At 70, Paul McCartney wows Houston with a show-stopping concert of rock magic & memories

11.15.12 | 06:30 am
I'm feeling a little guilty. Through the years,Paul McCartney has never exactly been my favorite Beatle. I've always thought of myself as more of a John or George fan, preferring those "deeper" Fab Four moments to Sir Paul's more light-hearted fare.
Well, the 70-year-old rock legend made a fool out of me Wednesday night, as he reminded a jam-packed Minute Maid Park not only how strong of a performer he is, but how thoughtful, inspiring and emotionally-complex his songs remain well into the 21st century.

Oh yeah, Paul also seems like he might be the nicest guy in the world.
Working his way though nearly half a century of music, McCartney effortlessly shifted between Beatles and Wingsclassics as well as recent solo material and even some of hislesser-known electronic music. In the end, he and his band played a whopping 37 songs  or, 38, if you count the "A Day in the Life"/"Give Peace a Chance" medley as two. (Here's the full setlist.)
Paul started the show, appropriately enough, with "Magical Mystery Tour" before surprising the crowd with the 1974 Wings single "Junior's Farm." Everyone burst into near-screams with "All My Loving," as vintage footage of Beatlemania flashed across the screen at the back of the stage. Then it was back to Wings for the toe-tapping "Jet."
While some in the audience may have forgotten how catchy McCartney'sBand on the Run-era songs are, most of us were waiting for the next Beatles track to surface. Every time, Paul walked over to the piano people got ready to sing along to "Hey Jude." (He had to play 28 other songs before got that one. It was worth it, though.)
The show had some rather touching moments, of course, with tributes to John Lennon and the aforementioned "Day in the Life" suite as well as a ukulele version of "Something" in memory of George Harrison.
For the record, the evening didn't have a single mention of final surviving Beatle Ringo Starr. It's a shame really, because everyone would've loved to hear Paul's take on "Octopus's Garden."
The night's biggest tear-jerker  at least for me and the two gentlemen sitting next to me  had to be "Blackbird," which McCartney explained was written as a nod to the 1960s U.S. Civil Rights movement.
After a show-stopping performance of "Live and Let Die," Paul delved back into the Fab Four catalog for not one, but two encores. Aside from a heartfelt rendition of "Yesterday" and the classic "Day Tripper," he and the band finished with material from the last three Beatles albums. A rockin' version of "The End," the group's last studio recording together, brought an amazing show to a close amidst fireworks and blasts of confetti.

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