“I’ve got a feeling you want to keep rockin’! So be it: let us rock!” This was seventy-something year old Paul McCartney addressing his audience at Brookyn’s Barclays Center two hours into a concert which saw him singing his sweetest ballads and his most face-melting rockers, while jumping between electric and acoustic guitar, piano and his iconic Hofner bass. Saturday night’s (June 8) stop on his “Out There” tour took him to Barclays for the first time (and was the first show of a two night stand which concludes Monday night, June 10).
This time around, he isn’t promoting a new album: he’s sort of plugging the recent reissue of Wings’ 1976 live album Wings Over America. But, in a way, Sir Paul does have “new” material: he is playing a number of Beatles songs that had never been performed live, either by the Fab Four or by any of the members on their solo tours.
Unbelievably, that group of songs includes the show opener, “Eight Days A Week.” McCartney has toured frequently since returning to the road in 1989, but has somehow never gotten around the playing that classic; that’s kind of mindblowing. But then again, this is a man whose two former bands dominated music and the radio dial in the ’60s and ’70s: there are simply too many songs to choose from in his catalog. But it was those eras – the ’60s and ’70s – which he concentrated on Saturday night: despite his impressive string of ’80s singles, and a good amount of somewhat under-appreciated work since then, he played just two post-’70s songs: “My Valentine,” from last year’s standards album, Kisses On The Bottom (probably with his wife, Nancy Shevell in mind: so many of the songs he performed were written about his late wife, Linda) and “Here Today,” which he wrote in tribute to his late friend John Lennon.
Also getting debut performances on this tour are some of the Beatles’ more eccentric songs: “All Together Now” (which McCartney joked, “Is one of my more intellectual songs,” referencing the child-like lyrics “One two three four/Can I have a little more?/five six seven eight nine ten/I love you!”), “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite,” “Your Mother Should Know” and “Lovely Rita.” And what that means is, Paul McCartney fans who have come to see him in concert over and over heard songs that they’ve never heard the man sing in concert before.
– Brian Ives, Radio.com
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