Recap: Sir Paul McCartney Brings Euphoric “Got Back” Tour to SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles (PHOTOS)


Ken SharpCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

An instant sellout, this past Friday, May 13 at SoFi Stadium brought the “Got Back” stadium tour from Sir Paul McCartney to town, an enthusiastic crowd of first, second and third generation fans in worshipful glee at the altar of their celebrated musical idol. 

Adrian Bourgeois, 34, a resident of downtown L.A., enthused,” “Tonight I’m at my 10th Paul McCartney concert — 11th if you count the time I couldn’t get a ticket to Dodger Stadium and instead listened to the entire show in my car in the stadium parking lot. And I’ve brought along my sister Corey for her first! You’d think after so many times, the thrill would have died down even a little … but ‘oh that magic feeling … climb on the back and we’ll go for a ride in the sky.’ Suffice to say, like a kid on Christmas Eve, I could barely get to sleep last night!”

Opening with an electrifying rendition of The Beatles’ 1964 chart topper, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” McCartney, playing his trademark Hofner bass, rode on waves of Beatlemania-like hysteria emanating from the SRO crowd. A double shot of ‘70s era Wings magic follows with “Junior’s Farm” and “Letting Go,” before dipping back into Beatles’ 1966 Revolver album with “Got To Get You Into My Life.”

Paul McCartney & Band, SoFi Stadium May 13, 2022 (Photo: Jill Jarrett Photography)

Paul McCartney & Band, SoFi Stadium May 13, 2022 (Photo: Jill Jarrett Photography)

The addition of a three-piece brass section, the “Hot City Horns,” for those prior two songs was a splendid touch, and their appearance on other songs in the set elevated the material. Given it’s only a few shows into the tour (and a few years between touring in general, due to the pandemic), one would expect some musical rust for this outfit — yet “Macca” and his band have clearly knocked off the cobwebs, delivering the songs with laser-like precision and power.

Winding his way through the Beatles and Wings songbooks with a generous selection of more recent material, (“Come on to Me,” “New,” “My Valentine,“ “Dance Tonight,” “Fuh You”),  the show’s well-thought-out visuals employing cutting-edge technology used for the stage giant screens — a combination of colorful lasers, photographs and video and textural backdrops — was particularly impressive, helping to enhance the connection and communion of deep love between an artist and his audience.

“Mad love,” more like it, a wellspring of positivity witnessed by the legions of miles-wide smiles plastered on the faces of the crowd.

Paul McCartney, SoFi Stadium, May 13, 2022 ( © MPL Communications Ltd/ Photographer: MJ Kim)

Paul McCartney, SoFi Stadium, May 13, 2022 ( © MPL Communications Ltd/ Photographer: MJ Kim)

Backed by the same talented band he’s had for two decades — guitarist Rusty Anderson, keyboardist Wix, multi-instrumentalist Brian Ray and Abe Laboriel Jr. on drums, in concert, Macca and his colleagues offered a smorgasbord of musical riches, navigating through all phases of Paul’s timeless career. At nearly age 80, Paul McCartney is a marvel, a musical wunderkind. Brandishing his bass, playing electric guitar, lead guitar, acoustic guitar, ukulele or jumping to piano, his musical abilities remain peerless.

Early on, Macca subbed bass for electric guitar for a string of numbers including “Getting Better,” “Let Me Roll It,” its outro showcasing a short jam on Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady.” After the song, McCartney showered the late guitarist with praise, calling him “a very humble and a fantastic guitar player that took London by storm,” sharing stories of Hendrix playing a live version of “Sgt. Pepper” a few days after the album’s official release.

McCartney’s extraordinary musical catalog shined throughout the three-hour marathon performance, demonstrating his virtuosic musicality and almost supernatural talent as one of the most important and groundbreaking songwriters of the past 100 years.

Paul McCartney, SoFi Stadium, May 13, 2022 (Paul McCartney, SoFi Stadium, May 13, 2022 ( © MPL Communications Ltd/ Photographer: MJ Kim)

Paul McCartney, SoFi Stadium, May 13, 2022 (Paul McCartney, SoFi Stadium, May 13, 2022 ( © MPL Communications Ltd/ Photographer: MJ Kim)

Throughout the three-hour show, it’s clear that McCartney, who more than any of his fellow Beatles reveled in the thrill of live performance, is in his sweet spot on center stage. And it’s that sense of joy and wonderment in a live setting that makes a McCartney concert such a deeply rewarding experience for all who witness it.

An acoustic interlude was a nice change of pace essaying the Beatles’ first U.K. hit, “Love Me Do,” “In Spite of All The Danger,” (an early pre-Beatles collaboration with George Harrison flavored with echoes of Elvis’s 50s chestnut “Trying To Get To You”), “We Can Work It Out”, “Blackbird” and “Dance Tonight,” from 2007’s Memory Almost Full album. 

