Paul McCartney - The US Tour 2005

22.09.2005, Philadelphia, PA; "Wachovia Center"




McCartney charms in first of two concerts
By Dan DeLuca
Posted on Fri, Sep. 23, 2005
If you count "In Spite Of All The Danger," the first song he ever recorded with John Lennon and George Harrison - in 1958, as the Quarrymen - Paul McCartney played 26 Beatles songs at the sold-out Wachovia Center on Thursday.

Sure, the 63-year-old knight of the British realm sprinkled the set list with grabby tunes from his post-Fab Four career. Taking a seat at the grand piano for a glorious "Maybe I'm Amazed." Rocking out with his crisply professional if somewhat-hack-like four-piece band on "Let Me Roll It."

And he offered a four-song soupçon of his focused, impressive new Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, his best album in eons. Endearingly delicate numbers such as "Jenny Wren" and "English Tea" held their own against "For No One" and "Fixing A Hole." The ebullient "Fine Line" kept up the momentum of "Got To Get You Into My Life."

But by now, Macca should know better than to push his new material on a Beatles-craving crowd - especially one that paid up to $252 face value per ticket.

And he does. McCartney's hope of getting his edge back disappeared forever when John Lennon went to his grave in 1980. But even the most stubborn adherents of the caustic Beatle, rather than the cute one, have to acknowledge that Sir Paul has been responsible for much of the most fabulously crowd-pleasing, edge-less pop music ever made.

And at the Wachovia, before a multigenerational audience at the first of two sold-out shows (the second is Friday night), McCartney served it up with typical joie de vivre. The mop-top locks may be dyed, the face wrinkled, the voice somewhat frayed. But McCartney comes off as essentially boyish and carefree as ever.

"It's called the Us Tour, because it's all about us, right?" he said, somewhat nonsensically. And to hear him harmonize with his bandmates on "Good Day Sunshine" or "Back in the U.S.S.R.," or casually move from piano to bass to acoustic guitar - on which he impishly tried his hand at a little J.S. Bach, before "Blackbird" - is to (still) be taken aback by his musical gifts.

The show stumbled at the start, with a pre-concert dance-music DJ who got booed by the impatient Philadelphia crowd, and a needless biographical film, followed by a curtain-raising that took the singer's microphone with it. The onset of "Magical Mystery Tour" was delayed, but McCartney, naturally, rolled with it.

And the close of the concert could hardly have been more charming. After the already-sated crowd got "Yesterday," "Get Back," "Helter Skelter," "Please Please Me" and "Let It Be," McCartney brought on stage three elementary school-age children dressed in Sgt. Pepper outfits for a spirited rendition of that song, and an extended jam from the second side of Abbey Road. A family friendly rock show, if there ever was one.

McCartney in Philadelphia
Aaron Sagers
September 24, 2005
Rock 'n' roll is a sexy, swaggering creature that injects the hard-core emotions of love; it makes you feel a little dangerous and a little threatened.

After playing as the ''safe'' act at the last SuperBowl, one can't help but wonder if the Paul we knew and loved Paul the Beatle is past his prime. Is Paul dead?

Two notes into ''Magical Mystery Tour,'' the first song of McCartney's Thursday night concert at Philly's Wachovia Center, it's clear that The Beatles frontman is alive, rocking and relevant.

On a stage of TV monitors projecting trippy video, he was the only thing to watch as he brilliantly delivered three hours of musical memories.

The ''US'' tour promoting his new solo album, ''Chaos and Creation in the Backyard'' an understated yet effective effort reminiscent of latter-day Beatles seemlessly blended favorites with new and old material. And the audience followed their gracious leader the entire time.

From Wing-man to Quarryman, McCartney showed he still has fun in the biz by ripping through ''Jet'' before switching to the pre-Beatles band tune ''Oh, Yeah.'' He toyed with the audience with four false endings to ''Follow the Sun'' and switched to crooner mode with ''Til There Was You,'' the smooth song the Beatle boys played at cabarets in the early days.

On a piano, he turned out new goodies ''Jenny Wren'' and the playful ''English Tea.'' He wasn't alone; even when his band left for breaks, Lennon and Harrison were there in energizing Fab Four faves.

''Hey, Jude,'' ''Eleanor Rigby,'' ''Penny Lane,'' ''Back in the U.S.S.R.'' Even jaded listeners could feel the magic as cell phones were held up for loved ones to join in on the moment.

Like a visiting friend, Sir Paul chatted, shared stories, and took time to comment on fan signs. He rocked but also brought warmth.

Of the two encores, he killed with ''Sergeant Pepper'' and tenderized the audience by bringing up kids from the audience dressed in the Pepper outfits. Finally, McCartney treated masses with the explosive literally rendition of ''Live and Let Die'' complete with the crazy and classic rock spectacle requirement of fire, sparks and colored flames.

Sir Paul rocked and rolled. He may not swagger quite as much or make us feel dangerous, but he is loved. No, Paul definitely isn't dead.,0,5751218.story?coll=all-features-hed