Last night was one of the best nights of my life, and certainly the best $250 I’ve ever spent. I was in the 10th row, near the center, at a Paul McCartney concert.
I arrived early, a little after 4:00, hoping to catch a glimpse of the man in his Lexus pulling up for sound check. I walked around the Xcel Energy Center and attached River Centre, then decided to wait by the 4th street entry with some other fans. I heard that was where he’d be entering. I got to talking to a few of them–they informed me that Paul had arrived at noon for some reason (as it turns out, he announced that his cousin Pete was in the audience for some reason, which probably explains the afternoon at the venue). I stuck around anyway, talking Beatles and Paul stuff with the others.
There were signs on all the Xcel doors saying that by buying tickets to this show were allowing them to video tape us and use our likeness later.
Doors were set to open at 6:30 but they let the 15-or so people outside in around 5:30. We could hear the end of the sound check (I heard three songs: Blue Moon of Kentucky [I think], The Massage Song [very long], and Lady Madonna). A bit after 6:00 I left for (a very poorly staffed) dinner with friends nearby.
When I returned a bit before 8:00, the show was nowhere near starting. Finally at about 8:20 the DJ half of Twin Freaks (the other half being McCartney himself) starting jamming until 8:45. That was followed by a waaaaaaay too long video of McCartney’s musical career. I thought that was such an insult to everyone’s intelligence, and such a show-offy way of introducing yourself. Come one, we all know you were a Beatle, we all know you had another band, we all know you sucked in the 80s, we all know you’re having a comeback now. Duh. The only good thing that came of that were a few previously unseen (by me) clips, including some of the Mad Day Out.
Then finally the show started. The lady I was sitting next to went ballistic. I was scared that I’d have to hear her singing along the whole time, but the band was so loud it didn’t matter. Some reporters are saying that he seemed bored at first–I didn’t see that. I saw Paul McCartney–showman extraordinaire. I don’t believe a thing he does is real or heart-felt cuz that’s just the kind of bloke he is. Once though, during an acoustic song, he closed his eyes and you could tell he REALLY felt it. That was a nice moment.
But the real highlight came with this sign I developed the night before. Paul likes to stick with his banter throughout the tour, so I thought I’d throw him for a little loop. On the bootleg of a Philly show I got a couple weeks ago, he went on about how he likes to read the signs, but finds it hard to remember lyrics and chords. So, my sign said, “Read my sign but don’t forget the words, Paul.” My mission was to get his attention.
When I first got to my seat, the usher told me I’d be “removed” if I unrolled it. Whatever, there were signs up almost immediately. During Paul’s solo acoustic bit (just him and guitar or piano), I started holding up the sign for a minute then shoving it away, lest I get removed. I thought I saw him notice it once, smile, wink, then carry on with the song. I figured I was just imagining it but then this girl in my row said, “How does it feel to have Paul McCartney smile at you?” Ok good, that wasn’t just my imagination.
I was waiting for his bit where he actually says, “I love all the signs but then it’s harder to remember the words and chords…” Finally he got to that and I held up my sign loud and proud. Suddenly a video camera and a still camera were in front of me. I must have gotten up on the big screen. Paul said, “Yes, and there’s someone holding up a sign that says, “Read my sign but don’t forget the words, Paul.” That’s very nice.” Thumbs up. Chuckle. Smile. Wave. Point. Smile. Off to the piano. Everyone in front of me turned to stare and smile and giggle. Cheers. Laughter. HA! The ladies next to me gave me high fives.
And then I swear he looked at me again with a sparkle in his eye at the beginning of the next song, “For No One,” “she knew someone, but now he’s gone, she doesn’t need him…” Heh.
I better make it on a DVD. Or better yet, Paul should incorporate my sign into his next show, or at least think of me and my sign. I cannot wait for bootlegs of this show and the one in Des Moines tonight.
Oh, and then as I was leaving I found a program under a seat. Glad I didn’t buy one for $25!!
The show was nearly three hours of feeling really really great. Not a bad night–left work early, free parking, good food, great music, great friends, free program, and Paul McCartney has acknowledged my existence. What more can a girl ask for?