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I've only been a Beatles fan for eight or nine years. In the grand scheme of things that I've been a fan of, the Beatles are not nearly one of my most prolific loves. But they do have an important role in my life.

Without me really realizing it, Paul was clearly my favorite. John was a little too angsty for me, George was too quiet, and ringo reminded me of my little brother. This isn't just in personalities. I loved most of the primarily-by-Paul songs before I even knew who wrote them.

I've been to maybe a dozen concerts in my life, but most of them have been small community or radio-type concerts (I saw Taylor swift in a $5 concert series 2006 to coincide with her debut album, Josh Abbott's annual 4th of July show in Lubbock, that sort of thing.) the only other big show I've seen was Elton John in April 2010...Elton had an AWESOME show. Two and a half hours long, all amazing songs, it was great. I would say of living songwriters, Elton and Paul are my favorites. After seeing Elton, seeing Paul was an item on my bucket list: see Macca in concert before he dies.

At some point, I guess I signed up for Paul McCartney email alerts. This last September and October, I was working a temp job, and after every 20th page of data entry, I let myself check my email or browse the Internet for five minutes.

One day in the middle of September I got an email saying he was playing four dates in north America: St. Louis, Houston, Edmonton, and Vancouver. I said, "that would be so great!" but it was on a Wednesday so I didn't buy them.

With the prodding of [livejournal.com profile] k8_26_2, I decided to buy them. Cheap seats because McCartney needs to make up for divorcing heather mills, but I bought them and got excited.

I had mentioned it to Jack, who you may know as my not-so-secret unrequited love/best friend of ever. He mentioned in passing that he might be interested in going, but whenever I mentioned it again, he got all weird. (Note: Jack loves McCartney. He's more of a strictly-Beatles guy whereas I love Wings and solo stuff, but I figured he would like to go with me.) It was a Wednesday, and he works driving busses at his college, which is not far away from Houston. Houston is 10 hours away from our house, though, so it was going to be a long drive. And then he started complaining about how he was lucky to get thanksgiving off of work, so I didn't push it. (Things have been weird between us since he moved into his new house. I think one of the roommates kind of makes fun of him about our relationship--the phone calls have gotten shorter and more furtive and the texts are sporadic...when his new roommate is out of town, it's more normal to what we always have been.)

Anyway, Jack couldn't go, so I asked my best female friend/partner in crime, but her birthday was on Monday and she has stuff to do so she couldn't go. So I thought about just selling my tickets but THEY NEVER CAME BECAUSE OF SNOREASTERCANE SANDY. I had to pick them up at will call. Meaning I had to go. So I asked my mom. My mom works from home and basically sets her own hours, so it's pretty easy for her to get up and go wherever she wants. She agreed to come with me, and we left. Long ride, introduced her to John Mulaney's stand up, never heard her laugh so hard at stand-up.

Anyway, here's the set list with some of my comments:

Magical Mystery Tour
Juniors Farm
Jet (awesome Suffragette stuff on the screen behind him!)
Got to get you into my life 
Sing The Changes (The background on this was like lighted butterflies that morphed into Obama's head? I don't know, it was weird.)
The Night Before
Let me Roll it (wow SO GOOD holy shit anyone who says he doesn't have it is SO WRONG. This song was AMAAAAZING.)
After this, he told a story about Hendrix and Clapton and tuning guitars and it was adorable.
Paperback Writer
Long and winding road (This was the first time he was at the piano, and in his reflection in the piano, he looked 40 years younger. It was the first time I got super emotional. I didn't cry, but it was coming up.)
My valentine (He said he wrote this song for his wife, Nancy, and the drunk belligerent ladies next to me were screaming about the "one legged bitch." But more on them later.)
Maybe I'm Amazed (The screen was a video of wolfman Paul and his daughters is the first time I cried tonight--the photo from the reverse side of the McCartney album with him and his baby Mary in his coat and turns out Heather was standing right next to him. It was so gorgeous, and I just started crying at some point, I don't know when.)
I'm looking through you
And I love her 
Blackbird-He told a story about the Civil Rights movement encouraging him to write it, and all the acoustic loveliness was gorgeous.
Here today- This song was for John and he said it was about saying I love you before its too late GODDAMNIT Paul--makes me want to DO SOMETHING in my life with the people I love.
Mrs Vanderbilt- the Oh! eh oh! echoed SO COOL in the stadium.
Band on the Run was FUCKING AWESOME. The third part was just...so good. Ugh, so many crying.
Then had us do vocal warm ups and it was cute.
Then there was a great sing-along with Ob-la-di.
Day in the life went into Give Peace a Chance.--the security guards were dancing.
Let it be was gorgeous, again, more crying.
Live and Let Die was the whole reason the roof was open all night and everyone was freezing and confused as to why the roof was open except me: BECAUSE FIREWORKS. and then after Paul was all deaf and it was really smokey for Hey Jude.
Hey Jude--singalong, awesome as always.
Then the band left and Paul came out for the first Encore with a Texas flag, and just ran all over the stage.
Encore:
Lady Madonna--the first beatles song I actually ever loved, this one held a special place in my heart.
Day Tripper
Get Back--saw the Hofner Bass and knew he was going to play it, he grabbed it and I said to my mom, "it's going to be Get Back" and then he said "Anybody want to Get Back?!" and everyone started screaming
Second encore
Yesterday (After the first encore, someone threw a bunny on stage and he played the second encore with a stuffed bunny in his back pocket)
Helter Skelter was ROCKING and I called that too--because it's just an epic song and it had to play.
I had no idea what was coming up, but I knew it was going to be last.
And then it was the Abbey Road Medley. And I just fucking bawled my eyeballs out screaming and crying and singing along.

