Former Beatle and always a musical hero, Paul McCartney played to a sold out crowd on October 21 at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena. McCartney immediately promised us we would ‘have a ball’ and that was an understatement.
At 73 (yes he is), McCartney is as fit and handsome as he ever was. He still has the boyish good looks and the sexy moves that made all the girls scream and sob so many years ago. Dressed in tight black jeans, a white shirt, and Beatle boots, McCartney could easily compete with musicians half his age.
The musician and his band (Rusty Anderson on lead guitar, Abe Laboriel on drums, Brian Ray on bass, and Paul Wickens on keyboard) played for a solid two hours then gave the audience an hours’ worth of encores. The show included music from McCartney’s own solo projects, along with a good amount of Beatles tunes (including ‘Lovely Rita,’ ‘Paperback Writer,’ and ‘Lady Madonna’) and even a few Wings songs (including ‘Band on the Run’ and ‘Let me Roll it’). Altogether, McCartney and his band made their way through over 40 songs.
The singer even dedicated songs to current wife, Nancy (‘My Valentine’) and late first wife, Linda (‘Maybe I’m Amazed’). He gave a shout out and a song (‘Here Today’) for John Lennon and one (‘Something’) for George Harrison. McCartney played ‘Something’ on a ukulele given to him by Harrison.
McCartney made several changes between various guitars throughout the show. He also showed off his piano chops during songs like ‘The Long and Winding Road’ and ‘Live and Let Die.’ The latter included a most impressive pyrotechnic display unlike anything Detroit has seen at an inside venue in quite some time.
McCartney is quite the showman, yet he also comes across very down to earth. He was happy and playful while sharing stories and chatting with the audience. He even invited a few people with signs (everything from ‘I love you Paul’ to ‘It’s my 17th Birthday, to ‘just married – please sign my wife’) up on stage for an autograph and a hug. And yes, the new bride got an autograph on her shoulder.
One of the concert’s many highlights (aside from just being there) was listening to the entire arena sing along to ‘Hey Jude’ with McCartney and the band. The crowd was clearly full of love and respect for Paul McCartney and his music.
Three hours later, it was another historic rock and roll night at The Joe. A night full of great music and passionate fans. All in Detroit – the greatest rock and roll city ever – just ask Paul McCartney.