But it was much more than that.
We came up out of the subway to a huge mass of a crowd slowly working their way through the security gates in front of the Barclays Center. We eventually made it inside the building and then finally through the metal detectors just before the 8 pm start time listed on our tickets. Not to worry as the show wouldn't start for about another 40 minutes, so we had plenty of time for those of us that wanted to get some merch and then work our way up to the next to last row in the arena, but right next to the stage.
With his catalog, it would be hard not to open with a hit and things started off with "Hard Day's Night" to begin the 3 hour set. Next up was Wings "Junior's Farm," which by the title I didn't think I knew, but recognized when they got to the chorus.
and the hits kept coming with "Can't Buy Me Love", then "Jet" and back to the Beatles for "All My Loving."
Another visit to the Wings catalog with "Let Me Roll With It" (another "Oh...that's what that song I've heard a million times on the radio is called" moment for me) which led into an instrumental jam of Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady". This was a bit of a tribute as Jimi had died 47 years ago the day prior. McCartney told a funny story involving Jimi, Sgt. Pepper and Eric Clapton before then playing a great version of the Beatles "I've Got a Feeling."
Here's video I shot of Foxy Lady into I've Got a Feeling:
One of Paul's few solo songs of the night followed with "My Valentine" from his 2012 album "Kisses on the Bottom" before Wings' "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five" into "Maybe I'm Amazed" from his first solo album.
At this point Paul acknowledged the signs the crowd brought to his show with messages and requests for him. There was a 40th anniversary, someone else was just released from the hospital and came right to the show while another had escaped the hurricane damage of the South to make to Brooklyn for Sir Paul. I'm not sure if this was a request from a sign or what is always played in this slot (although I do see Paul changes up a few songs each night), but we got a great version of "We Can Work It Out" and here's the video:
Next Paul went back to his pre-Beatles band The Quarrymen for "In Spite Of All The Danger" and then another Beatles classic with "You Won't See Me" (video below):
More Beatlemania with "Love Me Do", "And I Love Her" and then "Blackbird."
Paul then came out front, on a raised stage, alone with acoustic guitar for a poignant "Here Today" from 1983's "Tug of War." (video below):
Two more solo songs were next with "Queenie Eye" which is off of his 2013 album "New", the title track of which he played next, then back to the Beatles for "Lady Madonna."
"FourFiveSeconds", his collaboration with Kanye West and Rihanna was next and quite catchy and then "Eleanor Rigby" before telling a little story about how the Rolling Stones were looking for a song to record when they just got signed and Paul and John gave them "I Wanna Be Your Man" (video below):
Next up was a song Paul said was from an album from 50 years ago, joking "before my time" before playing "Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite!", the first song to be played off Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band this night. "Something" followed and then Paul revisited Sgt. Pepper saying this was one they didn't always play but liked to when in the New York City area and "A Day in The Life" was performed and morphed into "Give Peace A Chance" as a loving tribute to John Lennon. (video below):
We now were entering the home stretch of the main set of the show with "Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da" into Wings "Band on the Run" back to the Beatles for "Back in the USSR" and "Let It Be."
Overall the stage show, for an arena, is relatively stripped down. It has great lights and video, but where's the fire and explosions one often sees? Well Paul saved it all for "Live and Let Die" at which point he went over the top and rocked out while filling the air with massive fireballs and explosions. This led into a set ending "Hey Jude" with massive singalong. (Video below):
The band left the stage for a short encore break before returning with "Yesterday" and one more visit to that album of fifty years ago with "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)" into an electrifying "Helter Skelter"
At this point Paul asked if there was anyone in the crowd celebrating a birthday and he noticed one specific fan up front - Jimmy Fallon!
As you'll see in the video I shot, Jimmy was there celebrating with Saturday Night Live mastermind Lorne Michaels as well as celebrity chef Mario Batali (who also happened to be celebrating a birthday). Paul plays "Birthday" and then leads the crowd in a singalong of "Happy Birthday" to Jimmy who couldn't look happier. (video below):
After that Paul told the crowd, "there does come a time when we gotta go home...yeah...and well it coincides with the time you have to go home." He then thanked the crew and his band and played "Golden Slumbers" / "Carry That Weight" / "The End."
I looked at the time and it was a few minutes after 11:30. Paul had played just under three hours and the time flew by. We raced (well shuffled with the thousands of other attendees) out of the arena onto a packed local subway that made about 15 stops before getting to Grand Central station with just a few minutes to spare to catch the 12:43am train home. When I finally laid my head down on my pillow at 3:30am knowing I would have to get up soon for work, there was no question this show was absolutely worth it.
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Click any photos to enlarge them to full screen. Also follow on twitter @MostPeopleBlank Then, of course, as always - Rock on and Enjoy - Paul