I’ve always thought the most amazing thing about a concert, THE most amazing thing, is sharing the venue for even just one night, being just yards away in the same space, from someone who sang out of your speakers your entire life. Paul McCartney is music royalty, at the top of the Mount Rushmore of most legendary musicians, and for this one night he was with 50,000 people at Dodger Stadium on the last night of his 2019 tour.
Opening with “A Hard Day’s Night” and weaving together three hours of brilliance through the decades of The Beatles and Wings and solo McCartney including his newest album Egypt Station, for one night, time stood still. “Blackbird”, “Let it Be”, “Band on the Run” “Junior’s Farm”, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, “Back In The USSR”, “Love Me Do,” Lady Madonna”, a haunting rendition of “Elenore Rigby”.
Paul commented at one point that he KNOWS we all love the old stuff because he sees our phones light up every time he sings one. Then the 77-year-old said too bad, he’s doing some new ones anyway. And he did. And the phones STILL lit up. He’s THAT good.
John and George were omnipresent in pictures that flashed on screen and in the stories that Paul told. A heart tug for the crowd left wondering even for just a brief moment, what it would have looked like if fate hadn’t dealt them such awful hands in life. Ringo as it turned out, was actually present. And he surprised the crowd by coming on stage to perform with Paul in the encores for “Sgt Pepper” and “Helter Skelter”. Ringo threw his drumsticks into the crowd as the two legends greeted each other on stage. “I love you man.” “I love YOU man, peace and love Ringo.”
The crowd in full singing mode for “Obladi Oblada” and “Hey Jude”, it was our turn to serenade Paul McCartney and we did. He rewarded us with a blistering “Live and Let Die” as fireworks blasted the sky over Dodger Stadium.
I guess it’s only natural. You view things through your own eyes when you’re young— experiencing everything in the world for the very first time. As you get older, and have kids, you view things for the very first time through their eyes. And so it was for me, looking over to my two daughters thinking about how amazing it was that they were spending a night with Paul McCartney- that we were spending a night in the presence of music royalty.
Paul ended the night with “Golden Slumbers” and “The End” and that famous line “And in the end… The love you take… Is equal to the love you make”. He and the band took a long bow and disappeared into the stage smoke.
I turned to my friend and asked him to name one musician nowadays that might still be touring and filling stadiums in FIFTY years. It was a head scratcher for sure. There’s no answer. Because there will NEVER be another Beatles and NEVER another Paul McCartney.