When one of two surviving members of The Beatles plays a show in your backyard, you should probably go.
When my mom asked me the day of the Chicago Paul McCartney show if I was going to go, I said no. She didn’t understand why, she thought it would be perfect to cover for my blog.
And while the focus of alone at the show is always on independent art, I knew I couldn’t pass up this once in a lifetime opportunity to see a living legend. So I got a ticket to ride.
As a whole, the “One on One Tour” show was incredible. McCartney danced around the stage like he was 18 again, shaking his butt and making funny faces. He weaved Wings piano ballads in with full-band Beatles hits and acoustic inbetweeners like the first song The Beatles wrote when they were still called the “Quarry Men.”
He took us down memory lane reminiscing between songs on his friends John Lennon, George Harrison, Mick Jagger, Jimi Hendrix and more. My favorite was his story on the latter.
He told the crowd how Sgt. Peppers came out on a Friday and by Sunday Jimi Hendrix had learned the title track and opened his show in London with it. He of course added a “wonky guitar solo” in the middle in turn completely leaving his guitar out of tune. After he was done, McCartney said Hendrix looked out into the crowd and said, “Eric, if you’re out there, could you come tune me up?” He was of course asking for guitar hero Eric Clapton.
These fun anecdotes made the night just as memorable as the music.
Hearing about ukulele jam sessions with George Harrison, how Paul can still hear the nervousness in his voice while singing “Love Me Do” on the first Beatles recording and how he and Lennon wrote an early Rolling Stones single, “I Wanna Be Your Man” was pure ear candy to a music buff like me.
While I don’t know McCartney in real life and never will, I can tell you that without any doubt he is a humble man and sweet soul.
From thanking the crowd after every song to stopping to read a few fan signs brought to the show, you can tell that 75-year-old McCartney is still just a kid from Liverpool who loves playing music. Whether it’s for an arena of thousands or just one person.
I’ll leave you below with a few video clips I snagged from the show. Long live Sir Paul.
A classic, “Maybe I’m Amazed.”
“My Valentine” with sign language accompaniment by Natalie Portman.