Monday, August 18, 2014

Closing Candlestick Park

"Thank you, San Francisco, for being so cool now and for being cool back then."- Paul McCartney, 14 August, 2014
Imagine this;

It's late August, the twenty-ninth to be exact, 1966, at 9;27pm. You're surrounded and pressed against sweaty bodies of all ages as your ears ring with the shrill and cries of teenage girls, and boys, when four men take their first step onto freshly cut grass making their way across a beloved baseball field. You find yourself leaning over and narrowing your eyes to get a better look, watching the men gripping onto sunburst guitars, a Höfner bass, or a pair of drumsticks, climb onto the stage. Ear piercing screams and thunderous claps arise from the other 25,000 fans in the stands when one of the men gets his bearings and breaks out into the Chuck Berry classic, "Rock and Roll Music". Screams and cries from yourself and your surrounding neighbors muffle the soft croons and shouts of the band as they continue to play ten more songs, from "She's A Women", "If I Needed Someone", "Day Tripper", "Baby's In Black", "I Feel Fine", "Yesterday", "I Wanna Be Your Man", "Nowhere Man", "Paperback Writer", to a Little Richard cover "Long Tall Sally". Before the band exits the stage, the same member who started the show with "Rock and Roll Music", plays the opening bars to a favorite of his and the audiences, "In My Life".

If you can imagine this, you just imagined yourself in the stands of Candlestick Park for The Beatles last (tour) concert. This post however isn't to take you back to 1966 and go into depth about the Fab Four's performance at the park but to take you just four days in the past (14 August, 2014) when Sir James Paul McCartney returned to Candlestick. This time he wasn't closing his touring days as he did with The Beatles, but he did however honor the park in a night of rock and roll making it the last performance Candlestick Park will see before it closes.
The Beatles at Candlestick Park, 29 August, 1966

Paul McCartney has been on tour since 2013, in promotion for his album, New, which was released in October of that year, accompanied by his band (Brian Ray, Abe Laboriel JR, Rusty Anderson, and Paul Wickens or as other know him by Winx) as they rock stages across the globe on their "Out There" Tour.  While McCartney has been traveling the world, Candlestick affiliates have been making plans for demolition of Candlestick Park, home of the San Francisco Giants and 49ners. Who better to close the park than Sir Paul (who also closed Shea Stadium in 2008 with New York musician, Billy Joel)? 

Paul McCartney emerged onto a stage filled with television screens - which before Macca's appreance showed a photo collage of McCartney's life as well as the many amplifiers blaring Beatles-Wings- McCartney classics and covers- at around nine o'clock in the evening.  The seventy-two year old, paced the stage, his eyes fixed around the stadium  then trailed towards the 50,000 fans (recorded by ABC News Radio) surrounding him,
"It's good to drink it all in. We're saying goodbye to Candlestick."- Paul McCartney, USA Today Paul McCartney is Candlestick Park's Closing Act

To start the night off, Paul crooned a Beatles classic, "Eight Days A Week". The show last about two and  half hours filled with Beatles favorites, Wings hits, Solo wonders, along with tributes to the late, great Jimi Hendrix with a small portion of "Foxy Lady" at the end of "Let Me Roll It". Amongst other tributes were "Here Today", a song McCartney had written after the sudden passing of ex-band mate and close friend, John Lennon, and continuing on with the night to play a ukulele given to him by George Harrison, Paul sang "Something" in remembrance of his ex-band mate and 'Baby- brother' 
The following is the set-lit of that night (thanks to );

(L-R): Anderson, McCartney, Laboriel Jr, Ray)
  1. Eight Days A Week
  2. Save Us
  3. All My Loving
  4. Listen To What The Man Said
  5. Let Me Roll It
  6. Paperback Write
  7. My Valentine
  8. Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
  9. The Long and Winding Road
  10. Maybe I'm Amazed
  11. I've Just Seen A Face
  12. San Francisco Bay Blues (Jesse Fuller Cover)
  13. We Can Work It Out
  14. Another Day
  15. And I Love Her
  16. Blackbird
  17. Here Today
  18. New
  19. Queenie Eye
  20. Lady Madonna
  21. All Together Now
  22. Lovely Rita
  23. Everybody Out There
  24. Eleanor Rigby
  25. Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite
  26. Something
  27. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
  28. Band on The Run
  29. Back in the USSR
  30. Let It Be
  31. Live and Let Die
  32. Hey Jude
  1. Day Tripper
  2. Hi, Hi, Hi
  3. I Saw Her Standing There
Encore 2:
  1. Yesterday
  2. Long Tall Sally
  3. Golden Slumbers
  4. Carry That Weight
  5. The End

 No one could of said it better than McCartney himself at the beginning of the show,
"It's sad to see the old place close down. But we are going to close it down in style."
And in style, they did.  Farewell Candlestick Park.

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