Paul McCartney - The US Tour 2005

04.11.2005, Portland, OR; "Rose Garden"



Paul McCartney draws a crowd at the Rose Garden

By Paul Bukta
November 4, 2005
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Rose Garden played host to some big musical acts this week - first the Rolling Stones on Tuesday and then Paul McCartney on Friday.

For Paul McCartney and his fans, the 'Magical Mystery Tour' never really ends.

"I wouldn't have thought that he'd still be doing rock 'n roll in his 60s," said fan Steve Perry. "But then the Rolling Stones were here the other night and they look a lot older than he does."

t was way back in 1965 when McCartney and The Beatles first invaded the Rose City. The venue was the Memorial Coliseum and the admission, just $5.

Today, fans pay a lot more than $5 to see McCartney, but many say it is worth the dough.

How one little fan missed out on Paul's magic
By Jennifer Moody
We waited so long. We were so excited. And finally, finally Nov. 4 had come — the day I could take my daughters to see a living legend in concert: Paul McCartney.

I have been a rabid Beatles fan since age 12, the year I purchased my very own first Beatles album, the year John Lennon was shot. I have books, I have CDs, I have movies, and the new Capitol album four-disc pack is on my Christmas list.

My daughters, ages 5 and 3½, have memorized my VHS copy of “Yellow Submarine.” They named our three kittens John Paul, George and Ringo. They request their favorites in the car: “Eleanor Rigby” for Sarah, and — oddly — the German version of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” for Rebecca.

On Super Bowl Sunday this year, they came racing to meet me at their grandmother’s home to tell me who sang during the halftime show: “Mommy! Mommy! We saw Paul, Paul of the Beatles! He sang ‘Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged!’”

So I promised them, and myself, that if and when Paul ever toured again, I would take them.

When Paul announced this past spring that he was going to hit the road, I checked the Internet every day for ticket news. I was up at first light when they went on sale, tapping on my Internet connection as I simultaneously dialed Fastixx.

I couldn’t get in. The show sold out within some 15 minutes, and I couldn’t find four tickets anywhere in the Rose Garden for any amount of money.

That sent me into a deep funk for two days. I’ve seen Paul twice myself, but who knew if I’d ever get to share the experience with my girls? He’s — say it’s not so — 63, after all.

Crazy, anyway, taking two tiny kids to a major concert. But people go to see Barney and Disney on Ice, I reasoned. Besides, they’re real fans, especially Sarah, 5, who questions me about lyrics and about each Beatle’s life and family. “Why did they bury Eleanor Rigby? Was she real? Why did John die?”

Finally, eBay saved the day. I found four tickets in a reasonably good spot in the lower section, for more than face value but less than what I’d been willing to pay. Best of all, the seller had a “buy it now” option so I didn’t have to lose out.

My husband humored me and wore one of my old McCartney concert T-shirts. I bought little “Yellow Submarine” shirts for the girls. We left for Portland four hours before showtime. (Good thing, too; traffic was the worst I’ve ever seen.)

Sarah was openmouthed at the sight of the Rose Garden. She bounced in her seat. She beamed at me. She screamed when Paul came onstage and launched into “Magical Mystery Tour.” “This is the best ever!!” she rhapsodized. I felt the same way.

Right until she threw up.

Eight songs into the set (“Got to Get You Into My Life”), she told me her stomach hurt. She missed “Maybe I’m Amazed” while Daddy took her to the bathroom. She made it back for “The Long and Winding Road” and a beautiful solo, acoustic guitar performance of the White Album ballad “I Will.”

And then she buckled in my husband’s arms and the remains of her popcorn, cheese pizza and strawberry lemonade were on the floor. And his coat. And Rebecca’s leg.

Roger, bless him, carried her out and said he’d see us later. Rebecca, in spite of her splashed leg, seemed to be content to curl up in my lap and keep watching. I kept hoping maybe the illness was a one-vomit thing and they’d be back.

But seven songs later, as Paul launched into “Eleanor Rigby” and the seat next to me was still empty, I cried.

He sang for more than two and a half hours, all the stuff my daughters love: “Good Day Sunshine,” “Band on the Run,” “Penny Lane.” It was very late. At “Back in the USSR,” I looked down and Rebecca was asleep. I sat through “Hey Jude,” singing the na-na-na-na’s with the audience, singing with some 22,000 others, but none of them the people I wanted most to sing with.

I caught a small break when Rebecca woke up for the double encores. She got to hear “Get Back” and “Yesterday” and an absolutely killer performance of “Helter Skelter,” which was first performed live for this tour. When the lights finally came on, we headed for the car.

Sarah was asleep in the back seat, a big paper cup at the ready. She threw up several more times on the way home and at least twice during the night. Roger told me she moaned as he carried her out: “This is a fine how-do-you-do! Throwing up at Paul McCartney!”

Paul, if you’re reading this, please tour again. Just one more time. We don’t have to have good seats. We just want to be there and be a part of the Beatle mystique my daughters never knew.

Sarah will still need you when you’re 64.

Music review - Paul McCartney will always be a Beatle
He's a Beatle.

That, simply put, is the proverbial elephant in the room -- historically, emotionally, critically -- when Sir Paul McCartney comes to play your town, as he did for Portlanders on Friday night at the Rose Garden arena.

