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Blog: Macca Attack!
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Originally I hadn't been that bothered about going. He announced the Saturday night gig first and I thought "Well, I'm doing a gig in Nottingham that night so I can't go anyway." When the Sunday was announced it took The Hits In My Setlist saying "It's Paul McCartney! How can we NOT go?" to make me realise that, as she said, it's Paul McCartney! How could we NOT go?
If it had been at a different venue I still might not have bothered, but the O2 is my FAVOURITE big venue. All right, it's the ONLY big venue I would really ever go in - having been before I know a) it's mega easy to get to from my house b) the sound is dead good c) the seats are comfy and d) you can actually SEE, four things which most big venues entirely fail to supply. Also we got seats on the AISLE which meant I would be entirely free to do the two things that big gigs usual make difficult i.e. getting to the LOO and back and even more vitally getting to the BAR.
When the day of the gig came around I found myself NERVOUS and EXCITED. Excited because, obviously, this is one of my all time heroes and also IT'S PAUL MCCARTNEY, and nervous because I hoped it wouldn't be slightly disappointing and a bit dull. I'd been saying to people the day before that the trouble with Paul McCartney gigs (from the 3 I've been to and the many I've watched/listened to) is that he plays it really safe. He's got a MASSIVE back catalogue full of all kinds of stuff, but he seems to only want to play the mega mega MEGA hits that EVERYONE knows, rather than just the super colossal hits that only a few hundred million love. I mean, I like "Hey Jude" but did I really want to see him do it again?
He came on and did "Eight Days A Week" first, which was pretty amazing as I've never seen or even heard of him doing that at a gig before. However, the sound was a bit muddy, people around us were jiggling seats, and it felt like being at a gig in a car park. Apparently there were three hours of this, was it going to be OK?
It took about ten minutes for my doubts and worries to evaporate. I went to the bar with EASE to get another beer, and then realised that this WASN'T Totally Acoustic where I have my own table and everything set up JUST to please me, and should therefore enjoy the experience for what it was: a massive communal outpouring of happiness. People all around us were going DELIRIOUS with DELIGHT and pretty soon so was I, right about the time that he did "Got To Get You Into My Life" and it sounded INCREDIBLE! Next he did "Listen To What The Man Said", an international hit of NUCLEAR PROPORTION but, as far as he goes, almost obscure and then - ZANG! - "Temporary Secretary"! Temporary Secretary! And it sounded FANTASTIC!
So that was pretty much it for me, everything thereafter was STUNNING. The next hour or so was an inspired selection of Not Just The Massive Hits, with stuff like "I'm Looking Through You", "1985", "Being For The Benefit Of My Kite" and - BEST OF ALL - "Ram On"! He did "Ram On", i couldn't believe it!
He also, of course, did the stuff I'd expected, like utterly bloody wonderful versions of "Here Today" (which sounded x 10,000,000 better than the already ACE original due to AGE) and "Something". When he did "Let It Be" i looked around the arena to see hundreds of people waving their phones around like super modern lighters and, not for the first time, was PROFOUNDLY MOVED. I kept thinking "This is Actual Paul McCartney! He changed the WORLD!"
The main set ended with "Hey Jude" and I must admit that, rather than being bored of hearing it again, I had A Bit Of An Old Cry. It's talked about of as one of the greatest songs ever because it IS, especially when you're singing it with thousands of other people, all celebrating being human beings together. Also, NOT WANTING TO BE SOPPY, but the bit about "you have found her now go and get her" did cause me to cast SOPPY GLANCES to The Words In My Song next to me. WHAT?
As I say, I was PROFOUNDLY MOVED. I thought I'd be maybe jaded, maybe bored with a three hour set, but it was honestly one of the best gig experiences I've ever had. On top of all the songs, and a huge part of how much fun it was, was the fact that Macca himself was in TOP FORM between songs. On past occasions he's been a bit stagey and showbiz, but this time he was telling stories and Actually Funny Jokes and, with the O2 being such a great venue, it felt like we were all right up close to him.
The two encores were a summary of the gig itself - obscure-ish/odd/amazing choices like "Hi-Hi-Hi" and "Another Girl" then finishing off with "Yesterday" and the closing medley from Abbey Road. I mean, crikey, you can't argue with that can you?
So yes, in summary: I enjoyed that and was quite glad I went! HOORAH!
posted 27/5/2015 by MJ Hibbett
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