Paul McCartney - The US Tour 2005

26.09.2005, Boston, MA; "TD Banknorth Garden (formerly Fleetcenter)"


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review by Markus den Boer
My day begun by driving to the airport Duesseldorf at about 9.30 CET; my flight to New York was going about 13.00 CET. After a very rough flight with some aftermaths of the hurrican Katrina I arrived in NY at about 5pm. Afterwards I had to travel by bus from NY to Boston. I arrived about midnight September 25th at my hotel in Boston. I think I slept until about 7am, then I first walked in the direction of the venue of the concerts.
The ´Banknorth Garden´ is in the north of Boston. From outside there was no sign of the forthcoming McCartney shows. When you´re coming from the ´North Station´ there was a big construction site on the right of the ´Banknorth Garden´. Also on the right there was a small street which is going to the back of the building. Also this street was the only way to the employee entrance.
On the left of the venue was a separated area with a tent and there before one of the Lexus RX400A (with the Höfner print on the sides) on a oversized turntable. At this time the stuff was busy working on the tent. This was the place I think for invited Lexus dealers and ´important´ Lexus customers.
Just in the front of the ´Garden´ was the parking space for the McCartney tour trucks; and it was more than one....

At about 11am I walked to the box-office because I still needed a ticket for the 2nd day concert. And there were still a few tickets available. Most of them were 125USD tickets at the rear / side of the stage. But I was lucky and could get a 250USD ticket at the floor; 12th row and just in the middle of the stage. So that was not bad. Afterwards I had something to eat and since about 1.30pm I waited in the area of the employee entrance.

I think it was about 4.50pm that I first saw Missy O´Linn, one member of Pauls permanent security crew. She was busy talking on the phone, so I thought that Paul would arrive shortly. They had parked a smaller pick-up car at the turnoff from the main street a few hours before, so that nobody else could drive in. Missy walked to the driver of this car and gave him some instructions. It was already very late; I think about 5.20pm as a silver bus with black windows arrived at the small way to the back entrance. Now they had to drive the pick-up car away and furthermore the bus had some problems to come through the corner of this small way. This gave me the time to run to the back entrance itself which is located about 100m from the street. There I already saw Brian Riddle, also a member of the permanent security team. I think at this time about 12 - 15 fans waited there for the arrival. As the bus stopped first Mark Hamilton (security chief) and I think Barrie Marshall (tour manager) walked out of the bus. Hamilton waited a few meters away from the door of the bus. Afterwards the band quickly came out and walked straight into the building. I specially brought my older analog camera with me because it makes good pictures and it´s also much more quicker than my news digital-camera. Unfortunately right to this time I had some technical problems and so I wasn´t able at all to take some photos... Shit happens....
We hadn´t seen Paul at all. Seemed that he took another way inside the building. I waited a few more minutes but then I had to leave to bring my bag and also the camera back to the hotel. I was back at the venue at about 6.30pm.

The entrance to the venue was on the second floor; there have been some escalators to go up. At 7pm doors opened; first it seemed the security was quite strict but as the doors finally opened it all was very quick. The security had some hand metal-detectors but in the way they used them they also could have used no detectors.... So hopefully some recordings appear...

There had been two stands of ´Fidelity Investments´, one of the tour-sponsors. They had some computer-terminals where to put into your personal data and with a "e-decoder" afterwards you could decode if you had won a t-shirt. It was obvious that they only wanted to have the personal-data for their business, but I also do have a number of different names ;-) Unfortunately I wasn´t able to win a t-shirt, even I tried it couple of times. One guy from the ´crew´ told me that every 9th person should win a t-shirt but I wasn´t able to proof that...

There was a wide rage of merchandising available, but most of it was very very expensive. The tour-program did cost 30USD. It does have about the same size and number of pages like the program from last year ´Summer Tour´ with the difference that this one only did cost 15 Euros... Also there had been a litograph for every venue. It´s the same ´picture´ from Paul backside with his Vox-amplifier. At the top is written the location and the date and it´s limited to 100 copies each concert (numbered at the bottom). These did cost ´only´ 20USD but it seemed that not many people bought one of these because 2nd day you still could buy copies of the first day...

