When I got tickets last year for Paul McCartney’s OUT THERE tour the concert was cancelled. Paul got a virus.
Fast forward one year and Paul is coming to Tokyo again. This time round I didn’t care how much the tickets would cost, I just got two. And he came, he saw and he conquered our hearts.
The last time I went to a live concert of a pop icon of that calibre was when I was 18 years old (I’ll spill the beans: that’s 26 years ago – a quarter century) and by sheer luck got tickets to a concert of The Who, who reunited for their 25th anniversary on the “The Kids Are Alright” tour. I went to the gig at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in Wisconsin (I happened to stay with a friend who invited me to Chicago for a few weeks). While that was one of the more memorable concerts I have been to (also due to the fact that their tour drummer was Simon Phillips – one of my personal favourites) it was no comparison to the impact Paul McCartney left on me with his concert.
Paul is one of the greatest pop personalities and even with his high age of 72 has lost none of his appeal. I was surprised to find his voice to be in very good shape. Only a few passages where he’d scream at a high pitch you’d notice his age, but even his head-voice was still clean and sharp. Due to the Japanese audience he played more Beatles songs than I hoped for, and a little less Paul / Wings stuff, but it’s still all great music.
And so I was deeply moved to watch and listen to him at the Tokyo Dome baseball stadium. And when at the very end they played “Golden Slumbers” then bridging into “The End” I couldn’t help but cry. I’ve never been to a concert that made me cry before. Maybe it’s my age – after all even the Star Wars VII teaser trailer made my eyes watery – but it really reminded me of the enormous impact music can have to our lives, and how it follows us along, reminding us of the great and the bad times and can give people hope, comfort and solace. Seeing how there are less and less “real” pop groups that write and play their own music and more and more one hit wonders or overhyped talent-free stars which are just glorified monkeys on a stick, I really hope we can take this part of 20th century pop culture into the future.