Live(ish) from Coachella: Paul McCartney Plays Nearly his Entire 50-year Catalogue
Hey, so sorry for not being very update-y last night: my iPhone's Internet apparently decided that we were no longer on speaking terms, and I didn't have any time to make it over to the LUXURIOUS PRESS TENT! because I was too busy seeing shows, man. So allow me to make up for lost time here.
Paul McCartney closed down last night, of course. Oh boy did he. He played for two and a half hours (maybe closer to 2:40?), which I think is actually pretty typical for his recent solo shows, but an eternity by Coachella standards, where even headliners usually only play for about an hour and a half. And though the first half of the set kind of lost some fans (I saw a lot of respectful, yet bored, faces) with some more obscure material (and stuff like "Highway," from his new "The Fireman" album, Electric Arguments), the ending drove the crowd absolutely nuts (he can still make girls squeal, apparently), with one classic after another ("Helter Skelter," "Let It Be," "Live and Let Die," "Hey Jude," natch).
You could dismiss statements like "the old guy really shows those young kids how to do it!" but, well, he sort of did. The man is nearly 67, and barely took a rest for nearly three hours, in the process honoring his late wife, Linda (yesterday was the 11-year anniversary of her death, he dedicated "My Love" to her) and his departed Beatles bandmates John Lennon ("Here Today") and George Harrison ("Something"). There were fireworks, pyro, chanting along on the "na-na-nas" for 'Hey Jude." It was pretty special. Oh, and he talked about Obama a bit before "Blackbird."
If any critcism could be made, I guess it is kind of weird how almost all of the songs people responded to were Beatles tunes, each one at least four decades old at this point. Morrissey was the previous act on the mainstage, and though he did play five Smiths songs, it was clear that in the 22 years since that band broke out, he's established a rich body of work on his own. Sure, he's got "Band on the Run" and "Live and Let Die," but it must be sort of weird for McCartney to realize that nothing he's done in the last 40 years has topped his work with the Beatles, but then again, it's THE FUCKING BEATLES. Kind of un-toppaple, I suppose. All those songs: "Blackbird," "The Long and Winding Road," "Eleanor RIgby"? Still totally great, in case you were wondering.
Anyway. Good vibes all around for Macca, energizing even the most burnt out among us (Coachella days are long and hot, y'know?). Here's the setlist!
"Drive My Car"
"Only Mama Knows"
"Got to Get You Into My Life"
"Let Me Roll It"
"The Long and Winding Road"
"Sing the Changes"
"Band on the Run"
"Back in the USSR"
"Something"/"I've Got a Feeling" (medley)
"A Day in the Life"/"Give Peace a Chance" (medley)
"Let It Be"
"Live and Let Die"
"Can't Buy Me Love"
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/In The End" (medley)
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