SEATTLE – After delivering a spirited version of “Get Back” on Tuesday night at Climate Pledge Arena, Paul McCartney shimmied backward like a man much younger than his 79 years. Perhaps it’s a response to the writer from Spin who described McCartney as “frail” after witnessing the Got Back tour opener at Spokane Arena on April 28.
Some members of McCartney’s audience in Spokane, who were aided by walkers, are indeed frail, but to place Sir Paul in the same category is absurd. McCartney delivered another 2-hour-40-minute show on the second night of back-to-back shows in Seattle. What’s perfect? No. McCartney flubbed “Here Today,” his John Lennon tribute midway and had to start over.
“I know it,” McCartney said. “I wrote it,” which elicited laughter from the capacity crowd. Moments like that gaffe are wonderful since it’s real, not canned. Miscues are uncommon from musicians of McCartney’s caliber.
“We celebrate mistakes since we rarely make them,” guitarist Steve Van Zandt said last year when discussing his experience as Bruce Springsteen’s consigliere with the E Street Band.
It was worth the trek across the state to experience a few changes in McCartney’s setlist. A crisp version of “We Can Work It Out” made its tour debut. The Wings’s “Let ‘Em In,” another first-timer on the Got Back jaunt, was surprising since it was also part of the opening DJ set.
McCartney, who subbed out the Beatles’ “I’ve Just Seen a Face” and “Women and Wives,” was in great spirits while clad in a black vest, black jeans and a blue button-down shirt with billowy white clouds, which he sports on his tour advertisement.
Regarding the crowd, Rolling Stone inaccurately dubbed the Spokane crowd as “subdued.” During the early portions of the Spokane concert, the audience was not overly exuberant, but the crowd reached a crescendo by the encore, which eclipsed the decibel level at Climate Pledge. That’s not surprising since most recording artists visit Seattle, but not everybody makes the journey east on I-90.
The Seattle audience was more diverse. More Blacks, Latinos and Asians were represented in the Emerald City. There were plenty of baby boomers among the 18,000 fans attending, but there were many more millennials and children in the Seattle audience. There was even a mom with a newborn wrapped in a blanket, who one day will be told that he or she experienced a legend.
The lines for merchandise were in the triple digits at various stands at the conclusion of the show. Fans, who dropped $45 for T-shirts, were in the buying spirit, and who could blame them after experiencing such an uplifting night from an energetic iconoclast?