Paul McCartney – LIVE in Minneapolis

Paul throughout the evening with some of his many instruments.

From the time Sir James Paul McCartney walked out on stage with his band, through to the second encore, I was enraptured. I didn’t want to miss a single moment of this legendary performance.

Three hours. 39 songs.

McCartney did not disappoint. In fact, the live performance exceeded my expectations. He played many of the classics and sprinkled in some songs from his recent release, NEW, as well as making a small tribute to Jimi Hendrix with an instrumental cover of “Foxy Lady” and played George Harrison’s “Something” on ukelele.

Paul gave a few anecdotes about the glory days and the inspiration for some songs, but most of his breath was spent exercising his impressive vocal chords. At any age, his vocal capacity is astounding, but especially at 72.

“Live And Let Die” was epic. An impressive light show and fireworks accompanied the orchestral-like song and the crowd was loving it.

Paul had the crowd join in on “Hey Jude” and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” but he didn’t have to ask for participation on most of the hits – many fans were on their feet, singing along.

I believe my favorite moment, and the perfect finish, was “Golden Slumbers” into “Carry That Weight” into “The End”, following the classic ending of Abbey Road.

It would have been fun to hear him play “When I’m Sixty-Four” and “Rocky Raccoon”, among others, but how could I ask for more after 39 songs?

He ended the show by saying, “See you next time!” I won’t take that as a promise to come to Minneapolis again, but we can hope.

I caught the ending to “Hey Jude” on video and, although the quality isn’t good, you get some idea of the energy in the stadium.

Set list:

  1. Eight Days a Week 
  2. Save Us 
  3. All My Loving 
  4. Listen to What the Man Said 
  5. Let Me Roll It 
  6. Paperback Writer 
  7. My Valentine 
  8. Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five 
  9. The Long and Winding Road 
  10. Maybe I’m Amazed 
  11. I’ve Just Seen a Face 
  12. We Can Work It Out 
  13. Another Day 
  14. And I Love Her 
  15. Blackbird 
  16. Here Today 
  17. New 
  18. Queenie Eye 
  19. Lady Madonna 
  20. All Together Now 
  21. Lovely Rita 
  22. Everybody Out There 
  23. Eleanor Rigby 
  24. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! 
  25. Something 
  26. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da 
  27. Band on the Run 
  28. Back in the U.S.S.R. 
  29. Let It Be 
  30. Live and Let Die 
  31. Hey Jude 

Encore:

  1. Day Tripper 
  2. Hi, Hi, Hi 
  3. Get Back 

2nd Encore:

  1. Yesterday 
  2. Helter Skelter 
  3. Golden Slumbers 
  4. Carry That Weight
  5. The End 

Built to Spill at First Ave

Built to Spill

The crowd was sparse when we arrived during one of the opening acts at First Ave last night. Thus we were surprised when we stepped out for a coffee and came back to a packed Main Room just prior to Built to Spill’s performance. The cult following showed up and it was evident through the cheers of recognition from the crowd as a riff or drum beat would begin a song.

The band’s 20 plus year history is obvious when you watch them perform together. They are a tight-knit group and it seems as if every note was intentionally chosen as they synchronize and harmonize with one another.

Doug Martsch’s quivery, yet clear tone reminds me a bit of Ben Gibbard or Wayne Coyne or even Neil Young at times, but the similarity to bands like Death Cab or The Flaming Lips mostly ends there. With three electric guitars, a bass and drums and over a century of combined experience as musicians, the band is perfectly set up for the epic eight or nine minute songs (some even longer) which are common on their records. As my friend Kyle put it, they’re just fun to listen to. The evidence for Martsch’s direction and the band members’  commitment to creating the music together is clear when you watch them perform live.

Doug Martsch held down most of the lead parts and Jim Roth and Brett Netson would typically complement him with some crunchy rhythm guitar or ambient whiny guitar sounds. At other points, it was fun to watch all four guitarists punch the rhythm together, playing complementary parts.

Cortez the Killer is a great example of one of the band’s long, impressive jams. Here’s a live performance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abve2atHs68

Read more about the band on their website.

Don McLean – American Pie

Today on Throwback Thursday we remember the “day the music died”. This week marks the 54th Anniversary of the tragic and untimely deaths of Rock & Roll founders Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. Richardson. These music pioneers were among the first to introduce the world to the new sounds of Rock & Roll in the late 1950’s and were all on the path to success (and indeed had already achieved it) when their small plane crashed in a blizzard on a short flight from Mason City, IA to Fargo, ND. Valen’s death was especially tragic. 17 years old and only eight months into his career, he had already achieved fame with his hit song La Bamba.

It might have been better to choose one of Buddy Holly or Ritchie Valens songs, but I thought it would be more appropriate to showcase Rock & Roll’s most famous tribute to the day the music died. I am confident that you all have at  least heard Don McLean’s “American Pie,” even if you don’t have all the lyrics memorized (which along with Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is the really the most important song to be able to sing along with when it comes on the radio – so get on that). However, if you haven’t had a chance to check out the rest of the album, I encourage it. The music is fairly low key, but the lyrics really are great and make it one of my favorite all time albums.

Don McLean – American Pie

Also, find a version that doesn’t have the horrible sound quality of a youtube video and listen to that too. Then tell us what you think of it.

Timeless Tuesday: Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic by The Police

I’m reading the sci-fi classic Dune right now and this is what initially made me think of The Police, but more specifically Sting because of his supporting role as Feyd in the 1984 film. Everyone should take the time to watch all 190 minutes of Dune at some point in their life, but you’ll enjoy it more if you have a good sense of humor. Sting’s most memorable, and most disturbing scene, is when he emerges from a space sauna wearing some metallic blue underwear, I would post the photo here, but I want to keep it PG.

I really do enjoy The Police and their many classics: Roxanne, Message in a Bottle, Don’t Stand So Close to Me, Every Breath You Take, and of course, the song I’ve chosen to highlight, Every Little Thing She Does is Magic.

Stewart Copeland’s drums provide the backdrop for the song and the keys fill out the song really nicely. I love this cheesy, 1981 music video for the song.