Paul McCartney - The US Tour 2005

22.10.2005, Columbus, OH; "Schottenstein Center"



Ex-Beatle can´t miss with this songbook

by Curtis Schieber

Three songs into his nearly three-hour concert Saturday night in the Value City Arena, Paul McCartney looked
out into the packed hall and said, "I?m just going to take a little moment now to drink this all in."

It may just have been a bit of showbiz patter, but it expressed the amazement McCartney must share with his
audience over his spectacular career and eventful life. One of the most significant figures in pop-music history,
McCartney also has had his share of loss ? from his wife Linda to former band mates John Lennon and
George Harrison ? and personal triumph.

Saturday?s show was most impressive because McCartney, the picture of health and contentment, was able to
rummage through both his past and present with an uncommon balance of passion and good sense.

Two-thirds of the songs were recorded by the Beatles in a period of less than 10 years. Listening to them on a
recording, they cover a huge amount of ground; in McCartney?s hands Saturday, they displayed a common
thread as their original contexts fell away.

A pre-Beatles selection ? the Quarrymen?s first recording, In Spite of all the Danger ? was a buoyant acoustic
number; war horses such as Let it Be lost their mystique and became frothy singalongs; Penny Lane, every bit
as lovely and potent, sounded dated but resonated with its picture of loneliness. Ditto, Eleanor Rigby.
Fixing a Hole, a surprise from Sgt. Pepper?s Lonely Hearts Club Band, was more introspective and personal
than the original.

There were the Mount Olympuses of pop culture, tunes such as Yesterday, which many fans may have never
imagined they would hear in its original voice, delivered beautifully but plainly.

Bolstering those was a wealth of songs as familiar and only slightly less significant, including Please Please Me,
Good Day Sunshine, Magical Mystery Tour, Sgt. Pepper?s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Drive My Car.

McCartney reminded the audience that he has acquitted himself well since the Beatles split, nearly three dozen
years ago. Early solo work such as Maybe I?m Amazed and Too Many People were bittersweet in recalling his
relationship with Linda but proved still sturdy.

Though the Wings tune Jet sounded goofier than ever, Band on the Run was a downright romp.

In a rare oversight, McCartney gave short shrift to recent material, much of it sterling. That was clear with
the juxtaposition of the achingly beautiful I Will (1968) with the delicate, economical melody of Jenny Wren,
from the new album; I?ll Follow the Sun (1964) with Follow Me.

The pace was varied, ranging from the singer?s solo spots on acoustic guitar and piano to full-out productions
such as Live and Let Die, which featured sky-high fireworks.

McCartney?s band was key in the night?s success. Guitarists Rusty Anderson and Brian Ray, keyboardist
Paul "Wix" Wickens and drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. now function with the famous leader as a unit brought
together by one of the world?s greatest songbooks.

Anderson avoided aping the original solos but cautiously stuck close by, a tack that made sense in tunes
such as Maybe I?m Amazed, whose solo is the melodic spine of the song?s bridge. Wickens reproduced
the horn parts faithfully and naturally; he added a smartly placed accordion to a couple of tunes.

Laboriel was a groove monster, even though he had to hold back for much of the material.

An unnecessary 15-minute set by a DJ preceded the concert, making the 10-minute video about McCartney?s
life and career that followed a bit of a strain.

The beginning was quickly forgotten, though, as McCartney relied on his good intuition and marvelous songs.