Paul McCartney, SF, CA, June 11, 2010
(Note: taking a brief break from Deep Salvage posts to write about Macca!)
Go ahead, you music snobs, get it out: Paul is cheesy, he's sappy, he's no John Lennon, he wrote the stupidest Beatles songs, he's shallow, he's a fool for trusting Michael Jackson, he's a moron and a sap for not signing a pre-nup with Heather Mills, etc., blah, blah, blah.
I confess, I've always had some less than favorable views of Paul, too. But in 2004, I saw Paul McCartney at a Neil Young Bridge School concert and my view began to change. He opened that show with Drive My Car and my jaw hit the dew soaked, landfill-coating grass of Shoreline's lawn, where Catherine and I had been sitting for hours. His voice was impeccable, not the hoarse rasp of 70s/80s Wings shows, and his playing was simply the best I have ever seen (there is no better bass player in my book).
Then, just last year, I read that McCartney had performed with Dave Grohl at the Grammy's. I googled the show immediately, found it on YouTube (it has since been removed) and watched it something like ten times. Again, McCartney sounded great and his band, with Grohl on drums, was positively on fire. (Note: McCartney's touring drummer, Abe Laboriel Jr., smokes Dave Grohl.)
So this year, as I was casually reading about McCartney's 2010 Hollywood Bowl show on Pop and Hiss I was stunned to see that he would be coming to SF. Could there be tickets? I surfed off to the evil Ticketmaster and, presto, got two tickets no sweat, great tickets, lawn tickets, right-in-front-of-the-stage-only-50-rows-back-or-so tickets. Then I remembered how miserable I am at concerts these days and therefore almost never go anymore and I thought to myself "I am not going to miss this." Sure enough, in the days before the show, I started going through a down period and was sleeping poorly and getting lots of headaches and on the day of the show I woke up feeling positively horrible. I slept most of the day, but still the headache and heightened dizziness persisted. Again, I told myself I could not miss this show.
At around 6:30 PM, off Catherine and I went. About one hour and 30 minutes later, McCartney hit the stage and I knew I had made the right call. The show was so amazing I even started to feel better. Highlights? The whole thing. Truly, there wasn't a dud number, not one. Any remaining musical snobbishness of mine toward McCartney disappeared into the night (a typical SF summer night of fog, arctic wind and zero stars) as he belted out number after number. Every musician on stage was mind-bogglingly great. Could I nit pick? Sure, but I'm not going to. It would be like complaining about a little chip on a frame around a Picasso. Yes, he was that good.