14 Aug 2018

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Gig Review: Paul McCartney @ Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland - 16/12/2017

17 Dec 2017 // A review by Kerry Monaghan

Opening with A Hard Dayís Night to thunderous applause and rapture, Paul McCartney didnít waste any time in appeasing the thirty something thousand crowd that descended upon Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland last night.

It was a perfect warm summerís night with no wind that made for crystal clear acoustics, and a stage that was set up perfectly with two huge live feed screens so everyone, front, side and back got the chance to see Sir McCartney in all his glory.

The anticipation was huge and what an atmosphere it created. Paul McCartney did not disappoint in the slightest. The former Beatle belted out a little bit of everything, from fan favourites early Beatles (and even a track from John Lennonís band, post Beatles, The Quarrymen and Wings) to Paulís solo work, newer material and everything in between.

His stellar stage band were a credit to the night, adding that larger than life accompaniment to Paulís immaculate instrumentals, and that voice. Paul may be pushing seventy-five now, but you wouldnít know it in the way he moved, shimmied and boogied across that stage. He still has it. That wow factor that leaves you mesmerised and grateful to see one fifth of such a legendary band.

Paulís tributes to his former bandmates, the late great, George Harrison and John Lennon was bittersweet and a really touching moment. There was so much respect and sadness etched on Paulís face for his fallen comrades in that moment, it was a beautiful thing to be a part of.

The energy of Paul and his band was infectious, and the aptly named tour- One on One felt exactly that despite the gigantic crowd. There were plenty of anecdotes from Paul, creating those intimate moments, almost like he was sharing a secret with us all. He told a story of the late great Jimi Hendrix and Jimiís fondness for pushing his guitar solos to the limit, until one time, mid -way through a live show, he severely untuned his guitar. Jimi called out to a young Eric Clapton in the audience if he could come up and tune his guitar, much to the embarrassment of Clapton, who did not comply with Jimiís request.

Clocking in at just over three hours stage time, Paul and his bandís energy didnít slip even for a second during his numerous guitar switches from electric to acoustic, to piano and back for songs like Let It Be and Maybe Iím Amazed. Just when we all thought it couldnít get any better, Paul and his team pulled out all the stops, including a spell binding pyrotechnics and fireworks display during Live and Let Die. A truly spectacular sight.

Finishing off the night with a rapturous encore, including a stunning rendition of Yesterday and the Auckland and District Pipe band for a version of Mull of Kintyre weíre not likely to forget anytime soon, we bade farewell to Sir Paul. What an end to a magnificent night.

Review written by Kerry Monaghan

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