Saturday, July 13, 2013

When I'm 64 or how about even When I'm 47

I  have a goal.  It's not impossible, but it will require work on my part.

I dream of being as spry and fired alive as Paul McCartney is at 71.  The man sang and played and conversed with the audience of 40 thousand plus for almost three hours without a real break, not more than 3-5 minutes off stage tops during the course of the whole show.  He sang, he shared, he made jokes, he told stories and played the heart out of a piano and at least 7 guitars plus a George Harrison's ukulele. He seemed to grow younger and lighter as the evening wore on, singing favorites like Hey Jude and Let it Be and Ob-la-di, Ob-la-dah, and rocking out Band on the Run and a fiery Live and Let Die.  

Honestly, I always liked Paul, but this topped my expectations of a concert experience when I'm in a upper section of a baseball park.  I've had closer encounters with performers that felt less emotionally connected and intimate.  Half way through, it struck me, this is a master playing.  This man has been performing and making music for 50 years, and his experience, his pacing, his show revealed the difference between having a hit and rocking on the energy of the crowd and knowing how to bring the audience along with you.  

Marc bought us the tickets after he played "Birthday." for my 47th on the i-pad.   I have fond memories of that song from my brother blasting it on my 24th, the year I got married, to wake me up.  

The concert was a homage to friends and ghosts, performers and friends, celebrities and family that he still wanted to hold onto, and to remind us to remember.  The family photos and footage of his earlier years were especially poignant.   This was Paul's show. 

What I didn't expect, was for his songs to trigger a memory journey for me.  "Let it Be" was the song played on the organ at the end of my Uncle Tommy's funeral.  I could immediately smell the nicotine that always accompanied my dad's oldest brother.   Ob-la-di, Ob-la-dah had multiple connections, from the show "Life Goes On," to my son Paul, to a cassette of songs my then boyfriend made for me when I went to Europe, and sitting in my parents living room with my brothers and a wooden guitar, a toy piano and a drum set made of an oatmeal carton and pots pretending to be three of the four Beatles.   Then there was Hey Jude, and that brought memories of my parents and their friends singing along in that same living room and us playing the record Jesus Christ Superstar to death one summer. 

My one complaint was occasionally the art was a bit too trippy, like when Paul did the silly "All together Now" sing-a-long.  The little figurines on the screen looked like Veggie tales on acid.  Who knows? They might have been.

Sir Paul could have called it quits after two hours, he'd played beautifully, he'd done a ton of favorites and had a show stopping finale.  However this is Paul, formerly of the Beatles.  He came out for two encores.  Regrettably, we had to leave during the second one, as our garage closed at 12 and it was 11:45.  To get home, we split up, Marc taking a cab and me the metro. He won, but I arrived at 12:06.  If Marc had not made it, the evening would have been dramatic, as the metro stops also at 12, meaning once I got off, I was stuck until morning. 

But it all worked out, and today, Paul is preparing to pack up and go onto his next stop in Indianapolis.  One last bit from the concert.  Someone in the expensive floor seats had a sign, "THIS IS THE BEST PRESENT I EVER GAVE MYSELF" and I have to say, it was a pretty awesome present simply  to receive as well. 

Thanks Marc.

Love, Sherry

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