Words & Images by: Bryan Lasky
Paul McCartney :: 9.11.17 :: Prudential Center :: Newark, NJ
View Bryan’s photo gallery below his recap.
Paul McCartney brought his 2017 One On One Tour to Newark’s Prudential Center last night, on the 16th anniversary of the events of September 11. McCartney was a beacon of light for first responders and their families when he headlined The Concert For New York City at Madison Square Garden five weeks after the terrorist attacks. Paul made a quick mention a few songs into the night saying you should never forget what happened, but that “we are here tonight to say we are against violence and hatred and we need to take care of each other.” Also, at the beginning of the encore, Paul and his drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. held a flag together for the remembrance of 9/11. Both instances were quick, but it was great to see the legendary musician acknowledge the anniversary of the tragic events.
Watching Paul McCartney on stage during a concert is a sight to behold. The 75-year-old performer doesn’t stop moving or playing an instrument or engaging with the audience for over three hours. From the beginning notes of “A Hard Day’s Night” until the last notes of “The End,” he was just a machine. There were no big bust outs that he hasn’t been playing the last few years, but you wouldn’t know it by his enthusiasm or the crowd’s reaction to every song played. Even “New” from 2013, the second most recently released song he played at the show, got plenty of love from the crowd.
Macca’s stories from over 50 years of playing music are always welcomed. There were tales of Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, George Harrison, George Martin, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and others. To hear these stories from the man who lived them is amazing. The stage was similar to what he brought about last year to stadiums, but on a smaller scale. The beautiful screens used made sure that the person in the last row all the way upstairs can see what’s happening and the light show was second to none. Before performing “Blackbird,” Paul came to the front of the stage as it began to rise high above the crowd. Later, the usual fireworks display was on hand for “Live & Let Die,” but being inside the arena for it you can really feel the heat from the pyrotechnics.
Despite McCartney performing 38 songs, the show felt like it went by in five minutes and that he could have played an entire different concert of 38 songs and most in attendance would have gone home happy. It would be an interesting twist to his eight show New York City area run if he changed up the setlists every night, but that is highly doubtful. When Paul was asked by Rolling Stone in 2014 about switching it up more, he famously responded “it’s not like I’m Phish, you know. Certainly, there’s a load of people in the audience that would want us to do that, but I have to be a bit conscious that there’s a load of people that wouldn’t.” McCartney just can’t skip “Yesterday,” “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “Love Me Do” or “Back in the U.S.S.R.” and almost every other song played. When you have that big of a catalog, it gets tough to pick a setlist, but Paul has perfected it and there are seven more chances for New York City-area residents to catch him over the next two weeks.
Paul McCartney at Prudential Center
- A Hard Day's Night
- Save Us
- Can't Buy Me Love
- Letting Go
- Temporary Secretary
- Let Me Roll It
- I've Got a Feeling
- My Valentine
- Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
- Maybe I'm Amazed
- We Can Work It Out
- In Spite of All the Danger
- You Won't See Me
- Love Me Do
- And I Love Her
- Here Today
- Queenie Eye
- Lady Madonna
- Eleanor Rigby
- I Wanna Be Your Man
- Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
- Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
- Band on the Run
- Back in the U.S.S.R.
- Let It Be
- Live and Let Die
- Hey Jude
- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
- Hi, Hi, Hi
- Golden Slumbers
- Carry That Weight
- The End
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