Last night Paul McCartney brought his latest band to Detroit proper for the first time since playing Olympia Stadium during the 1976 Wings Over America Tour (something that stuck with McCartney for a while.) McCartney also came to Michigan in 2005 with this same band but brought the two-night stand to the Palace of Auburn Hills. Click the arrows to see pictures below in the photo wall, read on for a review or to jump right to the setlist click here.
The roughly 3-hour marathon show opened after the rainstorms stopped at about 8:30 pm, leaving the packed crowd cooled down as McCartney launched into "Hello, Goodbye" with the sun starting to set. Macca's backing quartet featured keyboardist Paul Wickens, guitarist Rusty Anderson, multi-instrumentalist Brian Ray and drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. The five have been playing together since McCartney began touring again in 2002.
The quintet bounced through a fairly even distribution of Wings and Beatles tunes as "Junior's Farm" came next along with "All My Lovin'" and "Drive My Car." Macca would banter and generally pal around with the crowd throughout the night, as he dedicated a cover of "Hitch Hike" to all of us here in Motown. (Hear a soundboard version from the Apollo Theater last December here)
"The Night Before" came next, followed by a tribute to Jimi Hendrix--who Macca would call a humble man and a great guitar player--with "Foxy Lady" tacked onto the end of "Let Me Roll." After a crowd-pleasing "Paperback Writer" McCartney would hop behind the piano for "The Long & Winding Road." "Let 'em In" came next and Macca stayed on the piano for the uber-ballad "Maybe I'm Amazed."
Roughly an hour and a half into his set McCartney showed no signs of slowing down as his voice, which has been noticeably weathered, still has more than enough punch to overflow out of Comerica Park to those listening in the streets. McCartney is sprite for a 69 year-old, jumping around onstage and hopping from guitar to bass to mandolin to piano and back again. "Eleanor Rigby" came next and started the onslaught of classics McCartney would roll out. "Something" and "Band On The Run" found the crowd singing and swaying along as they ate out McCartney's hand with call and responses that seemed better suited for Freddie Mercury, but fuck if McCartney didn't pull it off. There's a few things you learn playing stadium crowds for the bulk of your career, and that's how to work a crowd, something McCartney certainly knows how to do. Sing alongs were commonplace all night, like "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" but the band crashed through "Back In The U.S.S.R" and doubled timed the end of "I've Got a Feeling" for some pleasant surprises. In a surefire highlight of highlights "A Day In The Life" slipped beautifully into "Give Peace A Chance." The roughly 2 1/2 hour set came to a close with the trio of "Let It Be," which found McCartney behind the piano again, "Live & Let Die" which featured some blaring pyro and "Hey Jude" which was well... "Hey Jude." Anytime you can get a 70-year old man waving a cane and a 15-year old girl who can't stop texting to jump up and sing along, you've done something right.
For an encore, McCartney would stick with all Beatles tunes coming back out with a rousing "Lady Madonna" and "Day Tripper." Everyone would leave the stage after "Get Back," but only McCartney would return with his acoustic guitar--complete with some goddamned Pittsburgh Penguin sticker joining the signature Red Wing emblem that has adorned McCartney's acoustic for some time. Damn you mayor of Pittsburgh.--for "Yesterday." Before sending the crowd out to flood the streets, the quintet went into a thrashing "Helter Skelter" and the finishing trio of Abbey Road's "Golden Slumbers>Carry That Weight>The End."
The entire night was a thing of beauty. McCartney controlled the stage and the crowd, as the man is 69 fucking years old and he could have played another three hours and people would have stayed. My memory is usually pretty spotty, but one memory stuck out in my head during last night's show. I remember being relatively young, I would awkwardly reach into my family's over sized cabinet record player, fitting the bright yellow 45 adapters into stacks of Beatles singles and pretty soon I was hooked. I think it's safe to say everyone in Detroit was hooked again last night, I know I was. I rediscovered some Beatles songs I had forgotten about and heard some of my favorites played by one of the few people left that can do them justice. Now if he can just get those ticket prices down. Read on for the full setlist.
All My Lovin'
Drive My Car
Sing The Changes
Hitchhike (Marvin Gaye cover)
The Night Before
Let Me Roll (w/ Foxy Lady outro)
The Long & Winding Road
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Four
Let 'Em In
Maybe I'm Amazed
I’ve Just Seen A Face
Band On The Run
Back In The USSR
I've Got A Feelin'
Day In The Life>
Give Peace A Chance
Let It Be
Live & Let Die
Yesterday (McCartney solo)
Carry That Weight>
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.