THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, California — For the city of Sacramento, booking musical icon Sir Paul McCartney as the first act to perform in the new Golden 1 Center was a delicious treat let alone a precious blessing.
The Englishman, who was a member of the best band in Rock and Roll history, professionally showed why his polished showmanship will leave a heavenly spirit long after he departs from the River City.
From the outset, a healthy looking McCartney, who turned 74 on June 18, had the 15,000-plus members of the audience under his spell. And he absolutely knew it. The tour is fittingly titled, “One On One.”
“Welcome to opening night in this beautiful arena,” McCartney yelled before starting a three-hour, high-powered memorable set during the first of two shows in as many nights. “We’re gonna party tonight.”
McCartney loaded up playing classics from his heyday as one of the front men of the legendary Beatles, Wings, and as a soloist. He also sprinkled in new material that sounds just as good as his previous work.
Songs like “Band of the Run,” “Love Me Do,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Let Me Roll With It,” “Queenie,” “Hey Jude,” and “Birthday” all sounded great in the confines of G1C. A far better quality of sound than the creepy barn once known as Arco Arena in North Natomas could hold.
McCartney, in his celebrated way, also paid homage to his Beatles departed bandmates John Lennon and George Harrison. With a ukulele to serve the mood, McCartney smoothly sang Harrison’s “Something” with zest and passion. He said Harrison had a collection of small, four-stringed Hawaiian guitars.
A fan-favorite for sure, like many others, McCartney, on a grand Yamaha piano, took his sweet time with ‘Maybe, I’m Amazed,” the lovely ballad he wrote from his wife Linda McCartney. May she rest in heaven. McCartney played several different guitars during the concert, including his signature left-handed bass, while he commanded the microphone with peaceful lyrics.
The concert was mellow up and down and McCartney’s extravagant stage configuration was colorfully back with skilled musician. But when he ushered in “Live and Let Die,” the musical event was raised to a thunderous level, ingrained with impressive pyrotechnics.
McCartney also made his song “Blackbird” a special moment during the concert. While he stood by his lonesome, McCartney was elevated about 12 feet on stage. He told the audience that he wrote the song as a symbol for civil rights in the 1960s, letting everyone know he was well aware of inequality in the U.S. southern states.
Overall, the first show, as well as the second show on Oct. 5, will set the course for numerous concerts and entertainment in the future at Golden 1 Center.
Sacramento can certainly thank a Beatle for his influence.
“I told you we were going to have fun,” McCartney said before leaving the stage after the first show.
Sir McCartney, we did have fun.
Review and Photo Art by T. Ray Harvey
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