It is not every evening you’re in the presence of a Beatle.
On Tuesday night Paul instantly turned 2017 into 1964 by opening his AAMI Park show with A Hard Day’s Night.
You are immediately reminded the humble 75-year-old on stage is responsible for some of the most-loved and most successful songs of all time.
And McCartney shoehorned as many of those as possible into his near three-hour, near 40-song concert in front of 30,000 fans.
It was one of the most enjoyable rock history lessons imaginable, complete with running commentary of the songs and the eras, courtesy of the man who was there.
Paul goes way back to his pre-Beatles band, the Quarrymen (1958’s In Spite of All the Danger), and right up to his surprise No. 1 hit with Kanye West and Rihanna, 2015’s FourFiveSeconds, and pretty much back to back classics.
Where do you start? Sixties songs that need no introduction beyond their titles — Yesterday, Hey Jude, Love Me Do, Lady Madonna, Eleanor Rigby, Can’t Buy Me Love, And I Love Her, Back in the USSR, Blackbird, You Won’t See Me, Birthday, Lady Madonna, Let It Be.
Then there’s the Wings anthems Live and Let Die, Junior’s Farm, Let Me Roll It and Band on the Run, or the stunning Maybe I’m Amazed. He points out his baby daughter in the vintage video playing during the song has “four kids herself now.”
At one points early on Paul paused between songs to take in the audience, noting “I’m gonna take a second for myself to drink it all in”.
He would have seen what he no doubt witnesses each night — three generations all united by his music.Watching that pure communal joy nightly would surely explain his lack of retirement plans. Some may grumble his voice at 75 doesn’t sound exactly like it used to singing songs recorded when he was 25 or 35. That’s a fact of life.
More songs: Can’t Buy Me Love has iconic Beatles footage playing on the screens throughout and a burst of Foxy Lady is followed by an anecdote about Jimi Hendrix learning and playing Sgt Peppers within two days of its release.
And he doesn’t even have to mention the surname of his “dear friend John” before introducing his Lennon tribute Here Today — and asking for a round of applause for his partner in rhyme.He plays George Harrison’s Something on a ukulele his other late Beatles bandmate gave him.
Ahead of the night’s only recent songs Queenie Eye and New (both fine tunes that fit nicely into the set) McCartney tells the crowd “We can tell what songs you like from up here. When we do an old Beatles song it lights up like a galaxy with all the phones. And when we do a new song it’s like a black hole. But we don’t care; we’re gonna do them anyway!”
Adding to the night’s palpable excitement was the fact Macca fans thought they’d never see this.
Paul hasn’t toured here since 1993, with tour after tour bypassing Australia.
For the diehards there were a few off Broadway moments like Wings’ great Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five while the Beatles’ frantic Helter Skelter and Wings’ No. 1 Mull of Kintyre have been added for the Australian tour.
Prompted by a sign from a fan Paul spoke of singing Strangers in the Night to dolphins he swam next to in Perth.
And could there be a better ending to a concert than the triple whammy of Golden Slumbers, Carry that Weight and The End?
There are limited tickets left for McCartney’s final AAMI Park show on Wednesday night.
TICKETS… H E R E .