Saturday, July 18, 2009

Paul McCartney at Citi Field

When I bought my tickets, I felt a sting in my wallet. I had never seen McCartney in concert and I thought this might be the only time I would have the opportunity to see the Beatles legend live. The closest I came to anything remotely related to the Beatles was attending the John Lennon memorial in Central Park in 1980 a week after he was killed.

So I figured I'd pony up the dough and take the wife to the first concert in Citi Field, in itself an historic event for the new stadium. And boy, was it the best spent money in a long time! Although the slight rain that came down for about an hour might've dampened our clothing, it didn't dampen our spirits as McCartney blazed through a myriad of songs, old and new and rocked the stadium.
A video backdrop behind the band included pictures of the young Beatles days, computer-animated Beatles from the video game “The Beatles: Rock Band”, video of a Wings photo shoot during "Band on the Run" that included James Coburn, Christopher Lee and Robert DeNiro, and even a couple of simulated Obama headshots during "Sing The Changes." I'll try to add some photos and maybe a video later.
One particular thing that warmed my heart were the parents who brought their young children to witness the Rock 'n Roll legend. There was a dad with his daughter of perhaps 9 or 10 years of age, who sat in front of us and knew every lyric to every Beatles song being played. To our left was a mom and her 5 year old girl who sang along with "Hey Jude." In this age of the Jonas Brothers, Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus, it's nice to see the history of rock music being handed down to the next generation. Too many times I've come across some in their late teens and early twenties who think the genre started with Nirvana and answer questions of The Beatles with, "Who?"
If you can come up with the scratch and can score tickets for one of the remaining two concerts, it's well worth the experience.
Jon Pareles has an excellent write up in the New York Times.

Here's Friday night's set list:

“Drive My Car”
“Only Mama Knows”
“Flaming Pie”
“Got To Get You Into My Life”
“Let Me Roll It” (with a “Foxy Lady” coda)
“The Long and Winding Road”
“My Love”
“Here Today”
“Dance Tonight”
“Calico Skies”
“Mrs. Vandebilt”
“Eleanor Rigby”
“Sing the Changes”
“Band on the Run”
“Back in the U.S.S.R.”
“I’m Down”
“Something” (on ukulele)
“I’ve Got a Feeling”
“Paperback Writer”
“A Day in the Life”/“Give Peace a Chance”
“Let It Be”
“Live and Let Die”
“Hey Jude”
“Day Tripper”
“Lady Madonna”
“I Saw Her Standing There” (with Billy Joel)
“Helter Skelter”
“Get Back”
“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (reprise)/“The End”


NowhereMan said...

Yes I remember that day in 1980 so well!You and I and my ex-wife went to a packed central park.I had promised your over protective mother that I wouldn't let you out of my sight.
Unfortunately,my ex who never listened to me, (one of the reasons shes my ex but I digress)wanted to get closer to the stage which I didn't think was a good idea being that you were an 11 year old in a sea of adults for safety's sake and the promise I had made to your mom.
Well,she took off to the stage and you followed her in the blink of an eye.My yelling out your name in a vain effort to catch you being drowned out by Beatle music.You dis appeared in an instant in sea of humanity.I thought I was living an episode of the Twilight Zone!
I immediately started to wonder did he caught up with my ex?How will I find them? Wait! I know!I told her to meet me at FAO Schwartz at the corner of 5th ave & 59st if in the unlikely chance we get separated.At the end of the service as the crowd started to filter out I kept searching and searching hoping to find one of you in vain.I asked a cop with a bullhorn to page my ex to no avail.
I then ran to Schwartz but alas you weren't there!I then went back to the park still looking at the now sparse crowd searching "the long and winding road" hoping for a miracle in that pre cell phone era wondering what I was going to tell your mother who as for those of you who don't know,is not the most stable woman in the world especially when it comes to her kids.
After 5 hours,I summoned enough courage to call my sister.My mom answered the phone.I told her we got separated had she heard from my ex?"They are here having dinner"she said.
I blame it all on Mark David Chapman and my ex.

Broadway Carl said...

Huh... I don't remember your version. And I was 14. By the way, for those of you who don't know, NowhereMan is my uncle.

Fraulein said...

What an amazing experience!! I'm jealous. It's cool to hear there were so many young kids there. The Peanut, who is almost 5, loves the Beatles, especially "Yellow Submarine."