After seeing both of Paul McCartney's historic shows at my beloved Wrigley Field, here is my official report -- in handy TT form.
1) He is thin and obviously in very good shape. Three hours of performing -- non-stop -- in 85º to 90º heat, without even stopping to wipe his brow or swig from a bottle of water.
2) He played bass, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, ukulele, piano and organ.
3) At 69, he is still a heart throb. Signs in the audience: I'll go veggie for a kiss … Please hug my wife so she'll shut up ... etc. He seems to find this funny/ridiculous. Which is not to say that he also doesn't seem to enjoy it.
4) Sir Paul seems to be refreshingly free of vanity, singing onstage beside huge projections of his more-handsome himself from days gone by.
5) The price of souvenirs was ridiculous. Official tour t-shirts were $40! I bought a cute unofficial one from a sidewalk vendor and paid only $25.
6) McCartney fans run the gamut -- from teenagers to baby boomers. The first night I sat with a dad and his two sons. The younger boy was 16 and just got his license. The older was maybe 20 (not old enough to drink beer). The younger one played air drums all night. The older practiced his keyboard skills on their dad's back. Dad was completely uninterested in being there -- and the younger boy kept track of Dad's beer cups and told him, "It's OK. I'll be your designated driver." Apparently the kids were the music fans and they dragged their father.
7) Younger McCartney fans (under 40) are more polite but drunker. And more likely to ignore the no-smoking signs. It's a sign of the time that it was only tobacco they were blackening my lungs with.
8) Older McCartney fans aren't used to being in crowds and can be quite rude. If one more person shoved me, I thought I'd cry.
9) Yet all 30,000+ of us were swaying and exuding good vibes during the tribute to John, "Give Peace a Chance."
10) Songs I'm frankly tired of when I hear them through my headphones -- including "Hey, Jude" and "Live and Let Die" -- are thrilling with enthusiastic audience participation.
11) Sir Paul watched the royal wedding, too. He told us about sitting in front of the TV with his youngest daughter, waiting for William and Kate to say, "I will." Then he went into the song from The White Album of the same name.
12) Though she's been gone for more than 10 years, Linda is still a constant presence in his shows. Photos she took, photos she's in, songs she inspired ... he doesn't shy away from invoking her memory.
13) I wish he was still in town.
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