Seeing Paul McCartney live at Fenway Park
Advanced English teacher at Kings Boston, Patrick Tracey, tells us about his experience of seeing Paul McCartney live at Fenway Park in Boston! Fenway Park is not only home to the Boston Red Sox but hosts live music concerts throughout the year.
Seeing Paul McCartney play in Fenway Park in Boston this June on his Get Back tour was the thrill of a lifetime for this fan.
McCartney, of course, is one of four musical geniuses behind the mop-topped English band The Beatles. I was a six-year-old boy when I first saw them in their collarless suits in their first televised performance on the Ed Sullivan Show, my four older sisters mock fainting behind me along with all the young fangirls in the land. It was the height of what had been dubbed Beatlemania and I would follow the Fab Four closely as their sad-glad pop songs gave way to more innovative sounds.
Within a few years, the haircuts and the Teddy Boy jackets were ditched as the Beatles went on to make music that would come to be mentioned in the same breath as Schubert. To this day, everyone from the classical orchestras to jazz artists love to cover their songs, so I was more than thrilled to plunk down $70 for the privilege of seeing Paul live, settling into the grandstand at the packed home of the Boston Red Sox as one of the all-time giants of rock music promised to play “some old ones, some new ones, and some in-between ones.”
From the first chord of the first song, We Can Work It Out, to the high point, Live and Let Die, to the final encore, The End, aptly, he put on a virtuoso performance, playing six instruments—bass guitar, lead guitar, ukulele, mandolin, baby grand piano, and upright piano, all of them to perfection—with his band. For three hours straight, they did dozens of numbers from the world’s most well-known songbook along with a few tunes from his post-Beatles band Wings.
In between songs, McCartney shared some funny stories, sprinkling in anecdotes about meeting the late great Jimi Hendrix, about composing songs with his old bandmates John Lennon and George Harrison, and all the way shedding light on how the four lads from Liverpool had transcended pop-icon status to influence an entire generation of fans and fellow musicians.
Paul noted how “Blackbird,” a song about racial segregation in the States, has always been famous among guitarist for its difficulty. “If you played it, it was wrong,” he joked.
The Beatles always had a fun-loving sense of humor, and Paul cracked that all he could see from the stage was a sea of cellphones. “When we play an old favorite, the place lights up with all the people taking videos, and it’s rather like looking out into a field of stars, but when we play the new material, it’s like looking into a black hole. That’s ok,” he said, “we’re gonna play the new stuff anyway.”
That one got a good laugh and we all listened to the few new ones and to the in-between ones and sang right along with all of the old ones too.