Sir Paul is all rock ’n’ roll at Glendale Arena - East Valley Tribune: Photos & Video

Sir Paul is all rock ’n’ roll at Glendale Arena

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Posted: Monday, November 28, 2005 2:29 pm | Updated: 8:20 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Seeing Paul McCartney play live is kind of like what it would have been like to see Shakespeare himself play King Lear — you've heard all of the lines before, you know them by heart, but there is something truly majestic about seeing their creator perform them.

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On Wednesday night, the former Beatle held an adoring, sold out Glendale Arena audience in the palm of his hand for two and a half hours, playing old favorites, some obscure Beatles tunes and material from his terrific new release “Chaos and Creation in the Backyard.” The gathering featured every generation of McCartney's fans — from emo teens with droopy haircuts and Beatles “Revolver” T-shirts to suit-and-tied senior citizens.

Before McCartney even took the stage, the energy in the arena was palpable as groups of fans could be overheard swapping Beatles memories and discussing McCartney's songs as if they were in a lecture hall setting. Then, after a brief biographical video that included childhood photos of the singer through his Beatles days and into his subsequent solo career, Professor Paul took the stage dressed in black pants, a blue T-shirt and a suit coat and launched into The Beatles’ 1967 hit “Magical Mystery Tour" with a tight four piece backing band that looked barely old enough to have been alive when The Beatles split in 1970.

The mostly standing crowd danced, swayed and sang along as McCartney played hits by his post-Beatles band Wings (“Jet,” “Let Me Roll It” and “Band on the Run”) and some brand new solo material (“Fine Line” and the exquisite “Jenny Wren”), but predictably, the loudest applause was saved for his work with The Beatles — songs which have so permeated the collective pop culture consciousness that at times the crowd was singing louder than McCartney himself.

A consummate musician, McCartney switched from bass to guitar to piano depending on the song, and even took the stage alone with just an acoustic guitar to play as if he were, as he said, “in my living room” to deliver a sparse rendition of a pre-Beatles tune called "In Spite of All the Danger” — McCartney said it was the first tune that he, John Lennon and George Harrison recorded as The Quarry Men in 1958 — as well as better k”own classics such as “I Will” from The Beatles’ “White Album” and “For No One" off 1966's “Revolver.”

As fascinating as it is to see Sir Paul accompany himself, it was the full band rockers that had the crowd hopping as McCartney tore through such rave-ups as The Beatles’ “Back in the U.S.S.R.” and “Too Many People” off his 1971 solo album “Ram.” McCartney got a huge audience response when he led the crowd through the all-time sing-a-long refrain of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude.”

By the time he sang the famous last words of “The End” (“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make,” from 1969's “Abbey Road,” the last album The Beatles recorded together), it was clear that at 63, Paul McCartney is as powerful a performer as he ever was, and — as his influence on pop culture since the early ’60s cannot be overstated — the “I just saw a Beatle” smiles on the audience member's faces at Glendale Arena said it all.

Set list:

Magical Mystery Tour

Flaming Pie

Jet

I'll Get You

Drive My Car

Till There Was You

Let Me Roll It

Got To Get You Into My Life

Fine Line

Maybe I'm Amazed

The Long and Winding Road

In Spite of all the Danger

I Will

Jenny Wren

For No One

Fixing a Hole

English Tea

I'll Follow The Sun

Follow Me

Blackbird

Eleanor Rigby

Too Many People

She Came In Through the Bathroom Window

Good Day Sunshine

Band On The Run

Penny Lane

I've Got A Feeling

Back In The USSR

Hey Jude

Live and Let Die

Encore one:

Yesterday

Get Back

Helter Skelter

Encore two:

Let It Be

Please Please Me

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/The End

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