When we moved to Texas, I couldn't sleep. I couldn't sleep and I couldn't breathe when I was supposed to be sleeping. When I did manage to fall asleep, I had nightmares. The only way that I could bring myself to fall asleep was to listen to the end of the Abbey Road Medley (Golden Slumbers-Carry That Weight-The End) on repeat. I would cry and cry and cry but it would calm me down and I could sleep. It wasn't great sleep, but it allowed me to deal with the shittiness of my life.

Somewhere in that line-up, Eleanor Rigby and 1985 played, but I had no idea where they fit.

We had drunk belligerent ladies sitting next to me. They were terrible. Every 30 seconds they would scream about how they were so happy and how Paul looked good and he still had it.

It was just so good, you guys. Life-changing experience.

My mom was born in 1967 and so knew some songs (Wings especially) inherently, but really, only three or four of the 30-odd songs he played. The whole time I was there, I was thinking, fuck, i wish he was here with me. And then All the Songs Make Sense and that really didn't help with the emotion that I was feeling.

This is really disjointed, but I was also having an emotional day because my mom insisted on shopping (I hate shopping) and she made me try on pants because none of my pants fit (i've gone up two sizes from the last time I bought pants). And when I looked at them, they were HUGE. I looked at them and they were SO BIG and then they fit perfectly and I just...I couldn't contain myself. Like, I feel terrible about the way I look, but there is nothing that makes me want to try and lose weight. My eating habits haven't changed in the last four years or so, and neither has my exercise level. I have an idea as to why I've gained the weight (hormone imbalance) but really don't want to go to the doctor--I'm not working so I feel pretty damn useless and I hate people spending money on me or on myself when I am not doing anything productive with my time.

Date: 2012-11-16 03:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anmasp.livejournal.com
Wow, it sounds like he did a lot more Wings songs then when I saw him in 2002. Jealous! Especially Mrs. Vanderbilt, gah I'd love to hear that live! I remember he opened with Hello Goodbye and ended with the Abbey Road medley when I saw him too. Sounds like a great show! (aside from your last paragraph, *hugs*)

Date: 2012-11-16 03:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] throwingpens.livejournal.com
It was so great. Mrs. Vanderbilt, at the end, Rusty Anderson (the guitarist) was doing Russian dancing and it was SO CUTE because Mrs. V was the favorite song in Ukraine, apparently? Moreso than Back in the USSR even.

Date: 2012-11-16 04:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anmasp.livejournal.com
Oh, so Rusty is still his guitarist? That's cool, I remember seeing him. Good times!

Date: 2012-11-16 11:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] throwingpens.livejournal.com
Yup, same band he's been playing with for ten years now, he said! Crazy. They've been together almost as long as the beatles were.

Date: 2012-11-16 03:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ballroom_pink.livejournal.com
Well, I'm a George girl but I do so enjoy hearing that you are a Paul girl. I knew he was going to put on a show, it's what he does.
I do love "Jet" a lot.
Listening to the John Mulaney album/show is something I've done with my dad, but I don't know if he laughed as much as I did/do at it.

Date: 2012-11-16 03:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] throwingpens.livejournal.com
Oh my god when he played Something on the Uke he had a George story that made me cry--basically the photos in the background were really emotional and then he talked about George when he was sick. Ughhhh. He also played Dance Tonight and Abe the Drummer was dancing so hilariously.

Jet is one of my favorites. I've always loved it. I'm not quite sure on some of the lyrics, but IT'S SO GOOD. JET! I CAN ALMOST REMEMBER THE FUNNY FACES.

Mulaney just made my mom laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh. She loved it. She made me download his other album (I had the 2012 one but not the 2009 one) so we could listen to it while we were stuck in traffic in Dallas.

