Sir Paul on top of his game at recent Pepsi Center performance
My sister and brother-in-law, my wife and I and several of my friends were all lucky to be some of the more than 19,000 folks at the Pepsi Center last Thursday night to take in the Paul McCartney show.
I have talked to each one of those I went to the show with and we all agreed that it was the best concert any of us have ever seen.
I don’t know about everyone else, but my wife and I have been lucky enough to see Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Petty and Mark Knopfler as well as McCartney in a great show in 1993 at Folsom Field in Boulder.
I thought there was no way McCartney would be able to outdo the Boulder show. After all, he’s a 68-year-old man. How could he do better than what he did when he was 51?
I was in for one of the most pleasant surprises of my life.
Wearing a retro Beatlesque outfit complete with black Beatles boots, Sir Paul and band managed to turn back the clock for a rousing set that ran close to three hours including two, three-song encores.
What was so amazing was that the only time McCartney left the stage during those three hours was between the two encores.
I read somewhere once that if you approach what you love to do with the enthusiasm of a 7-year-old, you will have more fun and feel that there is nothing you can’t accomplish.
McCartney was playful, goofy, funny, silly, exuberant and entertaining with the enthusiasm of, well, a 7-year-old.
He wasn’t the only one as he and his band took the majority of the crowd back at least 40 years to their youth and teen years with a set list made up of mostly Beatles songs.
By my count, McCartney and band brilliantly performed 38 tunes, 22 of which were Beatles songs.
Among the surprises that night were “Day Tripper,” “A Day in the Life,” “I’ve Got A Feeling” and “Helter Skelter” played during the second encore, which by the way, blew the roof off the Pepsi Center.
McCartney respectfully played a tribute to Jimi Hendrix with an instrumental version of “Red House.”
He also played “My Love” for his late wife Linda and “Here Today” for his dear friend John Lennon.
But the tribute that had the most tears in my eyes was to George Harrison.
After playing “Ram On” with a ukulele, McCartney started strumming the instrument again and said something like, “you know, George liked the ukulele and could play it well. One day, I told George that I had learned one of his songs on the ukulele.” Then McCartney started strumming “Something” and sang the first verse before the band joined him.
All the while, pictures and videos of Harrison were shown on giant video screens around the stage.
It was the most emotional moment of the night for me and, I think, the majority of the crowd.
My sister and brother in-law treated my wife and me to dinner and the concert, and the next day my wife picked out a “thank you” card for them that said, “Life is not measured by the breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.”
We are still trying to catch our breath from last Thursday’s amazing night out.