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Old Apr 06, 2003, 01:02 PM   #1
Rocky Raccoon
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Default Re: Paul McCartney tunes up for first British gigs in 10 years

from the BBC:

Macca rocks Sheffield

Last Updated: Sunday, 6 April, 2003, 01:19 GMT 02:19 UK

by Linnie Rawlinson
BBC News Online in Sheffield
Paul McCartney, Back In The World Tour, Hallam FM Arena, Sheffield 5 April 2003

As Paul McCartney arrived in Sheffield to kick off the UK leg of his Back In The World tour, the big question was: Could Macca carry the weight of his Beatles legacy?

Things looked shaky to start with, as the show began with a dreadful overly-dramatic mess that might have been the opening ceremony of the Millennium Dome.

From all four corners of the arena entered a budget version of Cirque de Soleil who gambolled in front of shots of the Acropolis. It was all very Spinal Tap - though sadly without the dwarves.

This rather bizarre opening climaxed as a guitar appeared on the largest screen, closely followed by a silhouette of a rather trimmed-down Macca himself.

Bizarre? Certainly. Pompous, for sure. But the crowd roared - some had been waiting for this moment for 40 years.

Macca magic

He sprang into a hyped-up Hello Goodbye, backed by an effective Ringo-inspired drummer, keyboards and unremarkable guitars.

But McCartney's bass lines shone through - the Macca magic and charisma were still there.

Then came a couple of tracks from his latest album, Lonely Road and Driving Rain.

It is only fair to say that these were the weakest of his set - next to songs some 40 years older, they were amiable enough but bordering on the bland.

McCartney's acoustic interlude was headed by a touching rendition of Blackbird and a fresh and hopeful sounding We can work it out.

Harrison tribute

His tribute to John Lennon received one of the biggest cheers of the night, and was followed by a affectionate ukulele version of Something dedicated to George Harrison, erstwhile George Formby fan.

Fool on a Hill followed tales of New Orleans and Tokyo masseuses, then came Eleanor Rigby before the band returned to the stage for a faithful rendition of Michelle.

It was now time for Macca to wig out with the Wings songs, which worked brilliantly in the arena setting.

The theatrics of Maybe I'm Amazed and Band on the Run were positively foot-stomping.

Enhanced by the video shots of 70s planes and Paul and Linda living the jet-set lifestyle, you couldn't help but feel that McCartney was perhaps happiest then.


As we entered the final stretch, we were treated to an acapella She's leaving home, Can't Buy Me Love, and a bombastic Live and Let Die, heralded appropriately by fireworks in all the right places.

The finale of the main set was a triumphant Hey Jude, complete with audience participation and shots of Heather Mills, Macca's wife, waving her arms in the air (yes, she was there too).

Then McCartney returned to the stage to rescue the recently butchered Long and Winding Road, which, once free of its Pop Idol mauling, proved sweet and genuine.

Lady Madonna followed, played against a cloying backdrop of female icons - but this was saved by a whoo-inducing, head-shaking Saw Her Standing There.

Smug yet justified

Hearing Yesterday played by the man who wrote it was revelatory, underlining how stunningly fresh the Beatles songs still sound.

Then McCartney and co rounded up the evening with a storming, yet strikingly appropriate, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

At 45 for nosebleed seats, money may not buy you love but it does get you nearly three hours of classic Beatles songs.

McCartney was friendly and relaxed throughout, and though he was perhaps a little smug, the sheer volume of back to back hits left him thoroughly justified.

The tour plays Sheffield Hallam Arena 5 and 6 April, Manchester Men Arena 9 and 10 April, Birmingham NIA 13 and 14 April, London Earls Court 18, 19, 21, 22 April and Liverpool Kings Dock 1 June.
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Old Apr 06, 2003, 07:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Paul McCartney tunes up for first British gigs in 10 years

The author of the 2nd review calls Paul pompus and smug, bet he wishes he had a piece of what Paul has still going for him, kind of sounds envious and a little pompous [img]graemlins/images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img] *in his review of Paul's Sheffield performance, GOOOOO PAUL, I say knock em dead [img]graemlins/thumbsup1.gif[/img]
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Old Apr 07, 2003, 12:44 AM   #3
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Default Paul McCartney tunes up for first British gigs in 10 years

Paul McCartney tunes up for first British gigs in 10 years
Sat Apr 5, 6:55 AM ET Add Top Stories - AFP to My Yahoo!

SHEFFIELD, England (AFP) - Sir Paul McCartney, Britain's best-known living pop star, was tuning up to wow his fans at the start of his first tour of his native nation in 10 years.

The star, appearing Saturday and Sunday in Sheffield in the north of England, will be working his way through 22 Beatles songs -- almost twice as many as his old band ever played during any single stage show in Britain.

As well as classics like "She's Leaving Home," "Back in the USSR," "Eleanor Rigby" and "Fool on the Hill," McCartney was adding more than a dozen hits from his post-Beatles solo period and time with Wings.

He has already taken his "Back in the World" tour around the United States, Canada, Mexico and Japan, playing 58 concerts in 37 cities, performing to more than one million fans over the past year.

After more concerts in Manchester, Birmingham and London later this month, he plans to take his 2-1/2 hour act to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Vienna, and Antwerp, Belgium.

The Sheffield concerts mark McCartney's first full-dress concert in Britain since his "New World Tour" of 1993.

"I had a lot of fun touring this show around America last year, but now I'm bringing it on home and that's special to me as I always look forward to playing to a home crowd," he said prior to Saturday's performance.

"I think people are going to like this gig. When I was thinking of what to play I imagined myself as one of the audience and thought 'What would I like to hear him play?'"

"So that means we'll be playing some of my Beatles stuff -- rather a lot of Beatles stuff, actually -- some Wings stuff and some more recent stuff; so basically the show pretty much spans my whole career."
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