two different animals, Paul and John. Paul may be showing his age a bit. Not in his looks or showmanship but in the range of his voice. At least he's not dead.

* During one of his between-song chats with the audience, Paul noted there's been a lot of chatter/media on the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. Then he mentioned that it was 45 years ago that the Beatles played Shea Stadium in New York -- the band's last big stadium show before they retreated to the studio to escape the crazed crowds of screaming teenage girls.

* Oh, yeah. After the opening number, Paul mentioned to the crowd that he had been in Tulsa last year when he and his gal pal did a road trip down Route 66. Whether this had a bearing on selecting Tulsa as a stop I have no idea. The BOK Center in Tulsa, a new facility that appears to seat about the same number of people as the Toyota Center in Houston, was the only "arena" concert scheduled on his current, rather short tour. The rest are in huge monster stadiums, as I understand it. Next stop: the humongous, new Cowboy Stadium in Arlington on Wednesday night.

* I'll make a confession here that's a bit embarrassing. We stayed for two encores but apparently not to the very end. During the second encore, after he did "Yesterday" alone on acoustic guitar, I figured, well that's it. But then he and the whole band broke into "Helter Skelter" and I figured, OK, this has gotta be the last song, and I made the decision to leave (we already had left our seats and were standing on the concourse.) Charlie Manson really ruined "Helter Skelter" for me and I never much cared for the song anyway. So off we went. Ten minutes or so later, waiting in the car at a stoplight, I noticed there weren't thousands of people pouring out of the arena, so I asked a lady heading to her car if he kept playing after "Helter Skelter" and she said, "Oh, yeah." So i have no idea what the final song or songs were. So I guess you could say I wussed out. But I was tired.


Anonymous said...

Jonesey, you are the typical Mccartney fan - half-gone and knowing it. I'd not pay to see that guy. Hell, a jaunt to the nursing is what it would be like. Plus the songs are damned annoying in the context of the present time. Helter Skelter? In 2009? That would be painful. Let it go.


Who would you pay to see? And how much would you pay?

Marco said...

nice question, let me think about it :)

radioisfree said...

couple of things: hendrix could never have opened for the beatles as they never played together as a group after their '66 tour (unless you count the let it be rooftop 'cert).

also - mccartney couldn't have played the toyota center in '95 as it wasn't built yet (i don't think). he did play at the summit in '00 before it became a big ass church.

p.s. you're right lennon would just as soon have been a fisherman than to trout out songs from his old catalogue for fans and nostalgia hounds. definitely a different breed of cat than mcCa


I meant to say 2005, when he played Toyota Center. My fault. (I'm my own copy editor. )

I may have misunderstood completely what he was saying about Jimi but I suppose he could have opened for them pre '66...

Also, Paul did some of his new music so it wasn't all Beatles and wings

Anonymous said...

Hendrix could have opened for them anytime before 66. But Shea wasn't their last concert. the last one was Candlestick Park in 1966.