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- Posted on Apr 1st 2010 1:45PM by Steve Baltin
During the second of his two sold-out gigs, he made the 20,000-seat venue seem very intimate, a pretty impressive feat when you're playing to 20,000 fans and your set includes a fireworks spectacle. The explosions during 'Live And Let Die' were so epic in scope ' McCartney thanked his pyrotechnics guy at the end of the show.
There were obvious moments of quiet, like the somber and beautiful 'Blackbird,' which McCartney introduced by talking about how he wrote it while watching the struggles in the Southern states before adding, "We've come a long way, baby." Other gentle highlights were a simple acoustic rendition of 'Yesterday' and 'My Love,' written for his late wife Linda and dedicated to all the lovers in the audience.
The most intimate moments came when McCartney shared some old stories. After a coda of Jimi Hendrix's 'Foxy Lady,' Macca recalled his own experiences with the legendary guitarist. "I was very fortunate to meet Jimi in the '60s," he told the audience. "Such a humble guy." He then reminisced about a great Hendrix story. "We released 'Sgt. Peppers' on a Friday. That Sunday, Hendrix opened with it, he played in London. He learned it, what an amazing tribute. He played with this vibrato and by the end of the song it was horribly out of tune. He asked, 'Is Eric out there?' He was looking for Eric Clapton, who was in the audience and was cringing. 'Eric, can you tune this?' 'No,'" McCartney said, laughing.
It was those shared recollections that made it feel as if Macca was in a dinner club or small theater rather than a huge venue, and he wasn't done either. Before his poignant '80s elegy for John Lennon, 'Here Today,' McCartney talked about never having the conversation he'd wished he'd had with his fallen bandmate, saying he thought, "Oh, it's not the right time. There'll be another time." He honored Lennon again later with an excerpt from 'Give Peace a Chance' that had the whole audience singing along.
The most touching tribute, however, came for George Harrison. Picking up a ukulele, McCartney recalled how Harrison loved the instrument and was a skilled player. "I learned one of his songs on ukulele," he added and played 'Something.' Halfway through the song, his excellent four-piece backing band kicked in, enhancing the song with a soaring guitar solo as the screen began to show images of Harrison, including some solo shots of the guitarist, some with Macca and one full shot of the Beatles that moved many to tears.
It was an evening filled with amazing Beatle moments, from 'A Day in the Life' and a joyous 'I've Just Seen a Face' to the obvious sing-along at the end of 'Hey Jude' and the rocking versions of 'Paperback Writer,' 'Day Tripper' and 'Helter Skelter.' But best of all, it was the feeling that Macca himself had taken each audience member into a part of the Beatles' history.