My Monday with McCartney

He was a member of the greatest band in the history of rock.  He’s the most commercially successful singer/songwriter of all time.  He’s a melody man without peer who has written some of the most memorable tunes of all time.  His career has spanned over 50 years.  He is Paul McCartney.

I was first introduced to this master musician when I was a child.  My dad had shown me his lone Beatles album, Meet the Beatles and I was drawn to this music the way a man lost in the desert is drawn to water.  This music just seemed to complete me.  Instantly, the Beatles became my favorite band and I would tell anyone and everyone that they were the greatest group of all time.

As I grew older and my ear for music evolved, I appreciated the Beatles on a whole new level.  I became enthralled with the complexity and intricacies of their songs and how they seemed to speak to certain parts of me.

While I’ve always loved the music of the Beatles, I think I really became a fan of Paul McCartney’s music back in 2002 when I bought Flaming Pie.  I was so blown away by that album that I started buying his past albums and have purchased every new album he’s released.  Even today, at the age of 72, his musicianship and songwriting abilities are still stellar and he has released nothing less than a quality album since 1989.

Last night I finally had the chance to see this music legend live in concert at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, NE.  And it. . .was. . .awesome!!!

From the moment he stepped onto the stage, McCartney had the crowd in the palm of his hands.  Of all the Beatles, Paul was the one who always got the most charge out of performing in front of a live audience and his performance last night truly reflected that.  He really seemed to enjoy the energy of the crowd and used it to fuel a non-stop 3 hour block of songs.

All I can say is that I hope I have McCartney’s energy when I’m his age.  His voice, matured like a fine wine, belted out rockers such as Let Me Roll It, Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five, Save Us, and Everybody Out There.  On the turn of a dime, he would move to softer ballads and classics such as Eleanor Rigby, Hey Jude, Here Today, and My Valentine.

Between songs, he would engage the audience with little stories.  The best moment of the night was when he talked about how we sometimes want to say something nice to a person and decide we’ll tell them later and suddenly it’s too late.  Just as Sir Paul started to speak again, someone from the audience shouted, “I love you, Paul!!”  McCartney smiled and chuckled and said, “That was good.”

What was amazing was looking around the audience and seeing that fans of Paul’s music came in out shapes and sizes from the young to the young at heart.  The music is so timeless that the audience often sang along to the tunes.  The best moment of audience participation was when we all  joined in the Hey Jude chorus.

After 2.5 hours, McCartney and his band took their bows and left the stage to the thunderous applause of the audience.  Clearly we wanted more and two minutes later, McCartney obliged us with a 3 song encore.  After that we still wanted more and he came back out to the stage and gave us another 5 song encore.

Clearly we wanted to rock out even more, but McCartney told us, “There comes a time when we simply have to go. . .We’ll see you next time.”

Yes, you will, Sir Paul.  Yes, you will.

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