Paul McCartney @ Yankee Stadium (7/15/11)

PAUL McCARTNEY
“ON THE RUN TOUR”
YANKEE STADIUM
BRONX, NEW YORK
JULY 15, 2011

Approximately one month ago, I caught wind that 1/4th of the Beatles was going to be going back on tour in the United States.  Any music fan appreciates not only music created by the Beatles, but also how they changed the very fabric of the music business.  Paul McCartney has always been my favorite of the Beatles.  The New York Yankees are my favorite sports team.  So when I heard Sir Paul was going to be performing on the home turf of the Yankees, there was no way I was missing out. 

I ended up trying for the best tickets I could through the pre-sale.  I was pleased with Section 109.  Myself and two of my friends took a train directly from Connecticut to Yankee Stadium.  That is how big this concert was, Metro-North actually had a “special” rail called the Yankee Clipper that was running both Friday and Saturday straight from Connecticut to Yankee Stadium without having to change trains or take a subway.

It was still light out when Sir Paul McCartney walked on stage.  He had a guitar in hand, with black pants on, a white button down, and a shiny blue blazer.  He wasted no time as he and his band ripped right into a Beatles favorite “Hello Goodbye”. 

I have seen a lot of legends in concert such as Bob Dylan, Elton John, and Leon Russell.  However, a lot of those artists have lost a step or two in their vocals.  This was not the case with Paul.  He sounded strong, clear, and as if he has never slowed down.  He took the fans in Yankee Stadium that glorious Friday night on a journey through Beatles hits while sprikling in songs from his stint as the lead singer of Wings as well. 

One moment that had the entire stadium laughing and cheering at the same time was when he stated to the crowd: “Who is this Derek Jeter guy?  I hear he has more hits than me!”  You could faintly hear the Yankee Stadium patented “Der-ek Je-ter” chants , but this night was all about McCartney.  You could tell he was having a good time as well.  At one point he shouted “I have never done this song live – ever!”  He then sang The Beatles song “The Night Before”.  This was very indicative of this special night.  No matter what song he sang, whether it be a legendary Beatles classic, a well-known Wings single, or an obscure B-side Beatles song, the crowd knew the lyrics and sang along.

He really sounded strong on “Paperback Writer”, “Eleanor Rigby”, and “Back in the U.S.S.R.”.  Thinking back on the concert, those were definitely some of the strongest vocal highlights.  Of course the massive hits such as “Hey Jude”, “Let It Be”, and “Maybe I’m Amazed” created sing-a-longs that had fans from the age 10 to 80 feel like they were singing with their best friends while sitting around a camp fire. 

However, the most memorable moment for me, from the entire three hour show, was when he sang the Wings song from the James Bond Soundtrack: “Live or Let Die”.  An eruption of fireworks and explosions blasted forth from behind the stage as well as the opposite side of the Stadium.  It was quite an amazing sight to behold.  Of course, Sir Paul did not waiver in his performance of the song.  He kept even keel and each word was perfectly audible; all despite the freakish display that reminded most of the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular. 

The three song encore turned into a second, five song encore.  It was, simply stated, a special night equipped with close to forty songs by one of the most recognizable figures in music history.   Not maybe, I was Amazed. 

Setlist:

1) Hello Goodbye
2) Junior’s Farm
3) All My Loving
4) Jet
5) Drive My Car
6) Sing The Changes
7) The Night Before
8) Let Me Roll It
9) Paperback Writer
10) The Long and Winding Road
11) Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five
12) Let ‘Em In
13) Maybe I’m Amazed
14) I’ve Just Seen a Face
15) I Will
16) Blackbird
17) Here Today
18) Dance Tonight
19) Mrs. Vandebilt
20) Eleanor Rigby
21) Something
22) Band On The Run
23) Ob La Di, Ob La Da
24) Back In The U.S.S.R.
25) I’ve Got A Feeling
26) A Day In The Life
27) Give Peace A Chance
28) Let It Be
29) Live and Let Die
30) Hey Jude

(Encore)

31) Lady Madonna
32) Day Tripper
33) Get Back

(Encore 2)

34) Yesterday
35) Helter Skelter
36) Golden Slumbers
37) Golden Slumbers
38) Carry That Weight
39) The End

Kid Rock at the Comcast Theatre, Hartford, Connecticut (7/7/11)

I attended Kid Rock’s Born Free Tour this past Thursday (7/7/11) at the Comcast Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut.  I am not ashamed to admit that I am a fan of Kid Rock.  I have always been amazed how he has been able to stay relevant in the country, hip-hop, and rock communities throughout his career.  He is respected by the likes of legends like Rev Run of Run DMC, Hank Williams Jr., Bob Seger, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Willie Nelson.  Since I am a fan of all genres of music, going to a Kid Rock show is what I would call a mish-mash celebration of music. 

