Evening Standard, Hulton Archive LONDON (AP) - Miles and Jimi. Jimi and Miles.…
- Posted on Dec 14th 2010 8:50AM by Mike Ayers
Kevin Mazur, WireImage
The venue's aura wasn't lost on him, either. "I dreamed of playing here for many years," McCartney told the crowd early on, before starting up 'Drive My Car.' Later in the set, he paused after '1985,' leaning against his piano to simply say "take a moment and soak in the Apollo."
From the onset, McCartney wasted no time getting down to business, opening with 'Magical Mystery Tour' before proceeding straight into 'Jet.' While there certainly were a host of Wings fans in attendance -- 'Band on the Run' and the rather rare 'Maybe I'm Amazed' were both welcomed fondly -- the early Beatles material like 'One After 909' and 'I'm Looking Through You' seemed to resonate most. A telling moment came when McCartney commented, "People hold up signs and you don't want to look at them. You got words and chords going on," in reference to the baby boomers in attendance who brought along signs of adoration. Women screamed like teenage girls again, while guys instantly became envious of the man up on stage -- just like it was 1964 all over again.
That's not to say the night didn't go flawlessly. A few hiccups threatened to derail McCartney, first with a false start on 'Maybe I'm Amazed,' and the PA giving out during a cover of the classic Marvin Gaye tune 'Hitch Hike.' McCartney and his band shrugged it off, trying it twice more before finally completing it. Still, this undesirable moment became a window at how McCartney deals with technical difficulties (he's quite calm) and what background dancers do when they're forced to keep restarting a routine (smile profusely).
But those moments were fleeting. When McCartney wasn't tackling old Beatles classics, he was changing out instruments on nearly every song. He took up the mandolin on 'Dance Tonight' and the Russian ditty 'Petrushka,' and opted for a full acoustic arrangement on 'A Day in the Life.' After performing 'Let It Be,' he commanded an Apollo sing-along during the set closer, 'Hey Jude.'
As McCartney emerged for the first encore, he made mention of the snowy conditions that had fallen upon Harlem that evening and pulled out his holiday classic, 'Wonderful Christmastime,' complete with a backing youth choir. From there, he closed the show with a few more classics, 'I Saw Her Standing There' and 'Get Back,' with the second and final encore yielding heavyweights 'Yesterday' and 'Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise),' which segued into 'The End.'
Yes, it was the end, but for the 1400 in attendance and millions listening on radio, McCartney's Apollo Theater visit won't be forgotten anytime soon.