The concert begun about 8.15pm I think. It opened with the Freelance Hellraiser like in all venues before. I have to say that I really like the Twin Freaks project and it´s fantastic to hear these mixes loud through the concert-speakers but for the "normal" concert visitor who want´s to see Paul it´s just too long. Also the DJ only stands behind his mixing desk and not that much else is happening... So it was quite more interesting for the people last year at the summer tour concerts; also with the DJ but with the acrobats at the same time. And so I think after about 10minutes the people start to hoot the DJ but again getting some quiter afterwards. Also like in all other venues before the ca. 10minutes film about Paul´s career was shown.

The setlist was also the same like at all other concerts before, only with slightly differences. He didn´t play the Coda ´Foxy Lady´ at the end of ´Let Me Roll It´; also no short ´Yellow Submarine´. There had been a rumour before the concert that Ringo Starr also were in Boston to meet Paul and might appear on stage but I think this definetely was only a rumour....


Magical Mystery Tour (back from 1993)

Too Many People (new addition!!!)
Flaming Pie
She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (new addition!)
Good Day Sunshine (back from 1993)
I'll Get You (new)
Band on the Run
Drive My Car
Penny Lane
Till There Was You (new)
I've Got A Feeling
Let Me Roll It; no Coda
Back in the USSR
Got to Get You In My Life
Hey Jude
Fine Line (new song)
Live and Let Die
Maybe I'm Amazed
Long and Winding Road
Encore 1:
In Spite of All The Danger
I Will (new addition)
Get Back
Jenny Wren (new song)
Helter Skelter
Encore 2:
For No One

Please Please Me (new addition)

Fixing A Hole (back from 1993)
Let it Be

English Tea (band comes back) (new song)

Sgt. Pepper´s Reprise

Yellow Submarine (short version)


I'll Follow The Sun (with reprise: 2x)


Follow Me (new song)

Bach's 'Bouree' (from the LUTE SUITE NO. 1 in E minor)
which he uses to describe the guitar chords on Blackbird....
Eleanor Rigby
From the first minute of the concert Paul seemed to be very very relaxed like I have never seen him on stage before. He really is getting better and better on stage with every concert. Even this evening he had some problems with a few songs... He got the chords and words wrong in the middle of "I Will" and had to start it from that part again. Also he had some problems with the accustic ´Bach´ piece which he had to start three times. But it was really fun and also Paul mentioned it that the people even more like it if he did wrong on some tunes.


My seat was on the right side of the stage, the same line as Abe with his drums and Wix with his keyboard. It was not the best seat I thought but afterall it wasn´t that bad at all. I was able to see more of Abe and Wix and I noticed that there was a transparent plexi-glass wall in the middle between them. It reminds me of the two concerts in cologne, germany, 2003, where on the first concert Abe had thrown by accident a drumstick in the direction of Wix and hit his keyboard. The second day Wix came on stage with a construction helmet and told about this attack.... (see full story from 2003 here) It was really great to see that Abe and Wix are communicating continuous during a concert; they making jokes, Wix shows Abe when to hit the drums at some songs and so on... It was really fun. Also specially Abe, to say it in kind words, is really like a wild animal. Just crazy. He´s doing crazy things with his drumsticks, handle his microphone which hangs above him in the rhythm of the music and just having lots of fun. It was really a big joy seeing him. He told the audience on his announcement that he was born in Boston and got a huge applause for this fact.
The show was just great; audience was also very enthusiastic. I loved it a lot and was glad that I was able to get an ticket also for the second day... After the show outside it had begun to rain a little and the promo-postcards from Lexus for the new McCartney signature edition have been wet... They had put-up a few Macca concert posters in that area just before the show. It had been my intention to get one after the show but unfortunately I came too late, all had gone... After the show there was a big traffic jam and it took some time until the streets have been empty again. Some street hawkers had been there offering a McCartney shirt but it looked very cheap and so I didn´t bought one.


McCartney can still make his familiar songs sound fresh

By Joan Anderman, Globe Staff
September 27, 2005

Paul McCartney's catalog precedes him, big time. We love Beatles songs so much we're happy to hear them mangled at the school assembly and lifeless in the supermarket and even, sort of, mashed with heavy dance beats at excruciating volumes by a DJ before the McCartney concert last night at the TD Banknorth Garden. So the prospect of listening to those songs played by that guy -- and making a sound judgment instead of just singing along -- requires full mobilization of critical edge.

So here's the hard truth: The video biography, stuffed with screaming-girl footage, was self-indulgent, overlong, and annoying. McCartney hardly needed to remind the 16,500 adoring fans in front of him of his popularity -- or his relevance. He took care of that over the next few hours, playing 38 songs spanning 45 years that testified not only to McCartney's iconic role in the history of popular music but his enduring passion for the craft.

