LIVE REVIEW: Paul McCartney @ AT&T Park, 7/10/2010: The Dream Show
Like a lot of people, I grew up listening to the Beatles, as well as all of the Fab Four’s solo careers. My mom and God-mother are placed in the category of Beatle Maniacs, which made me an avid follower at a very young age. Since I was little, I have wanted to see Paul McCartney live; on Saturday, Jul 10, 2010, that dream became a reality.
As a new writer for a local online magazine, being able to cover Paul McCartney’s show at AT&T Park seemed like a long shot in hell. Much to my surprise and excitement, I, along with my fellow Owl contributor, Spencer, was confirmed.
Arriving right on time, I was on the verge of panic when my name couldn’t be found on any of the lists when a very nice security guard pulled me aside and said “you may want to try that booth before you start calling people.” He pointed towards a booth with only three people in line. Above the window it read, “Artist’s Guests.” Thinking I was going to look like a complete jackass if I walked up to this window assuming I’d be on Paul McCartney’s personal guest list, I figured what the hell? If anything, I could look cool for a second.
I walked up to the booth, expecting the man inside to laugh in my face, until he pulled out an envelope with my name on it. My heart fell to my feet. Holy hell! I was on Paul McCartney’s personal guest list! As if that wasn’t enough to send me into complete shock, I handed my ticket to one of the ushers, ready to be sent into some nosebleed abyss. The musical Gods must have been on my side that day, because I was directed onto the field, being lead closer and closer to the stage. The usher stopped, pointed to my seat, and simply said “you’re a very lucky young lady.” I couldn’t agree with you more, sir. I was placed in the 8th row, center stage. Paul would be directly in front of me. I was close to crying. All I kept thinking was I can’t believe this is my job. I was calling and texting everyone in my family, squealing with excitement, still with an hour left to go before the show was supposed to start.
At 8:30, McCartney took the stage. He walked out in his infamous, collarless jacket with his hands waving in the air and a huge smile on his face. I guess you can’t help but smile when you realize a stadium of 50,000 people are all there for you. He opened with a song he made famous with his band Wings,“Venus & Mars,” an upbeat song full of energy. Though everyone was excited when he started playing, the energy got even higher as he launched into a personal favorite, “Jet.” I called my mom so we could share this experience together. McCartney did a great job balancing his solo material with that of Wings, the Beatles, and cover songs. Hearing (and seeing) Paul McCartney play Beatles songs such as “All My Loving,” “Let It Be,” and “Paperback Writer” was absolutely surreal. It’s hard to find the correct words to describe the feeling of being face to face with a man who, along with three of his band-mates, ultimately changed the face of music forever. Like the Beatles of not, there is no denying that they practically changed the world. Being able to experience and see someone who has had that sort of positive impact was something really amazing and special.
I made a promise to myself that I was going to try my best not to cry during the show. I figured I’d have the hardest time keeping that promise during “Let It Be.” Thankfully, I didn’t, but the tears came at full speed when he played “Here Today”- a song he wrote for the late John Lennon. Before playing, he explained that he wrote the song as a phone conversation he’d have with John if he was still alive today. He said, “This is a song about saying all the things you wish you had said to someone after they have gone.” All of us in the crowd were doing a good job of keeping it together, until McCartney, himself, choked up after singing the verse I still remember how it was before / I’m holding back the tears no more / I love you. Not only did I feel my eyes start tearing up, but I looked around to see the same reaction from everyone else around me. Thankfully, he picked up the speed before he did another tribute for his other friend and fellow Beatle, George Harrison. After completing both tributes, he took a moment to praise them and have all 50,000 of us cheer along. Obviously, it’s not the same with John and George gone, but Paul is making them proud.
McCartney graced us three hours. Thirty-eight songs and two encores later, none of us were ready for it to be over. He ended with a Beatles medley of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “The End.” The last words he said before exiting the stage were the famous Beatles lyrics: and in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make. It was the perfect ending to a perfect show.
I’ll never be able to fully express how I felt and what was going through my mind while watching Paul McCartney. I do know, however, that what I got to experience on Saturday is, and probably will forever be, the coolest thing I have ever seen. Though I’m looking forward to the things to come in my life, let’s be honest- it’s all downhill from here on out. I say that with a lot of happiness, however, because being on Paul McCartney’s personal guest list and being able to watch him perform his legendary songs only a few feet in front of me is a pretty amazing thing to be able to say I’ve Â done. Sir Paul, though you may never read this, I sincerely thank you for July 10, 2010. I am forever changed.
Check out Spencer’s awesome photos here: http://www.theowlmag.com/live-reviews/picture-this-paul-mccartney-att-park-71010/
Check for tour dates here: http://www.paulmccartney.com