"Headlining bands performing for an hour nowadays can take a page from this legend's 2 hour and 40 minute performance"
May 8, 2022 Oakland Arena, Oakland California
Paul McCartney made a promise to his fans at the end of his last tour that he'd be back. Not only did he keep that promise, he showed the 19,000 fans that packed the Oakland Arena on Mother's Day that he's not even close to slowing down.
His 13 city "Got Back" tour finds Mr. McCartney returning to Oakland for the first time in 20 years. It was exhilarating to see the fans in attendance ranged from all ages and cultures. A true testament to the message of love and unity The Beatles and Mr. McCartney sent 60+ years ago and one that is still alive and resilient today.
His intro was simple. A quick pre recording then silence. A spotlight lit Paul as he walked out to
the Oakland Arena erupting with applause. Paul approached the mic and with a simple "One, Two, Three" this historic night was underway. Opening with the 1964 Beatle's classic " Can't Buy Me Love" one could sense this would be a nostalgic evening back in time.
Covering a wide range of his career from the Beatles, Wings, and latest offerings Paul pulled out all the right punches. The stage, light, and laser show rivaled any I've seen. This show is an amazing visual spectacle not to be missed. The giant screen behind and on each side of the stage displayed classic Beatles footage during a dozen or so songs including "Got to Get You Into My Life", "Maybe I'm Amazed", and "Love Me Do" amongst many others.
The highlight of the night for me this evening was listening to Paul's stories leading into certain songs. One fascinating story was when the Beatle's played a tape of their yet unreleased song "Sargent Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" for the late Jimi Hendrix. Jimi loved it so much he went and learned it and came back and performed his version of the song for the Fab Four. Fascinating ! The history that has passed through Paul's eye's would fill a thousand life times. I could listen to him for hours. Paul also took time to acknowledge the fans that took time to make signs for him reading several of them out to the crowd. A true testament to his devotion to his fans. A group of fans even took it to the next level and dressed in Walrus onesie's.
Sir McCartney's voice and energy this night was incredible for a man who celebrates his 80th birthday this June. Joining him on stage was his all star band that includes the great Rusty Anderson and Brian Ray on guitars, Paul Wickens on keyboard, and drummer Abe Laboriel Jr who is a show unto himself. A big shout out needs to go to the horn section that was on fire.
It was during the Beatle classics "Love Me Do" and "Ob la Di Ob la Da" and the Wings 1973 hit
"Band on the Run" the crowd got involved and sang along just as loud as the band. The visual highlight of the night was towards the end of the show when they performed "Live & Let Die". The fire, fireworks, explosions, and lasers that accompanied this song in sequence to the music was mind blowing. He followed this up by closing out the main set with the timeless classic "Hey Jude".
Paul closed out this 33 song historic trip through time with the encore's "I've Got a Feeling" a song he sang as a duet with John Lennon up on the big screen. This alone was well worth the price of admission. He followed this with "Birthday", "Helter Skelter, and "Golden Slumbers". The crowd in Oakland was on their feet screaming, crying, and celebrating what they just witnessed. It was at the beginning of these encores that the whole band walked out carrying different flags ranging from Paul carrying the Ukrainian flag to other members carrying the LGBT and the State of California flag respectively.
The Paul McCartney " Got Back" tour live is truly a spectacle not to be missed. Weather your 80 years young or a teenager being exposed to his music of the first time you cannot deny the timelessness of Sir Paul McCarney's contribution to not only music but to the world. Paul performed for 2 hours and 40 minutes covering 33 songs (see set list pic below). An unbelievable accomplishment for a performer his age. The "Get Back" tour continues across the USA and ends June 16th in New Jersey.