Paul McCartney hits it out of the park with his recent performance at New York's Citi Field
by Simon Vozick-Levinson in Entertainment Weekly
he crowd loses it the instant Paul McCartney takes the stage at the New York Mets' shiny new home just before 9 p.m. For a minute or two, as approximately 40,000 fans scream their lungs out, you can almost imagine that it's August 1965 and the Beatles are arriving at Shea Stadium, the now-demolished Mets ballpark that had opened just next door the previous spring. Many in the sold-out stands, though by no means all, are surely old enough to remember that historic show. Tonight, however, McCartney is kicking off a six-city American tour by playing the very first concert Citi Field has ever seen. The look in his eyes says he's determined to make it another night to remember.
McCartney stands inside a fortresslike edifice that looms over the outfield, dwarfing the Beatles' rinky-dink Shea stage. Huge screens display mind-melting promo visuals from The Beatles: Rock Band, the videogame that's set to hit shelves on Sept. 9. With him are the four younger sidemen who handle his heavy instrumental lifting these days. But it's clear from the first Bee-beep, yeah! of opener "Drive My Car" that McCartney hasn't lost an ounce of enthusiasm. From there on out it's a nostalgic set, with tunes from his 39-year solo career outnumbered nearly 2-1 by hits from the Beatles' single active decade, right up to the literal and figurative "The End" almost three hours later. Through it all he's an adoring fans, and rocking hard enough to keep 'em dancing in the pouring rain.
For all the exhilaration McCartney conjures with such ease, there are other emotions in the air tonight as well. At 67, he's mourned far too many dear friends; at times the set list becomes a litany of loss, with tearjerkers dedicated to his late wife Linda ("My Love"), John Lennon ("Here Today"), and George Harrison ("Something"). And while McCartney has always been eloquent on the subject of loneliness, his life experience gives songs like "Eleanor Rigby" and "Yesterday" an added poignancy that they didn't have in his charmed 20s.
Yet McCartney remains a consummate crowd-pleaser, shaking off those sorrowful moments whenever they threaten to bring the stadium's mood too low. After the two-hour main set, right when his energy might be expected to have flagged -- he has, after all, just given us a finale including a spectacular fireworks-assisted "Live and Let Die" and an epic "Hey Jude" sing-along -- McCartney dashes back for an encore. He invites Billy Joel on stage for a honky-tonk "I Saw Her Standing There." He absolutely destroys "Helter Skelter." At last, he reluctantly prepares to leave. The evening's next-to-last song is "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)": "We're sorry," he sings, "but it's time to go." He's not the only one. A
o you sometimes find yourself longing for "the good old days"? Do you laugh at yourself for even thinking this because -- after all -- you're not even 50 yet? And -- upon seeing some of the things the kids of today have, or when you see how easy they have it, do you catch yourself thinking out loud "When I was a kid" only to cover your mouth in horror as you realize that you sound just like your parents? Do you feel a jolt of "you're not sure what" when you realize that you're thinking of the 70's? How good things were in the 70's?
In My '70s Book, author Darryll Sherman recounts his own experiences growing up in this avocado green and burnt orange decade. The things we had and the things we didn't have; the things we took for granted and what family life was like in those years. Remember together the music, the movies, the cars, the toys, the fashions, and so much more as your nostalgic and sentimental recollections play once again before you like a worn out 8mm movie in your mind.
Darryll was a kid in the 60's, a teen in the 70's, and now he's almost 50. My '70s Book is a humorous, melancholy, pensive, and fun-filled essay on what it was like to grow up in his generation. Try to keep up with the fun as you revisit your childhood memories, and be prepared to perhaps once again find yourself longing for "the good old days."
Darryll Sherman lives in Pullman, Washington with his wife and their 2 children. He is a licensed Architect and is employed as a Project Manager at Washington State University. In addition, he has his own business doing residential designs in the greater Palouse area. He is a self-taught pianist, song-writer and singer and is involved in the music department at his local church. He grew up in beautiful western Washington and attributes his appreciation of nature to the countless family vacations he took in the Cascades and the surrounding areas. His interests also include carpentry, gardening, fishing, hiking, racquetball and art.
Darryll never intended to be a writer. He will readily, though somewhat sheepishly, confess that his "personal library" consists mainly of Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes collections, and that if he reads the newspaper, the comics and Dave Barry are his first stopping points. He proudly admits that he enjoys a good laugh and definitely likes to take a light-hearted look at life whenever possible. Hanging out and laughing with friends is one of his favorite pastimes, and it was in the midst of this lifestyle that the idea for this book was conceived. As he came upon a realization that "life was different when I grew up" and as he noticed that he and his friends kept having the same revelatory conversations about "when we were kids" vs. "kids today" his mission became clear: The challenge that he would devote (at least the next three years of) his life to was to take on the seemingly daunting task of trying to assemble it all into a cohesive and manageable collection of thoughts and opinions, all the while making it something that he would enjoy reading himself.
Darryll has set up a new website devoted to his book, my70sbook.com, and says, for what it's worth, he's added this book to his personal library!
Best of EXTRA! | EXTRA! | Main Page | Seventies Single Spotlight | Search The RockSite/The Web