I knew it would be a special night seeing the greatest living legend of Rock n' Roll in Seattle. Still‚ I wasn't expecting it to be one of the most legendary concerts of all time. Sure‚ the dude is Paul Motherfucking McCartney‚ so there's not really much else you can say about it. And as compared to his fellow senior-citizens of rock‚ The Rolling Stones -- who limp around the stage like geriatric patients and after 50 years still haven't learned how to play their own songs -- Macca is at the top of his game. 71 years young and playing with a level of exuberance that I frankly have a hard time matching at 33‚ Sir Paul played for over three hours straight and played 39 songs.
It started out harmless enough; a few fun ditties to get the crowd swaying. Then five songs in "Let Me Roll It" hit‚ and it hit hard. The power this tune holds in the live setting makes the 40 year-old studio version seem like a lullaby in contrast‚ and with an extended outro jam of "Foxy Lady" it became quite clear that this wasn't just a quaint sing-along concert. Around this time‚ I saw Dave Grohl walk by with his 7-year old daughter‚ and it kind of made me feel like I was at the center of the universe. The hits just kept on rolling‚ and nearly each song was followed by a quick antidote from Paul about hanging with Hendrix‚ or about who he had written the song for‚ or just about what a blast he was having on stage. Quite simply‚ the man may be the most charming bastard on planet Earth. He was funny‚ and natural‚ and he made it feel like we were all hanging out in one enormous living room. His band had constant looks of elation on their face as well. I suppose it's hard not to when you've landed one of the sweetest gigs of all time.
I'm sure everybody in attendance had their own highlights‚ but mine included: the sense of wonder upon hearing how fresh the opening lick to "I've Just Seen a Face" still sounds‚ the eeriness that "Eleanor Rigby" is still able to emit‚ the beautiful cover of George Harrison's "Something." the perfection of "Band on the Run‚" the quick flash of Free Pussy Riot during "Back in the USSR‚" the literal and figurative fireworks during "Live and Let Die‚" and the massive encore. Holy Moses what an encore. "Day Tripper" got things fired up‚ but when the remaining members of Nirvana walked on stage after that‚ I'm pretty sure Guinness officially declared it the coolest moment of all time. Kicking off with their collaborative original‚ "Cut Me Some Slack‚" I was blown away by how I had shrugged the tune off 6 months ago. Once you get past the hype surrounding it‚ it's actually a killer track and it sounded enormous rattling around the baseball stadium. Grohl then came out from behind the drums to join in on guitar for "Get Back‚" and as he stood next to his former bassist‚ I'm pretty sure it's the first time I've ever seen Krist Novoselic smile. Pat Smear was his normal giddy self. I was pretty sure the concert was over at that point‚ and was massively satisfied. But then Paul came back out for a solo rendition of "Yesterday." This delicate moment was quickly squashed though‚ when the Nirvana guys came back out for a ferocious take on Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally." What next? "Helter Skelter"? Holy crap -- I was having the time of my fucking life. The Seattle boys left the stage as "Golden Slumbers" started up‚ and I figured that was the last of them. But then they reemerged for the jam out of "Carry That Weight" which was greatly extended for the guitar trade-off jam between Paul‚ his 2 bandmates‚ Grohl‚ and Smear. The fact that this was all preceded by McCartney saying‚ "Come on fellas‚ let's just jam‚" made the smile on my face all the more enormous. It all clicked. Seeing the humbled look on Dave Grohl's face when Paul grabbed his hand to bow was literally one of my favorite concert moments of all time‚ and I felt truly honored to be a part of the moment. When you go see thousands of concerts like I do‚ occasionally you luck out and see history being made. It was a beautiful night under the stars in Seattle‚ and one I'll be talking about for the rest of my life.