More from year 2022
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First live rendition
This was the first night of the 2022 “Got Back” tour. The only new song brought to the setlist was “Women And Wives” from the 2021 album “McCartney III“. But the highlight of the night was surely seeing Paul McCartney “duetting” with John Lennon, using John’s isolated vocals from the 1969 rooftop concert (Paul explained that Peter Jackson, the director of “The Beatles – Get Back“, had texted him, “We can extract John’s voice, and he can sing with you. I said, ‘Oh, yeah!’”).
It’s worth noticing that “Back In The U.S.S.R.” was not played, even if it was played on all tours since 1989! It was an obvious reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Paul waived a Ukrainian flag towards the end of the concert.
Well, we said we’d come back, and we got back. And believe me. We’re really happy to be back. I’m gonna take a moment for myself to drink it all in.Paul McCartney
From The Spokesman-Review, February 23, 2022:
[…] During the week before Christmas, Spokane showcased for the chance to host a performance in McCartney’s upcoming Got Back tour. When Matt Meyer, Spokane Facilities District director of entertainment, learned in mid-December that Spokane was a possible destination for a McCartney concert, the red carpet was rolled out for the legendary Beatles’ production manager Mark “Springo” Spring. McCartney’s righthand man trekked to town and stayed in the Presidential Suite at the Davenport and was wined and dined at Mizuna. When Springo wasn’t feted, he scrutinized the city.
“Springo asked how Spokane was doing financially and how we were doing with COVID,” Meyer said. “Then he decided to see how things were going, and he walked up Riverside and, well, everywhere downtown. He was blown away by how many people were walking downtown even with COVID numbers going up at the time. He was impressed by how many businesses were still open. He said out of all of the cities he visited, Spokane had the least amount of closed businesses. He loved that you could walk from (Riverfront) the park to the Arena. He said that Paul loves parks.”
He was particularly impressed with the Davenport.
“He’s a super down-to-earth guy who, when he saw where he was staying, said, ‘It’s too fancy for me here. Why did you put me in such a room? Did you think I was going to throw a high school party?’ I said ‘I’m going to show you where Paul will be sleeping.’ He said, ‘If we do come to Spokane and this is the room where Paul will be, will you please tune the piano for Paul because it’s out of tune?’ ”
The following day, the Tuesday before Christmas, Springo walked from the Davenport to the Spokane Arena where Meyer and 20 employees ranging from marketing to box office personnel met with the eyes and ears of McCartney.
“We discussed the production and talked about other details, and I asked where we stood, and Springo said he was down to three cities for the tour and the potential to open the tour, and he was not impressed with the other two cities. Springo said, ‘I think we found the place where we need to start the tour. You won me over.’ ”
There was little contact with the McCartney camp until late January. “I heard from them, and they said, ‘We need this and that,’ and it looked like it was going to happen.”
The McCartney April 28 date at the Spokane Arena was confirmed in early February. “I was like, ‘I’m not going to believe that Paul McCartney is coming to the Spokane Arena until I announce it,’ ” Meyer said.
Well, Meyer did just that Friday, and he’s still buzzing. “We’re so humbled and honored to have Paul McCartney play in our building,” Meyer said. “This is going to be a ride no one on our staff will ever forget. I’m 38, and I can say that I booked a Beatle at our venue. You and I have talked about who might be booked here in the future, but I never thought this could happen. This isn’t just incredibly cool for us, it’s very cool for the entire city of Spokane. It’s just so huge for everyone, and I couldn’t be more excited.”
From The Spokesman-Review, April 28, 2022:
[…] “This is the first night of the tour, and I think we’re going to have a really good time,” McCartney said.
Indeed! While playing his Beatles bass, McCartney launched into “Got to Get You Into My Life.” McCartney abandoned the bass in favor of the guitar for “Let Me Roll It,” which featured a snippet of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady.” McCartney followed by delivering an anecdote about Hendrix covering the title track from “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and the late guitar hero asking Eric Clapton to tune his guitar during a show in a London club in 1967. The first big surprise followed with McCartney rendering the Beatles classic “Getting Better,” which hasn’t been played since November 2005.
McCartney dusted off “Love Me Do,” which, of course, turned into a singalong with the crowd. “That really takes me back,” he said. McCartney reminisced about the early days of Beatlemania and even implored, “C’mon, girls, give me a Beatles scream.” And they did.
McCartney also dialed it back with “Blackbird” atop a raise video stage. Amid the Black Lives Matter movement, “Blackbird” is more poignant than ever. McCartney pulled heart strings as he followed by strumming “If You Were Here Today,” which he penned after his childhood friend and songwriting partner, John Lennon, died. “How many people tried to learn ‘Blackbird’ and you all got it wrong,” McCartney cracked. “How do kids know it?”
“Back in the USSR,” a live staple, was cut, which was not surprising. For the encore, McCartney emerged waving the Ukrainian flag and then launched into the Beatles classic “Birthday.” It was a gesture befitting so much of McCartney’s career – celebratory, reflective, political and revolutionary.
