loves to perform. This was evident in every minute of the concert he played last night at Harlem’s storied Paul McCartneyApollo Theater to celebrate Sirius XM satellite radio reaching 20 million subscribers. And while he seems to enjoy performing most anywhere and everywhere lately, he was even happier than usual to be at this particular venue. “It’s the Holy Grail,” he told the crowd, which was made up mostly of lucky Sirius XM subscribers. “I dreamed of playing here for many a year.”
Thus began a two-hour tour of McCartney’s incredible back catalog (Beatles and solo years both included). He was in much stronger voice throughout than he was on Saturday Night Live last weekend, and his backing band was in better form, too. Lighthearted quips abounded in between numbers. “Here’s a newer song,” Macca joked before 1963’s “All My Loving.” After that he played “One After 909,” one of the first songs he and John Lennon ever wrote together. As has become usual for McCartney’s live show, this was a nostalgia trip, and a very fine one.
Highlights from the evening included the passage when McCartney switched from electric bass to acoustic guitar for 1965’s “I’m Looking Through You” and 1964’s “And I Love Her,” two personal favorites of mine. Or maybe the best part was when he paid tribute to the Apollo’s history by covering Marvin Gaye’s “Hitch Hike,” complete with shimmying backup dancers – taking it from the top with even more vim after a burst of unintended feedback mussed up his first take. Or was it when he led the audience in a chorus of “Hey Jude” na-na-na-nas? With a full set plus two encores, there were too many stand-outs to list.
Did you tune in to Sirius XM to hear the concert’s live broadcast over satellite radio? Or were you one of the fans in attendance? Let us know what your favorite parts of the show were if so.
(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix)