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Oct 17, 2023 • From ABC News
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I said at the end of the last tour that I’d see you next time. I said I was going to get back to you. Well, I got back!Paul McCartney – From PaulMcCartney.com, February 18, 2022
Got Back was a North American concert tour by English musician Paul McCartney, that started on 28 April 2022 and ended on 16 June 2022. The tour was McCartney’s first following the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in the cancellation of a planned European leg of his Freshen Up tour in 2020, which included a planned performance at Glastonbury Festival. McCartney performed at Glastonbury on Saturday 25 June 2022, following the conclusion of the Got Back tour.
The setlist for Got Back, as with McCartney’s other concert tours as a solo artist, included songs by his former bands the Beatles and Wings, as well as songs from his solo career. In addition to McCartney, the tour band included Rusty Anderson on guitar, Brian Ray on guitar and bass, Paul “Wix” Wickens on keyboards, and Abe Laboriel Jr. on drums, along with the brass trio Hot City Horns. Originally planned for fourteen stops on the tour, a second date in both Oakland, California, and Boston were later added, for a total of sixteen concerts across the United States.
The Got Back tour was McCartney’s first series of live shows since 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of the final European leg of his previous tour in 2020, which included a planned performance at Glastonbury Festival as the final show. During the pandemic in 2020, McCartney recorded and released his 18th solo album, McCartney III. In 2021, the three-part documentary series The Beatles: Get Back, directed and produced by Peter Jackson, was released on Disney+. The series covers the making of the album Let It Be by McCartney’s former band the Beatles, utilizing footage and audio captured for a 1970 documentary film of the same name.
The dates for the Got Back tour were announced on 18 February 2022. The tour was originally planned to have fourteen stops. On 25 February 2022, it was announced that a second concert would be held at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, on 8 June, in addition to the already-announced concert on 7 June. On 11 March, it was then announced that the concert planned for 6 May at Oakland Arena in Oakland, California, would be followed by a second concert in the same venue on 8 May (Mother’s Day), bringing the total number of planned stops on the tour to sixteen.
Following the conclusion of the tour, McCartney headlined on Saturday night at the Glastonbury Festival on 25 June, in a 160-minute set, with special guests Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen.
The setlist for the Got Back tour consisted of over 30 songs, including songs by the Beatles and Wings, as well as songs from McCartney’s solo career. Each concert runs for around 2 hours and 40 minutes in length. The pre-show featured a scrolling video slide show of images of McCartney and the Beatles, culminating in an animated image of McCartney’s Höfner bass.
The sixth song on the setlist was Wings’ “Let Me Roll It“, which segued into a snippet of “Foxy Lady” as a tribute to Jimi Hendrix. The ninth song on the setlist was “My Valentine“, a song from McCartney’s solo career, which was accompanied by a video of Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp gesturing in sign language. The 16th song on the setlist, the Beatles’ “Blackbird“, featured McCartney singing while playing acoustic guitar, elevated about six metres (20 feet) in the air, in front of a large LED display. “Blackbird” was followed by another acoustic performance, “Here Today“, a song which McCartney wrote about his former Beatles bandmate John Lennon after Lennon’s murder in 1980. The 22nd song on the setlist, the George Harrison-penned “Something“, began with McCartney playing a ukulele which Harrison gave to him. The 28th song on the setlist, Wings’ “Live and Let Die“, involved the use of pyrotechnics, including flames and fireworks.
The Spokesman-Review and The Dallas Morning News noted the absence of the Beatles song “Back in the U.S.S.R.“, a usual staple of McCartney’s live concerts, from the setlist, in light of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Immediately preceding the encore at each stop on the tour, McCartney and his fellow band members left the stage and each returned with a flag: the flag of Ukraine, the flag of the United Kingdom, the flag of the United States, and an LGBT pride flag, as well as the state flag of whichever state the concert took place in (for example, the flag of Texas at the show in Fort Worth, Texas, and the flag of Florida at the show in Hollywood, Florida).
