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The first show of the US leg of the Freshen Up tour. From NOLA.com, May 24, 2019:
If I reach the age of 76, I hope I still have the stamina to attend a three-hour rock concert, never mind performing a demanding three-hour show like Paul McCartney did at the Smoothie King Center on Thursday night (May 23). McCartney is a superstar’s superstar. He would be one of the great singer-songwriters of the last half century, even if he had not been half of one of the greatest songwriting duos in the history of popular music. […]
What does an almost unparalleled rock legend look like in the midst of his eighth decade? In a word, he looks swell. McCartney’s shaggy hair has gone gray, but the old dog still has those beseeching puppy eyes.
He wore an understated blue jacket that he nonchalantly peeled off after a few songs, eliciting shouts of appreciation from those in the crowd who remember him as the most cuddly of the Fab Four. Under the jacket lay a conservative long-sleeved shirt of the palest pink hue, tucked into black jeans. McCartney is the rare septuagenarian musical genius who can still pull off pink button-down shirts and black jeans.
On his feet were a type of ankle-cut, moderately high-heeled footwear similar to a style that was once internationally known as, well, Beatle boots. […]
From Paul McCartney.com, June 21, 2019:
For Paul’s first show in the Big Easy since 2014, the ‘Freshen Up’ tour family was expanded quite literally: Mary McCartney somehow found time to take over Paul’s Instagram at the same time that her Mary McCartney: From the Print Drawer exhibition was opening at A Gallery For Fine Photography in New Orleans’ French Quarter (someone figure out a way to add that rare intimate shot of Paul and the band’s pre-show huddle to From the Print Drawer… stat!).
Speaking of Paul’s extended musical family, the Wings wing of that family held a special reunion in New Orleans: Journeyman sax player Thaddeus Richard, dropped by to say hello to the man he played alongside on the likes of Wings at the Speed of Sound and Wings Over America.
Then it was time for the ‘Freshen Up’ tour to kick off its first U.S. show of 2019… and what a kick-off it was: For the customary near three-hour set, the Smoothie King Center was ringing with 30+ classics from Paul’s solo works to the catalogs of Wings and of course The Beatles—plus a handful of new ones from Egypt Station which held their own sturdily alongside dozens of selections from the most beloved body of musical work in history.
Wix Wickens, Abe Laboriel jr., Rusty Anderson and Brian Ray were on hand as they have been for more than a decade—meshing seamlessly with the newest additions to the McCartney live experience: The Hot City Horns a/k/a Mike Davis, Paul Burton and Kenji Fenton, who made their entrance from the first tier of seats off the floor during ‘Letting Go,’ and added heat to numbers ranging from the brand new ‘Come On To Me’ to ‘Let Em In,’ ‘Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da,’ and, adding even more emotional heft to its climactic singalong (if that can be imagined), ‘Hey Jude.’
Paul’s history with New Orleans is a rich one—one that includes The Beatles’ 1964 appearance at Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park, recording sessions for Wings’ 1975 opus Venus and Mars, solo headlines at the Superdome in 1993, the New Orleans Arena in 2002, and his previous show at the Smoothie King in 2014. On this night, Paul’s second show at the Smoothie King Center surpassed the venue’s box office record, a fitting postscript to a magical evening, with many thanks going out to the people of New Orleans and to the Louisiana Economic Development’s Office of Entertainment Industry Development.
And the show didn’t stop with Paul’s exit from the stage: The after-show festivities kicked in on the Smoothie King loading dock, with the Hot City Horns playing Paul onto his tour bus with—what else—’When The Saints Go Marching In’—only to have their tribute turned right back at them when Paul grabbed the trumpet and joined right in!
… which, more or less, made the actual after-party the after-after-party! In addition to the usual spread of vegetarian goodies and top shelf libations, Paul surprised crew birthday boys LeRoy Bennett and Wally Lees with a massive chocolate cake that served as proof positive that a vegetarian diet can still be a decadent one.From Steve Martin, Paul’s US Publicist
Last updated on December 29, 2019
Smoothie King Arena
This was the 1st and only concert played at Smoothie King Arena.
Setlist for the concert