Heartfelt tributes to his fallen Beatles comrades resonated with pure emotion; “Here Today” culled from Paul’s George Martin-produced Tug of War album is Paul’s musical letter in song about partner John Lennon and a delicate ukulele reading of George Harrison’s “Something” (featuring an array of striking photographs, including Beatles-era images of Paul and George) of were among the highlights of a night filled with them.

Paul McCartney, SoFi Stadium, May 13, 2022 (Photo: Jill Jarrett Photography)

Paul McCartney, SoFi Stadium, May 13, 2022 (Photo: Jill Jarrett Photography)

And while the beloved ”Yesterday” and “The Long and Winding Road” did not make an appearance in the show, the last few songs of the main set truly revved the crowd into full blown hysteria: Get Back” (sporting a compendium of January 1969 footage of The Beatles in the studio and atop the Apple Records assembled by Get Back filmmaker Peter Jackson), the Wings classic “Band On The Run” and an elegiac reading of “Let It Be,” with the massive stadium holding up their cell phone and lighting up the venue — Macca commenting that “the place lights up like a galaxy of stars.”

In terms of sheer stadium rock spectacle, “Live and Let Die” came next and was typically epic, its light and shade dynamics exploding with a fusillade of fireworks, explosions and flames that would make KISS green with envy. From there, the main set wound up with “Hey Jude,” its infectious na-na-na coda riding on the voices of thousands joyfully singing along with the Liverpudlian music master.

Paul McCartney, SoFi Stadium, May 13, 2022 (Photo: Jill Jarrett Photography)

Paul McCartney, SoFi Stadium, May 13, 2022 (Photo: Jill Jarrett Photography)

Returning to the stage for the encore, Paul waving a large Ukrainian flag in solidarity, other band members wielding other flags including the State Of California, Paul and band kicked into overdrive with “I’ve Got A Feeling.” The deft use of the Peter Jackson’s refurbished “Let It Be“ rooftop isolated footage of John Lennon singing a duet with Paul was a beautiful moment seared with deep emotion, tears and joy emanating from the crowd.

The White Album perennial “Birthday” and a mind-peeling “Helter Skelter,” which clearly signaled the early origins of grunge music decades before that movement broke out in the late 1980s and early ’90s, turned up in the encore before McCartney capped the night with a spectacular rendering of the Abbey Road suite medley, “Golden Slumbers,” “Carry That Weight” and “The End,” (Paul trading off scorching lead guitar lines with Anderson and Ray).

Paul McCartney, SoFi Stadium, May 13, 2022 (Photo: Jill Jarrett Photography)

Paul McCartney, SoFi Stadium, May 13, 2022 (Photo: Jill Jarrett Photography)

It served as the perfect finale, McCartney’s poignant lines, “and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make” ringing in the ears of concertgoers.

Paul McCartney set list — SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA May 13, 2022

Can’t Buy Me Love
Junior’s Farm
Letting Go
Got to Get You Into My Life
Come On to Me
Let Me Roll It
Getting Better
Let ‘Em In
My Valentine
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
Maybe I’m Amazed
We Can Work It Out
In Spite of All the Danger
Love Me Do
Dance Tonight
Blackbird
Here Today
New
Lady Madonna
Fuh You
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
Something
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
You Never Give Me Your Money
She Came in Through the Bathroom Window
Get Back
Band on the Run
Let It Be
Live and Let Die
Hey Jude

Encore:
I’ve Got a Feeling
Birthday
Helter Skelter
Golden Slumbers
Carry That Weight
The End

 

Comments

  • Candy Lynn says:

    I have seen Paul more than 10 times in my life and it is still a thrill! I was at the Seattle show even though I live in Los Angeles…splurged and got the VIP experiene that inCluded the SOUNDCHECK

  • Tony Valtier says:

    Paul The TRUE Rocker Of All TIME!!!!

  • Tony Valtier says:

    I’ve Seen Paul 8 Times Paul Still Rock”s…. Paul 4 Ever!!!

  • James Paschall says:

    My 8th time seeing Uncle Paul in concert including the Beatles’ concert in 1966. I never saw Wings because I didn’t want to dilute the Beatles’ concert memory.

    However, SoFi stadium gets thumbs down for being unforgiving to me (emphysema/COPD victim) regarding transport from parking to the entrance gate. Dodger stadium offers ADA electric carts for patrons.

    I saw Paul in Liverpool and Glasgow in 2018. The British never let me walk more than 50 ft and had personnel ready and waiting for me anytime a transfer of trains was necessary.



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