Alternating between bass, piano, and guitar, McCartney and his impeccable young rhythm section performed sparkling, faithful reproductions of Beatles tunes down to the synthesized trumpet fills in ''Got to Get You Into My Life." They dipped sparingly into the dubious Wings repertoire, and showcased a handful of tunes from McCartney's genuinely impressive new album, ''Chaos and Creation in the Backyard." The delicate and complicated ballad ''Jenny Wren" and ''English Tea," a proper British pop song, bristled with inspiration and introspection many people suspected was no longer a vital part of McCartney's songwriting process.

The true test for any song, of course, is how it stands up toe to toe with ''Fixing a Hole," ''Eleanor Rigby," ''Penny Lane," and ''Hey Jude." McCartney, youthful-looking at 63 in jeans, blazer, and Beatle boots, paced the long set beautifully, opening with the rallying invitation of ''Magical Mystery Tour" and moving through a range of moods as vast as his catalog. The best moments came when McCartney went to extremes. During the piano ballads, ''Maybe I'm Amazed" and ''The Long and Winding Road," he found all of his high notes and all of his passion. During the backloaded barnburners -- ''Get Back," ''Helter Skelter," ''Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)" -- McCartney, pushing toward hour three, banished the sensitive songwriter and merry prankster persona and reminded the world that John wasn't the only rocker in the band.

But the bottom line is we've heard it all before, and truth be told the really good stuff didn't have chords or melodies at all, but rather treasured bits of information. The Beatles had to learn a few cabaret numbers to get a gig at the higher-paying clubs: among them '' 'Til There Was You." McCartney fumbled through a classical guitar piece that he and George used to play together in his living room; the structure was the basis for ''Blackbird."

Neither time nor familiarity are likely to dull the impact of McCartney's parting words: ''And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." Neither the message, nor the messenger, has withered a bit.

Sir Paul fresh after Long and Winding Road
By Sarah Rodman/ Music Review
Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Beatlemania is alive and well.
Last night, the sold-out crowd at the first of Sir Paul McCartney's shows at the TD Banknorth Garden were whipped into a face holding, throat shredding, foot stomping frenzy.
What was even more impressive was that McCartney deserved the acclaim. At 63, the good-natured Liverpudlian is still cute and, more importantly, still a solid showman.
In a well-structured, two-hour and 45-minute performance, he managed to give the crowd what they wanted hits, hits and more Beatles hits and sneaked in some of the best tracks from his new album, ``Chaos and Creation in the Backyard.'' Of course, when you have a catalog like his to work with and a setlist that begins with ``Magical Mystery Tour'' and concludes with ``The End,'' you're already pretty much ahead of the game. Throw in a couple of bandmembers who are as easy on the eyes as they are gifted, the monster drumming and singing of Abe Laboriel Jr., the majestic keyboards of Paul ``Wix'' Wickens and a brilliant yet simple stage set made up of multifaceted video screens, and the show practically plays itself.
It's not just the sheer, almost impossible durability of songs such as the exquisite ``Eleanor Rigby'' done note perfectly last night or the anything-is-possible jubilance of ``Good Day Sunshine'' or the gorgeous anguish of ``For No One.'' It's the genuine warmth McCartney still injects into his songs after all these years that make them more than rote exercises in nostalgia. Even without fancy reinvention, they remain living things. (With the notable exception of the charity concert warhorse ``Hey Jude'' with its interminable, supposed to be fun but really just endless ``na-na-na'' coda.)
Early highs included the cheery cha cha cha of ``Til There Was You'' and the autumnal melancholy of ``The Long and Winding Road.''
It was ``Band on the Run,'' however, that kicked the show up several notches.
Up to that point, every hair of the show had been in place. The sound was good, the set elegant and sleek, the players precise and the crowd responding enthusiastically. But there was just something in the lift of ``Band on the Run,'' some magical dust in the symphonic build up that made it feel like the whole of the Garden turned a corner and fell into the sun all together. ``Back in the U.S.S.R.'' sizzled with surfer cool. ``Penny Lane'' shone with all its baroque charms. ``Live and Let Die'' rocked. ``Let it Be'' was a study in grace. Sir Mick and the Rolling Stones may have been cooler, and Sir Elton John may have played longer, but Sir Paul McCartney proved once again that nothing beats a Beatle.

