Paul McCartney Gets Back to Liverpool's 02 Academy
by Mark Sumner.
Published Tue 21 Dec 2010 11:44, Last updated: 2010-12-21
There is always an air of mysticism whenever Paul McCartney decides to roll into Liverpool for a party.
Will Ringo join him on stage? Will John Lennon go one better than his "better than Jesus" proclamation and rise from the dead for one last hurrah with his old scribbling buddy? Will the ticket touts charge less than 1000 pounds?
None of the above.
What we did get was a 36 song set of absolute genius, nostalgia and joyous, unadulterated singing (Ob-La-Di, Ob La Da excluded).
Kicking off with a rousing rendition of "Honey Hush" and then "Magical Mystery Tour", it was clear that 68 year old Macca was in a Fab mood.
His vocals defy age and logic and seem to get better the older he gets. The only problem I had was with the mic vocals, as you could barely hear what the Scouse Messiah was saying inbetween songs. Although I did catch snippets of a small rant about "it shouldn't be too hard to excavate the old Cavern Club should it?".
Addressing the crowd to "calm down" and proclaiming "half of my family are in here tonight", he proceeded into his marathon setlist with gusto, only stopping between each tune to point at various song baying people in the crowd and say "Not that one" a la Little Britain style-ly.
I have to say that a personal pants-wetting highlight for me was hearing "Something", with just a ukelele as accompaniment. Songwriting at its utmost best.
Although the Wings offerings were met with fervour and energy that would belittle artists a third of his age, it wasn't until some of the real Beatles classics surfaced and punched us in the face with a great big metaphorical happy boxing glove, that the crowd sparked into life.
"Back in The USSR" had the whooping crowd bouncing up and down with hysterical smiles adorning each and every persons face, whilst "A Day in The Life" was just magnificent and gave a real feeling of getting one over on your parents, as they never had the chance to hear this song live when they were young and invincible, which, ironically, was how this epic setlist made us feel tonight. Young and invincible. That or the six pints of Carling I had were spiked.
For many years after The Beatles split, there was animosity between Macca and Lennon, finally being bridged just before the latter's untimely death. So it was fitting that, in the month where the world, and Liverpool in particular, mourned the 30th anniveresary of his passing that his old writing pal should include "Give Peace A Chance". This was met by a clearly ecstatic, and by this point, extremely lucky crowd who hung on every mantra-like chant of the famous lyrics.
"Let It Be" was followed by a particularly rousing "Hey Jude" which saw the room entwined in a sea of elated souls. The band left the stage. The crowd carried on the singing. Acapella in unison, until their hero bounced back on to the stage and exploded into "Day Tripper".
The 1200 capacity venue almost imploded with jubilant aplomb which then ended the encore by luxuriating us with "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Get Back".
Just when you think it can't get any better than this, Jubilation turns to Elation times ten. It's not hard to see why "Yesterday" is the most covered song in history. It can only be descibed as THE perfect song.
As the epic concert drew to a close, you could not help but wonder if you were part of something special, something ethereal, something spiritual. Something was definitely in the way we moved, attracting us like no other lover could ever do.
I salute you James Paul McCartney.
Magical Mystery Tour
Got to get you into my Life
All My Loving
One After 909
Drive My Car
Let Me Roll It
The Long and Winding Road
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five
Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying
Maybe I'm Amazed
I've Just seen a Face
And I Love Her
Band on the Run
Back in the USSR
Day In The Life
Let It Be
I Saw Her Standing There
Sgt Pepper/ The End