In typical Kid Rock fashion, he amplified his performance in Hartford with pyrotechnics, background dancers, lights, large screens, American Flags, a gold bald eagle, and at times, fire blasts that would make Super Mario proud. 

Highlights of the show were his hilarious folk-country songs: “Lowlife” and “Forty”.  Both are songs in which Kid Rock does something different than most of his other songs, he makes fun of himself.  His multi-platinum hits like “Cowboy”, “Cocky”, “Never Met A * Like Me”, and “American Bad A$$” all shout lyrics of ultra confidence personified, so it works very well when he switches it up and pokes fun at himself. 

Another highlight was when Kid Rock performed an instrumental jam session by himself! He played everything from the electric guitar, to drums, the bass, and even scratched on the dj turntables. It truly showcased how the man who is “straight from the trailor” is actually mutli-talented. 

At one point he brought out Sheryl Crow (who was also the opening act).  They combined voices for a cover of the song “Love The One You’re With” and they sat down in two stools and sang their classic hit “Picture”.  However, for some unexplainable reason, Sheryl left the stage and they did not sing their brand new single “Collide”.  I was looking forward to hearing them sing the new single especially since they sang it together a few weeks ago at the CMT Awards and it is the current single released to radio.  Once she was announced as the opening support for the Born Free tour, I thought it was a slam dunk that they would perform “Picture” and “Collide” together.  Why they chose to avoid “Collide” and do a cover of an older song was quite confusing and very dissapointing. 

Of course, the set ended with Kid Rock’s most famous song “Bawitdaba”.  He performed the legendary song with no shirt and an array of pyrotechnics that would make Kiss proud.  The lights went black for a few minutes and he came back out to three of Kid Rock’s best and most unique songs:  “All Summer Long” fit the 90 degree July day perfectly as he used every inch of the stage and had the entire amplitheatre singing along.  Kid then showcased more of his music skills as he sat down to a piano and sang the emotional “Only God Knows Why” song.  He closed with a Patriotic Anthem that would make Toby Keith, Lee Greenwood, and James Brown fist pump “Jersey Shore” style. “Born Free” had the entire crowd rocking and bleeding patriotism.  Equipped with American Flags and more pyrotechnics, Kid Rock finished off another energetic evening that truly took music fans through a music celebration of all genres. 

Setlist:
1.      American Bad A$$
2.      God Bless Saturday
3.      You Never Met A * Quite Like Me
4.      Lowlife
5.      Keep Your Hands to Yourself
6.      Cocky
7.      Slow My Roll
8.      Midnight Rider
9.      Cowboy
10.  Care
11.  Somebody’s Gotta Feel This
12.  Fist Of Rage
13.  I Am the Bulldog
14.  Sugar
15.  Flyin’ High
16.  Forty
17.  Love The One You’re With (with Sheryl Crow)
18.  Picture (with Sheryl Crow)
19.  Instrumental Jam Session
20.  So Hott
21.  Bawitdaba

Encore:
22.  All Summer Long
23.  Only God Knows Why (on piano)
24.  Born Free

The night I was part of the Dierks Bentley Concert (March 2011, Toyota Presents the Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, Connecticut)

as featured in the following articles:

http://www.countrymusicislove.com/2011/03/fan-story-ryan-amy-dierks-bentley.html

http://dbcongress.blogspot.com/2011/03/married-couple-to-be-come-lot-closer-to.html

Here is an account of a show I went to in March of 2011.  It was the opening night of the Jagermiester Country Tour.  The headliner was Dierks Bentley.  It was probably the most memorable concert experience I have had yet:

I arrived to the venue (Toyota Presents the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut) to get my tickets from Will Call and found out I had Row A, Center. On top of that we had a meet and greet with Josh Thompson, one of the 3 opening acts. We spoke to Josh for awhile and he seemed very humble and we were impressed by his live show. He has a great future ahead of him.