McCartney more reflective on tour
Thursday, September 29, 2005
BOSTON - At any Paul McCartney concert, there's a sense of nostalgia and that's inevitable given the history of the man. Yet as he sets out on the early dates of his latest tour, there seems to be even more reflection in the air, as the former Beatle and his fans appear to be Review well aware that there just might not be many more of these huge world wide barnstorming road shows of his. No one said he's retiring and the guy loves performing way too much to ever retire. But at 63, McCartney seemed in an especially nostalgic frame of mind Monday, playing to a delirious full house on the first night of a two-night stand at the TD Banknorth Garden, better known to most of us as the FleetCenter.

He's done an increasing number of Beatles' songs during recent tours and this night proved to be no exception. He frequently went way back - even as far back as 1958 to do a rare version of "In Spite of All The Danger," the first record he ever made with John Lennon, George Harrison and two other members of the pre-Beatles band known as The Quarry Men.

Though always animated in concert, McCartney spoke more than usual between songs this night, especially during a lengthy, mostly acoustic stretch in the middle of his two hours and 35 minutes on stage.

If he does slow down his touring pace it will not be for a lack of stamina. While he's not like Mick Jagger, running like a wildman throughout the night, McCartney put on a highly-energized show of force throughout 37 songs, with approximately two-thirds of them culled from his Beatles' repertoire.

Dressed in jeans, a light blue shirt and a dark jacket which he later removed, McCartney, playing his trademark Hofner bass guitar, and his stellar four-piece backing band opened with "Magical Mystery Tour." They then tore into "Flaming Pie," a drum-pounding "Jet," and one of the night's first surprises, a tender version of The Beatles' "I'll Get You," which featured keyboardist Paul "Wix" Wickens on harmonica.

Rusty Anderson provided some nice slide guitar work on "Drive My Car," and McCartney talked about The Beatles' early days playing cabaret clubs in England, before a version of "'Til There Was You."

"Smoochy stuff," McCartney quipped in reference to the latter track, but then he let things rock, switching to a sunburst vintage Gibson guitar for a gritty take of Wings' "Let Me Roll It," which led into one of the night's musical high points "Got to Get You into My Life."

He sang the daylights out of that rocker, but did sound a little creaky on a couple of the concert's softer ballads, especially during "I Will," in which he also - perhaps purposefully given that it's happened elsewhere on the tour - blew the lyrics at one point, then went back into the song.

"Proves it's live, doesn't it?" he said with a grin.

McCartney mixed in a handful of tracks from his brand new album "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard," most notably the gentle "Jenny Wren," and the album's piano-driven lead single "Fine Line."

Other mid-set highlights included The Beatles' "For No One," and "Fixing a Hole," and an acoustic "I'll Follow the Sun," which McCartney prefaced by recalling the day he wrote it at his home.

"Welcome to my living room," he said earlier, and indeed this portion of the concert had a definite intimate feel, filled with McCartney's memories. He brought the house down when he paid a verbal tribute to three hugely influential figures in his life who've passed away Lennon, Harrison, and McCartney's first wife Linda.

From there he went into a solo acoustic "Blackbird," and a very strong "Eleanor Rigby," which featured superb harmonies from Anderson and drummer Abe Laboriel Jr.

Doing one "for all the Wings' fans," McCartney played "Too Many People" (even though that's not technically a Wings' song) and then the Fab Four's "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window."

Against a striking backdrop of space shuttle footage, the crew offered another one of the night's double-barreled highlights, first with "Good Day Sunshine," and then into the multi-tiered "Band on the Run," which featured one of McCartney's finest vocals of the evening.

The latter part of the regular set wound down impressively with a rockin' run through "I've Got a Feeling," "Back in the USSR," "Hey Jude," (which McCartney prefaced with a humorous brief version of "Baby Face") and a literally explosive "Live and Let Die," which was accompanied by some blinding pyrotechnics.

Wearing a red T-shirt that said "No more land mines," McCartney emerged for a series of encores, and while "Yesterday," and "Get Back," were superb, "Helter Skelter was totally over the top, by far the hardest rocking and most musically sensational song of the entire night. It was very noticeably set against a video backdrop of roller coasters, perhaps McCartney's none-too-subtle reminder that that was what the song was written about in the first place, as British roller coasters are frequently referred to as helter skelters. McCartney sang the song like it was 1968 all over ago, letting his lungs loose against the frenzied musical backing.

The night wound down with other encores that included a delightful "Please Please Me," "Let it Be," "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," and "The End," which found McCartney, Anderson and Brian Ray all trading guitar solos.