Paul McCartney: Old style, new sound

Sir Paul McCartney performed Thursday night at the Greensboro Coliseum. / Sam Lowe, Times-News correspondent

Reviewed by Sam Lowe
Times-News correspondent

   GREENSBORO — For his last American concert date of the year, Paul McCartney brought the band and the music to the Greensboro Coliseum on Oct. 30. Playing a sold-out show to more than 16,000 fans, Paul certainly aimed to please. From old fan favorites like “And I Love Her,” to songs off his recent album, “New,” McCartney and his band kept the crowd at peak energy for the entirety of their three-hour set.
After coming out strong with a two-song opener that included “Magical Mystery Tour,” Paul started his dialogue with the audience that would continue throughout the entire night, stating that, “Tonight, we’re throwing a party in this room.” The band spent the rest of the night living up to that promise, entertaining the crowd with a show of light and music that some would argue only McCartney could provide.
Paul and his band have enough experience to know that many of the fans in attendance wanted desperately to hear their old favorites, and they did their best to deliver, pulling songs from McCartney’s decades-long career such as “Blackbird,” “Day Tripper” and “Band on the Run.” Paul made an exciting pit stop at “Live and Let Die,” in which fireworks and flames lit up the stage.
While McCartney certainly made efforts to honor where he’s been, it was easy to tell that he’s just as excited about where he’s headed. Whenever the band would break out one of the newer tunes, you could feel the vigor with which it played. All of the band members were in fine form tonight, with Abe Laboriel Jr. on drums, Rusty Anderson on lead guitar, Brian Ray on guitar and bass and Paul Wickens on keys.
After a long set that closed after “Hey Jude” with an audience-sung chorus, Paul and company returned to the stage for not one, but two, three-song encores, the first of which closed with “I Saw Her Standing There.” After coming back for the second time with “Yesterday,” McCartney took a quick break to sign a fan’s foot who had so politely requested on her handmade sign, after which he jumped back in with “Helter Skelter,” before closing with “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End.”
As he took his final exit after a roller coaster ride of a three-hour set, Paul left with the words, “Until next time, Greensboro.”

 Sam Lowe is a junior at Western Alamance High School and a Teens & Twenties writer.

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