For the Benefit of Sir McCartney
On June 18, 1942, the best performer the world has ever seen was born in Liverpool, England. His name is, of course, Paul McCartney.
I've been to a lot of concerts in my life. A lot. I try to make a habit of it. Appreciating music makes me feel good about life, and endorsing musicians makes me feel proud. If it's been too long since I've been to "a show," I start to feel bored. And boring. Plus, there's something truly amazing about connecting with others through a shared passion -- in this case, the love of rock 'n' roll. Well, more specifically, the love of a Beatle.
My dear, dear, dear, etc., etc. friend Gretchen graciously invited me to see Paul McCartney play in Austin's Frank Erwin Center tonight. So I really can say with 100% authority that Paul McCartney is hands down, bar none the best performer in the entire world. He has It. He is magnetic. You can't help but watch his every move on stage. From his yelps and "whoos!" to his slight dance moves and storytelling, he is absolutely charming. And for someone who's 70 years old -- well, he has stamina! He was rockin' out like nobody's business! The concert didn't peter out at the end, either -- oh, no. Rather, it got progressively more rockin'! Every song was so good, too. Several times I thought, "Gosh! Why did he play this one right now? How's he going to top it? Anything now will be a let-down!" But every time, he topped it. Here, I'll give you some examples:
- "Live and Let Die" was accompanied by fire. Yes, bursts of fire a la The Great and Powerful Oz. And fireworks. Fireworks that shot 20 or 30 feet above the stage. But then . . .
- He sat down at one of his pianos and played "Hey Jude," which speaks for itself, but is even more powerful and simultaneously playful when the performer invites the audience to join in the chorus -- twice with just the men, twice with just the women, and multiple times for everyone. But then . . .
- He exits the stage and comes back in response to the encore waving a huge Texas flag, while one of his band mates waves a huge Union Jack. But then . . .
- He played the last few songs on Abbey Road. That's right; the night ended with "The love you take is equal to the love you make."
Thing I'm thankful for: Gretchen's friendship