By Jim Harrington
It was a perfect rock 'n' roll moment.
The trees were lit in shades of purple, blurred to just the right extent by a heavy haze of moist fog. A sea of arms waved under the bright spotlights from the stage. Smiles were everywhere.
Tens of thousands of voices joined in song, led by the man who arguably qualifies as rock 'n' roll's greatest living legend.
That's the snapshot that will likely remain with me for years to come from Day One (Friday) of the 2013 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival.
We've probably all heard "Hey Jude" played countless times. Yet, not like this. Not like it sounded -- and, more importantly, felt -- on a cool summer's evening in the middle of San Francisco's gorgeous Golden Gate Park, with a legion of fans cherishing the opportunity to join the former Beatle on perhaps his greatest anthem.
"Hey Jude" was the apex of the performance -- and, indeed, the entire first day of the festival. Yet, it was just one of dozens of great songs performed during McCartney's nearly three-hour set.
At 71, this Liverpool native still ranks as one of best entertainers in the business. He sounded fantastic as he led his stellar band through such Beatles classics as "Eight Days a Week," "Paperback Writer," "The Long and Winding Road," "Blackbird" and "Let It Be."
It was a fantastic start to what should be an overall solid weekend of music, continuing through Sunday.
It'll be downright amazing if I see anything more impressive than McCartney at Outside Lands. But -- who knows? -- maybe I'll be amazed.