When it was time for the headliner to hit the stage, the crowd was full of energy. Not only was it the Jagermiester Country Tour, but it was also St. Patrick’s Day and the crowd was fired up. Dierks came out in a cloud of smoke and cranked out hit after hit, starting with “Feel That Fire” and “Free & Easy”. He played some new songs that were fantastic as well, highlighted by a new party song called “Am I The Only One”. One of the highlights of the show was when he and his band took the crowd through an acoustic set of songs that have influenced them as artists (including Alabama’s “Dixieland Delight”, Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried”, and U2′s “Pride”, among others).


After the acoustic set, Dierks asked the crowd “is anyone out here getting married?” Since my wife and I were sitting in the first row and we were not getting married until the following month at the time, she raised her hand and Dierks spotted us. He handed me his microphone stand and invited us up to the stage. He proceeded to ask me what date we were getting married on, looked on her ring, made a bunch of jokes with us and sang a new song to us called “Diamonds Make Babies”. It was a hilarious song which warns men about proposing to their girlfriends because if you give her a diamond, expect the kids to follow and your life to completely change. The song was hysterical, he even let me sing part of the chorus. It was an abosolutely amazing moment.

The last song of his set (before the encore) was “Come A Little Closer” and he approached me again. At this point, Dierks said into the microphone “I’m taking your girl up here, okay?” I said sure and he pulled her up on stage. At this point he started singing the song to her and making hilarious comments about me and her. He then gave her the microphone to hold to the crowd and the entire arena started singing the song back to her. He went from side to side of the stage doing this with her until he suddenly ran away leaving her on stage by herself holding the microphone to the crowd. She didn’t realize for a few seconds and when she turned around to give him the microphone back, she freaked out! She ran right over to me and gave me the microphone and I sang the chorus back to her. The crowd went crazy and everyone was laughing and cheering. He then came back out to save her and signaled for me to follow them on stage – I jumped up and followed them backstage and the three of us took a picture together.

Dierks not only gave us an unforgettable night, but backstage he actually thanked us! He said “thank you guys for making that so much fun for me”. I responded by saying “No way – Thank you. That was an amazing experience”. He then went back out for the encore and finished off with “Sideways” and “What Was I Thinking”.

For anyone who has not seen a Dierks Bentley show, I highly recommend it. The concert was high energy, with a wide range of his greatest hits, new songs, and covers of classic songs from multiple genres. I cannot thank Dierks enough for the experience he gave us.   It was once in a lifetime and we are grateful for how amazing he is to his fans.

www.countrymusicislove.com

Everyone should check out a phenomenal website entitled: www.countrymusicislove.com

They give up to the minute breaking news on the world of country music.  You can also follow them on twitter: @cmilove

I have had the opportunity to write a few articles as a guest writer for this amazing website.  Check them out below:

Toby Keith: New York City (August 20, 2010) :
http://www.countrymusicislove.com/2010/08/review-toby-keith-at-p-c-richard-sons-theatre-in-nyc.html

Toby Keith’s new album: track by track (October 6, 2010):
http://www.countrymusicislove.com/2010/10/track-by-track-review-toby-keiths-bullets-in-the-gun.html

Darius Rucker: New York City (October 12, 2010):
http://www.countrymusicislove.com/2010/10/review-darius-rucker-secret-show-at-p-c-richard-son-theater.html

Rascal Flatts: New York City (November 20, 2010):
http://www.countrymusicislove.com/2010/11/review-rascal-flatts-secret-show-at-nycs-p-c-richard-son-theater.html

Your Concert Review Headquaters

What’s going on everybody,

Bear with me as I start my first blog.  I am new to the blogging lifestyle, but I am a seasoned concert-goer.  I have been to well over 150 concerts in my life and enjoy live music more than any one I know. 

I have always been into taking pictures of the shows I have been at so I have created this blog to not only give a review of some of the shows I see, but also to list the artist’s setlist and some pictures of the event.

Stay tuned because in the next week alone I will be reporting back on the Paul McCartney show in Yankee Stadium, U2 at the New Meadowlands Stadium, as well as Rihanna, and Tim McGraw.