For once, you may envy the folks who live in Sioux Falls. They got to experience the city’s first local Paul McCartney concert last night, one of four U.S. cities on his newly launched One on One Tour where he’s making his local debut.
Here in Minneapolis, of course, we saw the 73-year-old Beatle just two summers ago at Target Field. In a word, the show was huge: 39,000 fans, 39 songs, almost three hours and a trove of fireworks and visual effects.
It was such a big deal, in fact, it’s tempting to think that his two concerts Wednesday and Thursday at Target Center might be a little bit of a letdown, especially since he’s playing with the same band and a lot of the same songs.
Hogwash. Besides the fact that, you know, he’s Paul Friggin’ McCartney, there are other reasons to get excited for these smaller-scale shows. Here are five of them.
1. New old songs
He’s singing “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Love Me Do” for the first time on any of his solo tours — the first time since 1965, in other words. Both songs were more John Lennon’s but were credited to Lennon-McCartney and fueled by their dual harmonies. He’s also pulling out a couple other Beatles oldies he hasn’t played in over a decade, “You Won’t See Me” and “Fool on the Hill,” plus one ultra-oldie, “In Spite of All Danger,” purportedly the first song he wrote with the Quarrymen. Some rarities from his post-Beatles discography are popping up, too, including 1980’s “Temporary Secretary” and last year’s collaboration with Rihanna and Kanye West, “FourFiveSeconds.”
2. Same stamina
As the above item suggests, he’s scaling back on the size of the venues at the start of the tour but not on the number of songs he’s playing. The first dates on the tour all featured 37-38 songs, once again coming close to three hours. Impressive. Even more: That’s still only about half of his number of hit songs.
3. Invited guests
It’s too early to say he’s taking a trick out of Taylor Swift’s book and inviting special guests out to different stops on the tour, but he did bring two guests to the stage within the tour’s first four stops: Krist Novoselic of Nirvana in Seattle and Jimmy Fallon in Vancouver. Too bad Minneapolis’s most worthy special guest checked out two weeks ago.
4. More memorials
McCartney has long paid tribute to Lennon and George Harrison in his shows, and now he has another Beatle to remember — so-called Fifth Beatle George Martin. The band’s legendary producer died March 8. Of course, there’s always a chance Sir Paul will make a point of honoring our Prince, too, as he already did with his usual class on social media.
5. Affordable this time
Unlike the instantly sold-out Target Field concert, tickets for Wednesday and Thursday are still available at the box office. Target Center even put good new seats on sale last week. Tickets are also also selling on resale sites such as Stubhub for face value or less, outside of the best seats for the shows. Nosebleed tickets were available for less than $40 on Stubhub and other resale sites at press time, and lower-level seats were going for about $100. Of course, that may change once people read this article.