Photos: Paul McCartney runs Orlando's Camping World Stadium through a timewarp
One of the last remaining members of the most influential rock band ever, arrived in Orlando last Saturday night for his “Get Back” tour and delivered three hours of mesmerizing time travel.
At almost 80 years old, some say Paul McCartney’s voice has waned and that the natural wear and tear on him and his voice have damped the legend’s performing capabilities. That's true and was obvious in his inability to hit high notes like he used to, but McCartney’s 60-plus year discography and massive influence didn’t stop the 40,000 attendees from being sent into the time portal.
Starting a fashionably late at 8:20 p.m., the legend strutted onto the stage alongside his loyal band featuring Paul “Wix” Wickens (keyboards), Rusty Anderson (guitar), Abe Laboriel Jr. (drums), and Brian Ray (bass/guitar). As McCartney moved to the center of the stage ,his eyebrows rose, and with a breathless crescendo, McCartney kicked off his 35-sing set starting with “Can’t Buy Me Love”. The entire crowd went from sitting to standing in a matter of seconds and stayed on its feet the rest of the night, which for many (even the most diehard fans) was the first time seeing Macca in the flesh.
As the legend moved swiftly and seamlessly through songs, McCartney took his navy jacket off before “Got To Get You Into My Life”, leaving the audience naturally enamored. “That will be the one and only wardrobe change of the night!” McCartney joked.
After a few more songs McCartney landed on a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady”, as he went into a short story about his beloved friend Jimi. While the large LED screen behind McCartney displayed Hendrix’s album cover art, McCartney explained how the cover always finds its way into every setlist as a homage to Hendrix, who would often incorporate Beatles’ songs during his own shows.
Going into “Blackbird” and “Dance Tonight”, McCartney changed guitars to his left handed, customized Gibson Les Paul as he recognized the audiences’ need for the electric anthems from the Beatles heyday. Methodically moving on, McCartney paid tribute to his late friend and former lead guitarist, George Harrison with a cover of “Something,” delivered via a ukulele and along with a short story of how he’d go over to Harrison’s home and play his songs on the instrument.
Seamlessly, McCartney continued through classic after classic with little to no break between. As he moved through songs like “Fuh You” and “Lady Madonna”, the idea that someone could squeeze a six-decade long catalog into a super-extended set, felt like a time warp. Finally, towards the end of his set, McCartney launched into showstoppers such as “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”, and “You Never Give Me Your Money”, when the audience happily began to chime in and take over the chorus of each song. Hits like “Get Back”, “Band on the Run”, “Let It Be”, and “Live and Let Die” all had their respective moments of glory and included a pyrotechnic firestorm. Afterwards, the band bowed but then blessed the set with a four-song song encore, ending true to the show's opening notes with “The End."
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