What a time machine last night in Seattle! Safeco Field, normally home to the Seattle Mariners baseball team, hosted its first public concert to a crowd of 45,000+. Not too shabby Safeco! Let's face it, I wasn't going to miss this show for anything. As a kid, remembering the 1965 classic Beatles Shea Stadium video footage, this was going to be the closest I'd ever come to seeing a Beatle in a baseball stadium environment. Was it worth it? Oh hell yeah even though I didn't score an official photo pass my handy little pocket camera came through for me and my reporting!
The first time Paul played Seattle with The Beatles was August 21, 1964. They played at the Seattle Center Coliseum to 14,300 screaming fans and rumor had it the stage was raised 12 feet for the bands protection from, the 90% attending, rabid teenage girls. Forward to last night, July 19, 2013. How popular are The Beatles still? It's crazy to think 1/4th of The Beatles can still sell out 45,000+ seat stadiums. Sure the age demographics of the crowd ranged from those aged 60+ (those original 1st Beatles Seattle concert attendees) to their kids (yes me those 40yo's) and all the ages way down to toddlers and teens (yes the grandkids of those 60+ attending that 1st Beatles Seattle show). There's your easy formula standing the test of time with The Beatles and their continued fan base. As the greatest and most influential rock band ever, they will always live on as legends, Sir's, and God-like in many fans eyes. Speaking of God-like, all these decades later yes there were religious whack jobs at the stadium gates protesting and spewing their gibberish s**t as fans pushed by ignoring them as they were entering the gates.
As Paul McCartney continues The Beatles and his own solo career's legacy at the young age of 71, I was shocked how lively, energetic and good his voice still sounds. Not many 70+ year old musicians can jam a near 3 hour set of classics while playing multiple instruments and singing every song without forgetting words or how to play the songs. Let's face it, look at that set list below, that's a TON to remember.
1) Eight Days a Week (The Beatles song)
2) Junior's Farm (Wings song)
3) All My Loving (The Beatles song)
4) Listen to What the Man Said (Wings song)
5) Let Me Roll It (Wings song)
6) Paperback Writer (The Beatles song) (Foxy Lady snippet)
7) My Valentine (Wings song)
8) Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five (Wings song)
9) The Long and Winding Road (The Beatles song)
10) Maybe I'm Amazed (The Beatles song)
11) I've Just Seen a Face (The Beatles song)
12) We Can Work It Out (The Beatles song)
13) Another Day (The Beatles song)
14) And I Love Her (The Beatles song)
15) Blackbird (The Beatles song)
16) Here Today (The Beatles song)
17) Your Mother Should Know (The Beatles song)
18) Lady Madonna (The Beatles song)
19) All Together Now (The Beatles song)
20) Lovely Rita (The Beatles song)
21) Mrs. Vandebilt (Wings song)
22) Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles song)
23) Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! (The Beatles song)
24) Something (The Beatles song)
25) Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (The Beatles song)
26) Band on the Run (Wings song)
27) Back in the USSR (The Beatles song)
28) Let It Be (The Beatles song)
29) Live and Let Die (Wings song)
30) Hey Jude (The Beatles song)
31) Day Tripper (The Beatles song)
32) Cut Me Some Slack (With Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear)
33) Get Back (The Beatles song) (With Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear)
34) Yesterday (The Beatles song)
35) Long Tall Sally (Little Richard cover) (With Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear)
36) Helter Skelter (The Beatles song) (With Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear)
37) Golden Slumbers (The Beatles song) (With Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear)
38) Carry That Weight (The Beatles song) (With Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear)
39) The End (The Beatles song) (With Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear)
Hat's off to Paul for taking care of himself over the years and keeping the heart young with his music. You can still see he loves what he does and his performance oozed that love. The show had a visual multi-media screen behind the drums and if you paid attention enough you saw images/video of those Beatles here and not here anymore. "Here Today" dedicated to John Lennon and Paul's ukulele intro to "Something" for George Harrison. He mentioned George gave him that ukulele so that made it that more special.
Times during the show I'd close my eyes and just listen, believe I was in Shea Stadium on that historic night with The Beatles, then the reality set in knowing John & George are gone, those teenage girls screaming insanity were grandmothers all around me and my own mortality will be soon enough. It was well worth it even for a second of a flashback tonight.
The highlight of the night, that blew everyone away ("Live & Let Die" was pretty awesome - see video above), was when Sirvana happened! After the first encore of "Day Tripper", complete chaos happened! Paul introduced past Nirvana musicians Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear to jump onstage to play the rockin' Grohl/McCartney written track "Cut Me Some Slack". It didn't end there Paul wanted them out more so they basically jammed the rest of the night with the amazing McCartney band on "Get Back", "Long Tall Sally (Little Richard cover)", "Helter Skelter" & finale medley "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End". Check out some of these moments on mine and my wife's video footage from our basic 3rd base location.
This was billed as the first concert at Safeco field but I know that back on September 16, 2008, The Beach Boys performed the stadium's first concert, although it was not open to the public. Technically the 2nd show was the Seattle Symphony who played a free concert there 9/11/02 to honor the victims of 9/11. How fitting cause the 3rd time was a charm! Was it ever in the 1st public concert with Paul McCartney!!! The Beatles are still an everlasting peace, love and hope soundtrack to many millions of lives on this planet through their music, thank you Paul for giving us middle of the road aged and younger fans a little taste of what we were too young or not even alive to see in concert back in the day with The Beatles. THANK YOU!
As a funny way to end my blog, I'll share ya one of my Beatles devotion fun. Two years ago I went to Abby Road and my wife took pics of me walking across the famous location made by Iain Macmillan's Beatles album cover. I combined our photos and look I was on location Aug. 8, 1969..NOT! I was 3 years old ha! ;) Beatles forever!
"Iron" Mike Savoia - KISW 99.9FM Music Blogger/Photographer
Notes: Here's some other worthy links to other reviews/photos of the show from some of my fellow ex-The Rocket magazine folks Gillian Garr, Glen Boyd and Charles Cross:
- The Examiner - BlogCritics - Seattle Times
Check out our fellow Entercom station 107.7 The End's show Blog too!