Thursday, October 22, 2015

Review- Paul McCartney @ Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI on October 21, 2015

Paul McCartney @ Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI on October 21, 2015

This was my second McCartney concert and the setlist couldn't be any more different from the 2011 Comerica Park show. That show seemed to be more about singles, which is understandable considering it was a stadium show and those things tend to be more about the masses. This “small” show at the 20,000 seat Joe Louis Arena dug deep, hitting all of the songs that he didn't do in 2011 that I wished that he would have done.

McCartney and his outstanding band rolled out around 8:35 and launched into Eight Days A Week. Over the course of 40 songs in three hours every nook and cranny of his career was explored. Save Us was one of three songs off of his latest album, 2013's New. I enjoyed the songs that he played and am going to have to check that album out.

Got To Get You Into My Life is one of my favorite songs of all time. One After 909 was a surprise. I purposely avoided checking out the setlist for previous shows on this tour. Temporary Secretary and Let Me Roll It kept things moving.

Paperback Writer is genius, as are most Beatles songs. I tend to smirk at folks who tell me that they think that The Beatles are overrated. The Beatles are underrated. Their importance and genius cannot be stressed enough. My Valentine and Nineteen Hundred And Eighty-Five seemed to bring the boisterous roar of the crowd to a low growl, but Maybe I'm Amazed brought them back. This crowd was very, very loud.

I've Just Seen A Face was a pleasant surprise. Insert American vs. UK Rubber Soul running order argument here. (The US version opens with this song, which gives the US release a completely different feel out of the gate.) FourFiveSeconds is the song that Paul did with Kanye West. Someone once told me that if you can't say anything nice then you shouldn't say anything at all. When it comes to Kanye West I am going to have to go with that and move along.

There is always some retard playing with their phone at concerts these days, checking their Facebook statuses and texting throughout the show. The lady in the row in front of me was on her phone every five seconds until the battery died an hour into the show and her phone powered itself down. 

We Can Work It Out rules. Another Day and Hope For The Future were nice enough. The light show was really something, state of the art. The stage itself was a screen, with the band standing on moving images. Very disorienting at times. And I Love Her was another great song.

Paul told plenty of stories between songs. He spoke about how he wrote Blackbird at the height of the Civil Rights movement. Here Today and New followed. Queenie Eye was a new song that sounds brilliant. Lady Madonna, All Together Now, Lovely Rita, Elanor Rigby, Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite, and There were a few curveballs there. Obla-Di, Obla-Da was one of those great sing along, clap along things that make the world seem fine. Band On The Run is genius and sounds fantastic live. It saddens me that no one makes music like this anymore.

Back In The U.S.S.R. and Let It Be were more sing along moments. Live And Let Die had so much pyro, fireworks and bombs that there was a haze of smoke at the top of the arena all throughout set closer Hey Jude.

Cellphone screens have replaced lighters during songs like Hey Jude.

Another Girl and Birthday were both welcome surprises. The band brought up selected audience members who were holding up signs. One was a girl celebrating her birthday. Her seventeenth birthday. When she walked off Paul said “Well she was just seventeen...and you know what I mean”, a nod to the song which came next: I Saw Her Standing There.

The second encore was the same as 2011 but was perfect. Yesterday, Helter Skelter, Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight, and The End. A brilliant end to a brilliant show. Will this be the final time that Detroit sees Sir Paul McCartney in person? Only time will tell. I do know that if he does come back that I'll be there, though.


  1. Man, I'm jealous.....I was raised listening to The Beatles. McCartney was nearby in Buffalo the other night (I believe it was the last date of the tour...), but the tickets were insanely expensive, and they sold out fast. I would have killed to be there, but my wife actually has no idea who he is. She is vaguely aware of The Beatles, but, as she says "I don't like that oldie music." Sigh.
    Glad you had a good time, Kris. Looked like an awesome show.

    1. Thanks, Dan. Yes, tickets WERE expensive ($77 for side view nosebleed upper bowl seats) but worth it. Don't feel bad. My wife was indifferent to the show. She likes The Beatles but doesn't "get" it.