Paul McCartney Triumphs in Return to San Francisco

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Paul McCartney / Photo by Casey Flanigan
WRITTEN BY
Aaron Kayce

Saturday night, during his concert at San Francisco's AT&T Park, Paul McCartney remembered the Beatles' final public concert on August 29, 1966, which happened at nearby Candlestick Park: "We have great memories from playing here a long, long time ago. But we couldn't hear a damn thing from all the screaming girls."

Those girls have grown up, and they came with their children, and in some cases grandchildren, to McCartney's "Up and Coming Tour" stop for a three hour, 38-song event that transcended generations and nostalgia with obscure Fireman tunes, elongated Wings jams, deep solo cuts, and plenty of inspired Beatles tracks.

McCartney frontloaded the show with Wings material. "Jet" and "Letting Go" came off well, but it wasn't until he picked up the six-string for a smoking "Foxy Lady" tribute to Jimi Hendrix at the tail end of "Let Me Roll It" that the night hit its first peak.

Hendrix wasn't the only legend to get a dedication. McCartney performed "Here Today" in honor of John Lennon, and "Something" for George Harrison. Throughout the night Sir Paul not only played songs covering his entire career, he also played a number of different instruments including his signature Hofner bass, electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin, ukulele and two different pianos.

McCartney knows how to work a crowd, and he paced the concert perfectly. Coming out of the mellower, mostly-acoustic portion of the night featuring "Two Of Us," "Blackbird," and "Eleanor Rigby," a little more than halfway through the show McCartney and his stellar five-piece band cranked up the energy with Wings' "Band On The Run" and never looked back.

From there it was one mega hit after another, starting with a pair of White Album favorites, "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" and "Back In The U.S.S.R.," and a loose "I've Got a Feeling" that brought on a fierce guitar jam with McCartney and Rusty Anderson trading blues licks during an extended outro.

McCartney and crew pushed the dynamic "A Day in the Life" seamlessly into Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance," before highlighting the range of McCartney's material with the introspective ballad "Let It Be" and a super-charged "Live and Let Die" set against a huge pyrotechnics display.

Any one of the seven Beatles classics that comprised the double encore would have sufficed, but it was the frantic "Helter Skelter" and ripping "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)" that stood out.

McCartney proved decades ago that his music is timeless and capable of bringing people together in unprecedented ways. With marathon concerts of this caliber the man appears to also be ageless.

Setlist:
1. Venus and Mars/Rock Show
2. Jet
3. All My Loving
4. Letting Go
5. Got To Get You Into My Life
6. Highway
7. Let Me Roll It/Foxy Lady Jam
8. The Long and Winding Road
9. Nineteen-Hundred and Eighty Five
10. Let 'Em In
11. My Love
12. I'm Looking Through You
13. Two Of Us
14. Blackbird
15. Here Today
16. Dance Tonight
17. Mrs. Vanderbilt
18. San Francisco Bay Blues
19. Eleanor Rigby
20. Something
21. Sing the Changes
22. Band on the Run
23. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
24. Back in the U.S.S.R.
25. I've Got a Feeling
26. Paperback Writer
27. A Day in the Life
28. Give Peace a Chance
29. Let It Be
30. Live and Let Die
31. Hey Jude

Encore 1:
32. Day Tripper
33. Lady Madonna
34. Get Back

Encore 2:
35. Yesterday
36. Helter Skelter
37. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
38. The End

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