Some might even say he was the most important Beatle, though there's easily as strong an argument to be made that John Lennon was the most important of them, and a much stronger argument that it was the chemistry of those four men together that made the group seem greater than the sum of our hearts.

McCartney was, and therefore always will be, a part of that.

And all these years after, there's something awesome about anything that connects us to that legacy. I'm reminded of a friend who met Ringo Starr a few years ago and was rendered speechless by the moment. Ringo simply hugged the man and said, "I know. I know."

So, for most of the fans who packed the Rose Garden on Friday, the answer to the question "Was it a good show?" probably would be: "I saw a Beatle!"

Which is one way of saying "Yes!"

Yes, in part, because McCartney devoted roughly two-thirds of his nearly three-hour show to The Beatles songbook: 23 of 36 songs, starting aptly with "Magical Mystery Tour" and including such chestnuts as "I'll Get You" (a Lennon composition, reputedly) and their early Broadway cover "Till There Was You," as well as classics both rocking ("Drive My Car") and ruminative ("The Long and Winding Road"). He even played a solo rendition of "In Spite of All the Danger," which he wrote with George Harrison for their late-'50s band the Quarry Men.

However justified Beatles nostalgia is, the show didn't have a 1960s-in-aspic flavor. McCartney has a reassuringly fine new album to promote ("Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard"), and the four selections from it he played Friday did nothing to reduce the show's momentum.

Although McCartney had trouble with the high, delicate melody of "Jenny Wren," the song's beauty barely suffered. And overall, his voice has maintained its sweetness and flexibility much better than that of such veteran superstars as Elton John.

McCartney switched regularly between his trademark viol-shaped bass, guitars and piano, and performed a handful of songs solo. In contrast to the Rolling Stones, who played the same room Tuesday with 13 performers on stage, McCartney got by with a compact four-piece backing band, featuring a strong lead guitarist in Rusty Anderson and a superbly entertaining drummer in Abe Laboriel Jr.

It would have been nice to have real horns to give depth and shape to such tunes as "Jet," "Got to Get You Into My Life," and "Penny Lane," but a Kurzweil keyboard acquitted itself fine on those parts and served even better on the string arrangement of "Eleanor Rigby."

In the end, the breadth of what he played -- from the tender love ballad "I Will" to the manic guitar meltdown "Helter Skelter" to the episodic adventure sketch "Band on the Run" to the Merseybeat blast "Please Please Me" -- was dwarfed only by that of what he didn't play (start with, say, "All My Loving" and work from there).

But then, you knew he had great songs. He's a Beatle.

From classics to 'Chaos,' Sir Paul still rocks
By Carolyn Lamberson
PORTLAND - Ladies and gentlemen, take your seats. The meeting of the Oregon First Congregational Church of Macca is about to start services.

Your guide to today's spiritual journey through rock 'n' roll history - the Cute One himself, Sir Paul McCartney.

On Friday night at Portland's Rose Garden Arena, the faithful gathered to celebrate one of the most enduring icons of popular music. In return, McCartney treated the sold-out crowd of 16,000 to a wide swath of his repertoire, from the first song he recorded with the Quarrymen to selections from his latest solo album, "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard."

In between, McCartney - or "Macca" to his fans - revisited songs from his days in Wings and that other band he was in.

Yeah, that one.

In fact, he kicked off the night with a Beatles tune, "Magical Mystery Tour." Backed up by Abe Laboriel Jr. on drums, Rusty Anderson on lead guitar, Brian Ray on guitar and bass and Paul "Wix" Wickens on keyboards, accordion and guitar, the 63-year-old McCartney played through 36 numbers. Some songs rocked hard. Others shined in their simplicity.

"Magical Mystery Tour," from the Beatles album of the same name, was one that rocked. From the second McCartney stepped on stage at 8:50 p.m. - trim and still boyish, despite the wrinkles - the crowd was with him. Energy may have flagged a bit during the second track, "Flaming Pie," a song that doesn't have widespread appeal, but when McCartney and band launched into a blistering version of "Jet," everyone was along for the ride.

He kept the joint on its feet through a series of classic rockers - "I'll Get You," a Beatles B-side from 1963, "Till There Was You," "Let Me Roll It" (with a dose of "Foxy Lady" tacked on at the end) and "Got to Get You Into My Life" before hitting "Fine Line," the first single off "Chaos and Creation."

For "Fine Line," a Yamaha grand piano rose up onto the stage, and McCartney put it to good use for "Maybe I'm Amazed" and the classic "Long and Winding Road."

The piano numbers segued into an acoustic set. McCartney stood alone at center stage and said this was the part of the show where the other musicians mysteriously disappear and "leave me here with you. So welcome to my living room."

Acoustic guitar in hand, he launched into a golden oldie, "In Spite of All the Danger," a song recorded by the Quarrymen, the pre-Beatles band that featured McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and two other members.

"I Will," from 1968's "The Beatles," followed. Then McCartney leaped forward more than 35 years with "Jenny Wren," the second single off "Chaos and Creation." It's a beautiful little song.

In the upper registers, McCartney stretches his voice beyond its range, bringing a level of emotion and vulnerability