It was an evening of endless highlights. There was the rhythmic “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five,” the lovely “Maybe I’m Amazed,” a love song he wrote for Linda McCartney and a favorite on the wish list for many, including Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward.
He also played the urgent “Band on the Run” and a high-octane version of “Get Back” bolstered by Peter Jackson’s amazing clips from his extraordinary film of the same name. It was a special moment regarding the relationship McCartney had with Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Jackson’s “Get Back” footage enabled a Lennon-McCartney duet to happen. And then there were incendiary versions of “Birthday” and “Helter Skelter.”
“Wow, is all I can say,” McCartney said. “You’ve been a fantastic audience for our opening night.”
From paulmccartney.com, May 23, 2022:
All eyes and ears were tuned on Spokane for the lead up to the tour opener. The charming city in eastern Washington – aka the Lilac City or Hooptown USA, known for Gonzaga Athletics to the largest urban waterfalls, among many other attractions and landmarks – would soon be forever known as the place where Paul McCartney GOT BACK.
The anticipation was palpable, radiating from the Spokane Arena throughout streets adorned with “Welcome Paul” banners, from the local media frenzy — which ranged from heartwarming features on fans and families counting down the days to local TV covering the massive crowd lining up early day of show — some even catching a quick wave and smile from Paul along with the elated scrum swarming the arena’s back entrance to catch his arrival.
And just like that, just past 8:00pm local time, Spokane was transformed into the center of the universe to the thousands bearing witness to Paul stepping onto their local arena’s stage for the first time, as he raised a fist in triumph before leading the band into the indelible instant singalong of ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’. The barely more than two minutes of the opening number flashed by like so many seconds — disbelief that what’s happening before one’s own eyes and ears will do that — followed in quick succession by a rollicking ‘Junior’s Farm’. A warm hello to the Spokane crowd led into ‘Letting Go’, a muscular take on the Wings classic that saw the Hot City Horns rejoining Paul, Wix, Abe, Rusty and Brian on stage for the first time since that aforementioned 2019 Freshen Up finale. ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ takes things higher still, while ‘Come On To Me’ mines a particularly heavy groove, winding down with Paul doffing his smart blue jacket to the delighted screams of Spokane’s female population, for the customary only wardrobe change of the evening.
As Paul peeled off the riff to ‘Let Me Roll It’, sounding as fresh as the first time anyone in tonight’s crowd ever heard it, the GOT BACK tour opener continued to unfold in a literal blur of highlights—including some surprises and firsts…
‘Getting Better’ returned to the setlist for the first time in nearly 20 years, the capacity crowd singalong of “It’s getting better all the time” imbued with additional significance in the context of tonight’s spiritual reunion.
‘Women and Wives’ would become the first track from McCartney III to make the transformation into a soulful live rendering.
A mind-blowing arrangement from the Abbey Road medley jumping straightaway into ‘You Never Give Me Your Money’ at the lyrical juncture “Out of college, money spent…” and building to a climactic ‘She Came In Through The Bathroom Window’.
The journey described by local paper of record the Spokesman-Review as “an evening of endless highlights” continued with a rapturously received parade of old, new and in-between selections from the Macca songbook— every note suffused with heightened emotion via the sheer miracle of sharing this experience with thousands of fellow humans, all reunited in song. ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ simply soared. ‘Love Me Do’ elicited a formidable vintage Beatles scream. ‘Blackbird’ took on a new dimension in the Black Lives Matter era. ‘Get Back’ made a triumphant return to the main set, joyfully enhanced with footage of Fab Four studio shenanigans assembled by Peter Jackson from his docuseries of the same name.
Speaking of Peter Jackson, the Get Back auteur helped deliver possibly the most magical moment of an already wholly unforgettable evening. Having just bounded back onto the stage waving a Ukrainian flag and with a promise of something special coming right up, Paul kicked off the encore by picking out the iridescent opening phrase of ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’. “Something a bit special” was quickly rendered the understatement of the year, as John Lennon’s voice rang out in crystal clarity — isolated from the actual recordings of The Beatles’ 1969 final live performance on the Apple rooftop, enabling Paul and the band to sing and play joined by John. What transpired has since been described as everything from a virtual duet to a technological miracle, and it left nary a dry eye — or mask — in the house.
With echoes of the closing refrain of ‘The End’ still reverberating, Paul noted that we had all quite literally GOT BACK. This simple truth was answered with a particular roar from the crowd, as if everyone in attendance were having the collective realization of what they’d experienced together: For now and always, they were there the night Paul GOT BACK to bringing his music to life again.
And on that note, westward we go to…Steve Martin – Paul McCartney’s US publicist Steve Martin
We said we’d come back, and we ‘Got Back’… here we are! And believe me we really happy to be back! Well it’s quite amazing being back because it’s been so long with COVID that I think all of us were probably more nervous than usual! I was just really excited to be back with our team, the whole family and then finally with an audience. The audience were incredible as usual they’re the reason you do it! So it felt great and we had a really good time.Paul McCartney – From YouTube
Last updated on October 28, 2023
This was the 1st and only concert played at Spokane Arena.
Setlist for the soundcheck
Setlist for the concert