Baby I’m Amazed at this ‘Up and Comer’

O.K. . . . I have had the distance of a few sleeps to absorb what may arguably go down as Toronto’s  best-ever rock concert – Paul McCartney’s ‘Up and Coming’ 2010 World Tour shows at the Air Canada Center on August 8th/9th.

As a young lad and like millions of other boomers, a good chunk of my formative years were spent watching the turbulent 60’s unfold on my parent’s television screen. The contorted faces of screaming and swooning teenage females during The Beatles’ first performance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 and flashy trailers of the world-wide release of the motion picture Help in 1965 are two such moments forever etched into my childhood memories.

So to say that actually seeing and hearing one of the two surviving ‘fab four’ members perform live would be thrilling – would be both cliche and understatement. What truly amazed me was not just listening to the pantheon of legendary popular songs written and performed by Sir Paul in his more notable musical incarnations, The Beatles and Wings; or the fact that my wife and I and about 18,000 other fans were in the presence of (according to Guinness) the most successful songwriter in the history of popular music; rather, I was blown away by his remarkable passion and astounding stamina.

Like some famous pop performers, Paul could have ‘mailed in’ his performance or rested on the laurels of his stellar reputation alone. But no, this charming, energetic former Beatle played as if he were a giddy teenager auditioning for a spot in his first rock ‘n roll band.

As sweat saturated his white shirt, the 68 year-old ‘boy wonder’ from Liverpool strummed a variety of classic guitars, strutted and bounced across the ACC stage for no less than three solid hours, performing 38 songs without a break or sip of water.

I even closed my eyes during segments of two songs to verify for myself that this sensational senior citizen’s voice was as melodic and vigorous as ever.

His enthusiasm and genuine love of living in the moment spilled over numerous times throughout the evening, “You guys look like you are having a good time” and “I have an auntie who lives in Canada” (just before launching with his mates into a stirring rendition of Let ‘Em In).

There were other special moments, like when Paul strummed one of the sweetest guitar riffs in rock history from his Band on The Run hit song Let Me Roll It or when a euphoric female fan was escorted up on stage for Paul to sign her arm. Paul deadpanned, “I don’t want to see that arm on eBay now.”

Though this wasn’t Sir Paul in his prime, in many ways it was a much richer, more mature and wiser McCartney that wowed and satisfied the sold out crowds at the ACC. That I was able to ‘drink it all in’ with my lovely wife by my side was fateful indeed and more than just ‘a little lucky’.

Photo Credit: Barb Redfearn

Related links:

Ageless Paul McCartney charms crowd with inspirational performance

Sir Paul wows ’em at the ACC

Paul McCartney.com

Setlist

Venus and Mars/Rockshow

Jet

All My Loving

Letting Go

Drive My Car

Highway

Let Me Roll It

The Long and Winding Road

Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five

Let ‘Em In

My Love

I’ve Just Seen A Face

And I Love Her

Blackbird

Here Today

Dance Tonight

Mrs Vandebilt

Eleanor Rigby

Something

Sing The Changes

Band On The Run

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Back In The U.S.S.R.

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

Get Back

Yesterday

Mull of Kintyre

Helter Skelter

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/The End

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