Live review: Paul McCartney, SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Fri 14 Dec
- Henry Northmore
- 17 December 2018
Three hours of pop, rock, stories and Christmas hits from the former Beatle
Most of tonight's audience probably didn't grow up in the 60s. However, The Beatles have permeated the modern world so succinctly there's a nostalgia whatever your age, their music the unofficial soundtrack of our lives. Their enduring influence is almost impossible to truly define; they helped create popular music as we know it today.
Even at 76, there's still a spark in Paul McCartney, and impressive stamina playing for three solid hours. It's hard to think of a better tune to open with than the catchy melody and singalong chorus of 'A Hard Day's Night'. Inevitably with a show this length there are lulls but the highs are so high. The crowd almost drowning out McCartney on 'Love Me Do' and 'Let It Be'; the simple beauty of 'Blackbird'; the poignant sadness of 'Eleanor Rigby'; 'Back in the USSR' kicks like a Moscow mule; 'Live and Let Die' explodes with pyro. 'Hey Jude' was built to be played live with its 'na na nas' taken up by the entire audience. It's a beautiful moment of artist and audience symbiosis. Even Macca must know 'Wonderful Christmastime' is a big dollop of syrupy nonsense but at 11pm on a mid-December Friday night in Glasgow it's like a big cosy, festive hug (especially with the massed voices of the Paisley Grammar School Choir).
McCartney does waffle but has some cute funny stories from the past and takes time to pay tribute to John Lennon and George Harrison with 'Here Today' and 'Something' respectively. Of course he dips into new and solo material from across his decades in music, making detours into Wings, but focusing on The Beatles (with 22 hits from the Fab Four with a bonus early Quarrymen track 'In Spite of All the Danger').
It's a strong encore with the psych-rock of 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)', a bombastic 'Helter Skelter' and closing out with the final three tracks from 1969's Abbey Road LP ('Golden Slumbers', 'Carry That Weight' and 'The End'). The Beatles had so many hits that even over three hours McCartney struggles to cram everything in, but it's a wonderful snapshot of his life in music and Macca's uncanny ability to write near perfect pop.
'A Hard Day's Night' (The Beatles)
'Junior's Farm' (Wings)
'Can't Buy Me Love' (The Beatles)
'Letting Go' (Wings)
'Got to Get You Into My Life' (The Beatles)
'Come On to Me'
'Let Me Roll It' (Wings)
'I've Got a Feeling' (The Beatles)
'Let 'Em In' (Wings)
'Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five' (Wings)
'Maybe I'm Amazed'
'We Can Work It Out' (The Beatles)
'In Spite of All the Danger' (The Quarrymen)
'From Me to You' (The Beatles)
'Love Me Do' (The Beatles)
'Blackbird' (The Beatles)
'Lady Madonna' (The Beatles)
'Eleanor Rigby' (The Beatles)
'Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite!' (The Beatles)
'Something' (The Beatles)
'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da' (The Beatles)
'Band on the Run' (Wings)
'Back in the USSR' (The Beatles)
'Let It Be' (The Beatles)
'Live and Let Die' (Wings)
'Hey Jude' (The Beatles)
'Birthday' (The Beatles)
'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)' (The Beatles)
'Helter Skelter' (The Beatles)
'Golden Slumbers' (The Beatles)
'Carry That Weight' (The Beatles)
'The End' (The Beatles)