TVD Live Shots: Paul McCartney at the SAP Center, 7/10

SAN JOSE, CA | Paul McCartney has been making music for sixty years and, now pushing into his late ’70s, shows no sign of slowing down. Currently out on his “Freshen Up Tour,” Sir Paul brought his legendary talents and extensive catalog to San Jose’s SAP Arena where the lines to get through the doors were only dwarfed by the bag check (apparently the SAP Arena’s new clear bag policy came as a surprise to many).

With no opener, McCartney took the stage with his band and wasted no time diving right into “A Hard Day’s Night,” plucking that classic left-handed Hofner “violin” bass as the crowd took to their feet and sang along. With a talented backing band which was later joined by a horn section, McCartney was not rushing to get through what amounted to practically a three-hour set, no small feat for men half his age, but reflective of the ground that had to be covered.

Early on Paul paused to shed his jacket, resulting in a whoop from the crowd, to which he responded, “that was the only wardrobe change of the entire evening.” Picking up an electric guitar, McCartney took an opportunity to show off his licks to Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” but not before sharing any early story about Hendrix.

Proving that his instrumentalism is as prolific as his catalog, Paul hopped effortlessly between instruments … bass, electric, acoustic, grand piano, stand-up piano, and mandolin. And when he teased the crowd with “going way way back,” the crowd erupted but likely wasn’t expecting how far back he would really go until he busted out the pre-Beatles Quarryman’s “In Spite of All the Danger,” as he encouraged the crowd to help out with some “whoa-oh-ohs.”

The production was flawless and was perfectly tailored to the setlist. Giant LED screen provided the mood lighting for Paul and his backup band but somehow managed to provide an intimate feeling when required (like during “From Me To You”) yet scaling to epic proportions as the set progressed by belching flames.

Delivering a riveting career-spanning set, Paul McCartney continues to prove why he’s one of the most successful musicians in history.

A Hard Day’s Night (The Beatles song)
Junior’s Farm (Wings song)
All My Loving (The Beatles song)
Letting Go (Wings song)
Who Cares
Got to Get You Into My Life (The Beatles song)
Come On to Me
Let Me Roll It (Wings song) (with Foxy Lady ending)
I’ve Got a Feeling (The Beatles song)
Let ‘Em In (Wings song)
My Valentine
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five (Wings song)
Maybe I’m Amazed
I’ve Just Seen a Face (The Beatles song)
In Spite of All the Danger (The Quarrymen song)
From Me to You (The Beatles song)
Dance Tonight
Love Me Do (The Beatles song)
Blackbird (The Beatles song)
Here Today
Queenie Eye
Lady Madonna (The Beatles song)
Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles song)
Fuh You
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! (The Beatles song)
Something (The Beatles song)
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (The Beatles song)
Band on the Run (Wings song)
Back in the U.S.S.R. (The Beatles song)
Let It Be (The Beatles song)
Live and Let Die (Wings song)
Hey Jude (The Beatles song)

Birthday (The Beatles song)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) (The Beatles song)
Helter Skelter (The Beatles song)
Golden Slumbers (The Beatles song)
Carry That Weight (The Beatles song)
The End (The Beatles song)

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