Last Night: Paul McCartney at Pepsi Center
Thursday, July 15, 2010 | Pepsi Center
Thursday, July 15, 2010 | Pepsi Center
After kick-starting a set with a couple of Wings songs and the Beatles' hit "All My Loving," Paul McCartney stood at the middle of the stage and said, "Let me just take a moment to take it all in" just before one of the many times the audience erupted with applause. (Fellow Beatle Ringo Starr was in South Florida last night, see photos at our sister website, the Broward Palm Beach New Times: Ringo Starr and his All-Star Band at Hard Rock Live -ed.)
A relentless pop showman, the 68-year-old McCartney and his band delivered close to a three-hour set that spanned five decades of material, from early Beatles and '70s Wings songs to more recent material from McCartney's alter-ego The Fireman.
McCartney switched out his Hofner bass for a painted Gibson Les Paul for the slow rocker "Let Me Roll It," McCartney and company did a short instrumental take on Jimi Hendrixi's "Foxy Lady." While sitting at the piano, McCartney told a story about how Hendrix bought Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club on a Friday and opened a show the following Sunday with title track.
McCartney stayed at the piano for a stirring rendition of "The Long and Winding Road," the Wings' "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five" and "Let 'Em In," and dedicated "My Love," a song he said he wrote for his late wife Linda McCartney, to all the lovers in the crowd.
After strapping on his acoustic guitar, McCartney played "I'm Looking Through You" and "Two of Us" before going into a gorgeous solo version of "Blackbird," which he said was inspired by Civil Rights movement in the South. Just before going into the acoustic "Here Today," McCartney said he wrote the song after John Lennon passed away and said it was sort of an imaginary conversation the two didn't have.
McCartney played "Ram On" and "Something" on ukulele, and then band kicked into high gear for "Band on the Run," "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," which McCartney said he hadn't played for years and "Back in the USSR."
As a roadie brought out one of many guitars over the night, McCartney said, "In case you're wondering why we're swapping out all these guitars, it's because we're showing off." As he strapped on his Epiphone Casino, he said it was the same guitar he used in the '60s recording the cut that followed, "Paperback Writer." While the high energy "Live and Let Die" packed a lot of punch, the pyrotechnics and canons were a bit much, but closing out the set with "Hey Jude" more than made up for it.
For the first encore, McCartney came out carrying a Colorado flag while his keyboardist waved a British flag, just before going into a trio of Beatles tunes including "Day Tripper," "Lady Madonna" and "Get Back." After a short break, the band came back one more time for another group of Beatles songs, and closed a hell of a night with "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," that segued into a rousing take on "The End," with McCartney and his two guitarists trading off licks.
Personal Bias: Being more of Stones fan, McCartney nearly had me converted.
Random Details: This was the band's 201st show.
By the Way: The show was reportedly delayed nearly an hour because of a late flight.
Click to the next page to view the setlist and a video of last night's show.
07/15/10 • Denver, Colorado
1. Venus and Mars / Rock Show
3. All My Loving
4. Letting Go
5. Got To Get You Into My Life
7. Let Me Roll It
8. Foxey Lady (instrumental)
9. The Long And Winding Road
10. Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
11. Let 'Em In
12. My Love
13. I'm Looking Through You
14. Two Of Us
16. Here Today
17. Dance Tonight
18. Mrs Vandebilt
19. Eleanor Rigby
20. Ram On
22. Sing the Changes
23. Band On The Run
24. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
25. Back In The USSR
26. I've Got A Feeling
27. Paperback Writer
28. A Day In The Life / Give Peace a Chance
Video of McCartney performing "Let it Be" plucked from YouTube
29. Let It Be
30. Live And Let Die
31. Hey Jude
32. Day Tripper
33. Lady Madonna
34. Get Back
36. Helter Skelter
37. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band / The End
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.