McCartney delivers another stirring performance in return to Consol
Sir Paul McCartney, who christened the new Consol Energy Center with back-to-back concerts four years ago, returned to the Uptown venue Monday night to a warmly welcoming, all-ages, sold-out show that was so crowded it was hard to move.
In a set that lasted more than three hours, including two multi-song encores, the former Beatles member gave us a fabulous concert. His talent is enough to recreate the Beatles on stage. More than half of the 41 songs from the Beatles were guided by McCartney's vocals, including the opening “Eight Days a Week,” crowd favorite “Hey Jude,” the ballad “Yesterday” and the emotional-yet-simple anthem “Let it Be,” which was backed by video images of floating peace candles.
McCartney threw in a few of his hits from his time with Wings, including “Band on the Run” and “Listen to What the Man Said.” He skipped most of his best-known solo songs from the ‘70s and ‘80s — like “Let ‘Em In” and “No More Lonely Nights” — and they would have been a welcome addition to the set, long as it was already.
It would be easy to expect a lackluster performance from McCartney, who is 72 and recently cancelled numerous shows because of a viral illness. The audience at Consol would never know it, though, from how good he sounded.
Before and during the concert, nostalgic images surrounded us, such as pictures of the younger McCartney with Beatles bandmates John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison. McCartney gave tribute to his comrades, acknowledging Starr's July 7th birthday with a snippet from the classic “Yellow Submarine.” McCartney strung a ukulele and remembered Harrison as he sang “Something” and he gave a beautiful tribute to Lennon with the wistful song “Here Today.” The stage rose and lifted McCartney up on a platform for that one, along with the Civil Rights-themed “Blackbird.”
The most explosive moment in the show came, literally, with “Live and Let Die,” which came with a surprising pyrotechnics show with flames shooting up from the front and back of the stage.
McCartney took time throughout the evening to engage with the audience and talk to us about his career memories and Pittsburgh. He clearly loves what he does, and so long as he is physically able, it's hard to imagine this artist ever retiring.
The audience included some older fans who saw the original Beatles perform at the Civic Arena in September of 1964, and have also seen McCartney by himself in concert many times. Many others seemed to be second- or third-generation fans who love McCartney and the Beatles as if they are of that generation. McCartney's concert gave many fans what will surely be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see him in concert, and to celebrate a royal period of pop culture history.
Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7824.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pop star Perry brings high-energy world tour to Consol
- New synthesizers make sounds musicians want
- Natrona Heights musician Podrasky hopes time is right for his ‘Plans’
- Reviews: Sean Jones’ latest is top-notch work