Date: 2012-11-16 04:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anmasp.livejournal.com
Yeah Paul's song lyrics...well you just gotta give him credit. The words he'll use as lyrics all sound good together but whether or not they make sense...well...

But he's Paul! The man who wrote Yesterday! He gets a pass.

Date: 2012-11-16 05:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whimsical-irony.livejournal.com
I don't understand any of this but yay music! Yay Amber! I hope your bff of ever figures things out with his roommate! I love you! I'm kind of hyped up tonight!

Date: 2012-11-16 11:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] throwingpens.livejournal.com
YAY! YAY FOR EVERYTHING!

Date: 2012-11-16 07:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] k8-26-2.livejournal.com
SO GLAD it was an amazing experience. Some of the set list is similar to what he played in 2010 but it sounds like he changed some stuff up, too. Aside from the drunk ladies, did it feel like there was a real sense of community? When I saw him it just felt like everyone who was there (which were people my mom's age down to my sons' ages ) was there because they really just wanted to be there and there was a lot of love in the stadium. (I don't know how to describe it and this will sound weird and hippy dippy but when I listen to Abbey Road I kind of feel their energy? And I felt like that was present at the concert.)

So sorry you are going through the emotional stuff right now. I'm glad you got to have the concert as a bright spot in the midst of all that. (And, I did not realize that we are not LJ friends so is it okay if I add you?)

Date: 2012-11-16 11:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] throwingpens.livejournal.com
Ugh I typed up a response to this while I was in the nail salon getting ready to have my werewolf-face removed but then I accidentally hit back and it went away.

There was such a sense of community in such a large stadium and it was so crazy but it was SO GOOD. My mom pointed out that the average age was probably 10-15 years older than her (putting them mid-late 50s/early 60s) but there were people older than them and even ten years younger than me and it wasn't out of place. We met an older couple at the bar that we went to before the game and the wife was like "how did you get into the Beatles?" like it was something really rare. I didn't really think it was, but who knows.

I'll definitely have to listen to Abbey Road (that or Revolver is my favorite I think) to see if I can feel any different energy--with The End for sure, it feels like SOMETHING is there...the way they play. That's definitely present on the anthology cuts that I don't really feel in most music that comes out nowadays.

It was definitely a bright spot in my life right now and I added you back also!

Date: 2012-11-16 11:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] k8-26-2.livejournal.com
Oh, the Anthology! That came out when I was 16 (and really coincided with when I got into the Beatles, even though my parents had listened to them all my life) and it was my jam for so long. There are still some Anthology versions of songs that I prefer over the ones that were eventually released. I will forever love it for giving me multiple versions of "Strawberry Fields Forever" (all-time favorite song).

Abbey Road and Revolver are my favorite albums, too.

Date: 2012-11-17 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] throwingpens.livejournal.com
I own the book, too, and it's huge and wonderful and just...really fascinating to look at and the alternate versions are just SO GOOD. I'm particularly partial to "Why Don't We Do it in the road"--I really like Paul's lower range which is awesome (this video breaks down his upper range, which is still awesome, though I much prefer the lower range: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZFGcUU9pY4)

I really don't know why I prefer Abbey Road and Revolver to Get Back and Rubber Soul, but I do. I really REALLY do. Good Day Sunshine was my "happy day" song for a long time. I can't pick one specific favorite though. That's too hard.

Date: 2012-11-17 12:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] k8-26-2.livejournal.com
"Why Don't We Do It in the Road" is my ringtone. Basically because of the weird looks I get for it.

Speaking of the Anthology book - which I also own - it has long been my goal to write a Beatles book for little kids. Did you know there aren't any Beatles picture books for little kids? There is one about John Lennon, and they have biographies for juvenile readers, but no picture books. I discovered this when I was looking for one to read to my kids.

Date: 2012-11-17 01:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] throwingpens.livejournal.com
But noone will be watching you, so why don't you do it in the road? I love that. I'm a live version of "Let Me Roll It" right now. I don't even like the album version, but the live versions are ALL SO GOOD.

I personally own about a dozen Beatles coffee table books, so the fact that there isn't a picture book for kids is astounding to me. Do it! All little kids should be introduced to them and that sounds like a good way to do it.

Date: 2012-11-16 08:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stillscape.livejournal.com
This sounds so fun. I am wary of old rock stars after seeing a truly terrible Beach Boys concert a while back (sans Brian Wilson), but it's not really fair to compare the Beach Boys to Paul, is it?

Date: 2012-11-16 09:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] throwingpens.livejournal.com
I think the beach boys in their heyday would be comparable. But the Beach Boys without Brian Wilson sounds like it would be terrible. Paul was phenomenal, especially on piano when I could look in his reflection in the piano and pretend he was 30. It was very clear to me he doesn't have all the time in the world left. Would highly recommend Paul to anyone on the fence.
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