To hear the audience singing along, you could close your eyes and get presumably the same intense feeling that captured fans over 50 years ago.
One on One Tour
Busch Stadium, St. Louis
As far as legendary rockers go, there is no one more of a legend than Sir Paul McCartney. The rock icon has entertained audiences for over 50 years, with no signs of slowing down. This year, he brought his One on One Tour to America, pulling out all the stops. With a following as large as his, McCartney can perform only in venues of great size; here in St. Louis, that venue was Busch Stadium.
With two huge Trinitrons, one on each side of the stage, the projected film showed pics from McCartney’s creative past with the Beatles, Wings, Ram, and his solo career. When he opened with the Beatles classic “Love Me Do,” the audience went crazy. This was an audience that knew no age limit. From as young as three to as old as—well, let’s just say the older generation of rockers was out in force. When a six-year-old is on his dad’s shoulders, singing “Life Goes On,” hands thrust in the air, you know you are in the presence of a true star.
And a gracious one. McCartney is humble as he tells stories of being one of the first artists to play Red Square in Moscow—and of Russian government officials telling him they learned to speak English by listening to Beatles albums. Oh, what memories he must have.
The artist presented material from the Beatles (“Love Me Do,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” and more) his second group, Wings (“Band on the Run”), and his solo material. His song selection was fantastic, especially the pyrotechnically charged “Live and Let Die,” during which humongous flames shot from the stage, with fireworks shooting off in the background. This was a show worthy of tremendous praise.
The rocker also paid tribute to his late wife, Linda, with an impassioned version of “Hey Jude,” complete with a crowd sing-a-long. He also honored his current wife, Nancy, as well as the late John Lennon. McCartney’s voice has stood the test of time, and he sounded fantastic. With acoustic guitar in hand, he delivered a beautiful version of the Beatles’ “Yesterday.” To hear the audience singing along, you could close your eyes and get presumably the same intense feeling that captured fans over 50 years ago, as they sang along with the same tune.
Overall, the show was spectacular. Toward the end of the festivities, Sir Paul and his band mates came onstage with a set of flags: the United Kingdom, celebrating his homeland and the British Invasion of the 1960s; France, representing compassion and mercy; United States, representing freedom and fairness; and Gay Pride, celebrating equality and diversity.
With 24 studio albums under his belt, most of them platinum, he has a large scale of material to choose from, and his selections were right on point. Spanning his entire career, his set satisfied fans of old, as well as new ones.
“Yesterday” has been covered by over 2,200 artists, making it the most covered/recorded song of all time. Many a similar milestone has been enjoyed by Sir Paul McCartney. Yet, though he has sailed to the highest heights of rock stardom, he still remains a humble man: thankful for his fame, and always giving back to the fans. At age 76, he holds a world of rockers in the palm of his hand—yet still it feels like you could casually sit with him, having tea, one on one. | Marc Farr