The encore of the show was composed of the Beatles songs “I’ve Got a Feeling“, “Birthday“, “Helter Skelter“, and “Golden Slumbers“/”Carry That Weight“/”The End“. “I’ve Got a Feeling” was originally written and sung by McCartney and John Lennon and included on the Let It Be album. The performances of this song during the tour included a “video duet” between McCartney and Lennon, using footage restored for the Get Back documentary of Lennon performing the song with the Beatles during their 1969 rooftop concert. Jackson had isolated the vocals of Lennon after conceiving the idea of having Lennon “sing” along with McCartney and his live band; he told McCartney, “We can extract John’s voice, and he can sing with you,” to which McCartney replied, “Oh, yeah!”
On the final stop of the tour, on 16 June at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, McCartney was joined on stage during the concert by New Jersey-born musicians Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi. Springsteen, with McCartney and McCartney’s band, performed the Springsteen song “Glory Days“, as well as the Beatles’ “I Wanna Be Your Man“. During the show’s encore, Bon Jovi appeared on stage with balloons and sang “Happy Birthday” to McCartney, who turned 80 years old on 18 June. Springsteen returned during the final song, “The End”, playing guitar.
Reviewing the 13 May concert held at Inglewood, California’s SoFi Stadium, Chris Willman of Variety commended McCartney’s singing voice and made note of the show’s structure: “a rocking opening stretch highly reliant on ’70s rockers […] a partially acoustic, ‘Storytellers’-like magical history tour of the Beatles’ rise as the backbone of Act 2, […] and then, letting the third hour be birthday songs, na-na-na-na-na-na-na-ing and Abbey Road medley-izing. That structure indisputably works, and so, as part of a winning formula, does a band that has now been together for many more years than the Beatles ever were”.
The Charlotte Observer‘s Théoden Janes, reviewing the 21 May concert at Truist Field at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, praised the show, calling the setlist “thoughtfully curated” and writing that “the entire night was one big nonstop highlight”. However, they suggested that the production “skip the music video that plays during ‘My Valentine,'” stating, “We want to think about someone we love during that song. Not about Depp and Amber Heard”; they also criticized the heavy traffic around the stadium and the management of it by stadium officials and local police.
Grant Albert of the Miami New Times, in a review of the 25 May concert held at Hollywood, Florida’s Hard Rock Live, wrote that McCartney “can’t hit the high notes like he used to. Still, his 60-plus year discography, showmanship, and influence didn’t stop the nearly 7,000 attendees from enjoying the rock polymath perform”; he added, “McCartney injected loads of humor, visuals, lasers, and a genuine intention to put on a good show”.
Reviewing the 7 June concert at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, Marc Hirsch of the Boston Herald noted “some small noticeable vulnerabilities from age” in McCartney’s singing voice, “But it otherwise maintained its essential McCartneyness”. Hirsh also wrote, “Eleven days shy of turning 80, he was spry and up for the endurance challenge of playing upward of 30 songs over the course of two hours and 40 minutes at the first of two sold-out shows.” […]
McCartney also wants to go back on the road, a life that he finds invigorating. “I’ve been doing this for a long time,” he said. “So another me takes over: Professional Performing Paul—the triple ‘P’!” If the question is “Why do you keep at it?,” the answer is plain: “I plan to continue living. That’s the central idea.”From Paul McCartney Doesn’t Really Want to Stop the Show | The New Yorker, October 11, 2021
When you come back after three years you get a bit more nervous than you normally would, because you’re just thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, have I forgotten how it goes?’ It takes a little while until you start to think, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve got this!’ and then your nerves go away.Paul McCartney – From paulmccartney.com, May 31, 2022
From PaulMcCartney.com, February 18, 2022:
PAUL ANNOUNCES GOT BACK NORTH AMERICAN TOUR 2022
FIRST LIVE SHOWS SINCE 2019
[…] Following more than a year of speculation, Paul McCartney today announces the GOT BACK Tour, a 13-city return to U.S. stages, kicking off April 28 with Paul’s first ever show in Spokane WA and running through to June 16 in East Rutherford NJ, where Paul will play MetLife Stadium for the first time since 2016.
GOT BACK will see Paul’s live debuts in Hollywood FL, Knoxville TN and Winston-Salem NC, his first Fort Worth TX and Baltimore MD shows since 1976 with Wings and 1964 with The Beatles, respectively, and his first Oakland CA date in 20 years. The tour will also include stops in cities where Paul has put in more recent yet no less unforgettable performances, including Boston MA, Los Angeles CA, Orlando FL, Seattle WA, and Syracuse NY.
GOT BACK marks Paul’s first series of live shows since his FRESHEN UP Tour wrapped in July 2019–its 39-date 12-country odyssey concluding with a triumphant sold-out show at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles—a performance that instantly attained legendary status, generating rave reviews and Best of 2019 notices including:
“… Wow. After several decades now of writing about music and facing the perpetual challenge of translating what is beyond words into understandable language, that’s the best I can muster. Here in the heady aftermath of Paul McCartney’s final show of his Freshen Up tour at Dodger Stadium along with 50,000 of my fellow Angelenos on July 13, 2019 — Wow.”—AMERICAN SONGWRITER
“The perfect display of the philosophy McCartney has embodied over his 60-year career in music… the perfect bow to tie up the perfect show, with the final lyric of the night an ever-appropriate one: ‘And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.’”—BILLBOARD
“Macca continues to put artists half his age and younger to shame with epic shows featuring his crackerjack band and a jukebox of hits”—ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY Best Live Music Performances of 2019
“The best thing about a McCartney show is how many generations of people leave with the broadest smile upon their face. Whether it’s the first time they’ve seen him or the tenth, he never, ever, disappoints.”—FLAUNT
“McCartney was in top form, his voice effortlessly climbing to the heights it always hit so easily back in the day…” —THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
“The total and complete immersion into MaccaLand was colorful and loud, rocking and rolling, nostalgic and present, and, above all, in the truest sense, marvelous… And, in the end, the love McCartney has taken for 60 years was equal to the love he’s made for generations.”—RELIX
“Definitely We’re Amazed by Paul McCartney’s Blowout Dodger Stadium Show… McCartney remains a show-stopping entertainer of the highest order.”—VARIETY
With songs like ‘Hey Jude’, ‘Live and Let Die’, ‘Band on the Run’, ‘Let It Be’ and so many more, the Paul McCartney live experience is everything any music lover could ever want from a rock show: Hours of the greatest moments from the last 60 years of music — dozens of songs from Paul’s solo, Wings and of course Beatles catalogues that have formed the soundtracks of our lives. Paul and his band have performed in an unparalleled range of venues and locations throughout the Americas, the UK, Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and all points between: outside the Coliseum in Rome, Moscow’s Red Square, Buckingham Palace, The White House, a free show in Mexico for over 400,000 people, the last ever show at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park where The Beatles played their final concert in 1966, a 2016 week in the California desert that included two headline sets at the historic Desert Trip festival and a jam-packed club gig for a few hundred lucky fans at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, and even one performance broadcast live into Space! Featuring Paul’s longtime band – Paul “Wix” Wickens (keyboards), Brian Ray (bass/guitar), Rusty Anderson (guitar) and Abe Laboriel Jr (drums) – and constantly upgraded state of the art audio and video technology that ensures an unforgettable experience from every seat in the house, a Paul McCartney concert is never anything short of life-changing.
The highlight of this new tour is a virtual duet Paul McCartney has with his old mate John Lennon, singing “I’ve Got A Feeling“, using footage from the rooftop concert.
How does it feel to know that as recently as a few days ago, Paul McCartney was using footage from the documentary on his Got Back tour?
Jabez Olssen: We helped them with that and we put that together for him. That’s fantastic. We’ve been watching some clips on YouTube and it’s just amazing to see Paul being able to sing “I’ve Got A Feeling” with John Lennon. That was possible because of the machine learning and artificial intelligence software that had been developed down here by the team to clean up the audio. We had a lot of audio that was otherwise going to be unusable because there was no clarity to the dialogue. You couldn’t hear what was being said because of all the guitars playing over the top of it or tuning or background noise. This new software has been developed — this artificial intelligence software — that’s able to recognize the different Beatles voices and instruments and separate them out into their own standalone tracks, and thus we could get a lot more usable audio for the documentary. The same software is now being used for Paul’s concert to remove all the other Beatles off the audio so it’s only John Lennon live singing, and then that can be played on the screen behind Paul as he sings his part live. That’s just a thrill to see that it’s all come together and it’s working.From The Beatles: Get Back Editor Jabez Olssen on Cutting the Band’s Improvised Gems, Syncing Old Audio, and Working With Peter Jackson – Below the Line (btlnews.com)
Last updated on October 18, 2023
34 concerts • 5 countries
Dec 16, 2023
Dec 13, 2023
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