Saturday, 16 April 2016

PAUL AT MODE CENTER, PORTLAND






The set list, matching up with Wednesday's Fresno tour debut, "A Hard Day's Night" to recent track "Save Us" and back to the Beatles with "Can't Buy Me Love." The show settled in, reaching a lovely peak when Paul, alone on a platform that rose above the crowd, delivered acoustic renditions of "Blackbird" and "Here Today." "Fool on the Hill" and "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" explored colorful psychedelia; a cover of George's "Something" shifted from uke-only to a fantastic full-band.

Paul entered the 2010s like a relevant Millennial by singing his latest collaboration, "FourFiveSeconds"—taking the vocal place of Rihanna and Kanye West, which meant hearing a Beatle sing "Hold me back, I'm 'bout to spaz" with a lyric video running behind him.

 

Not to avoid the full arena experience, James Bond theme "Live and Let Die" included blasting pyrotechnics, sprays of lasers and climactic fireworks that left Paul clutching his ears in mock irritation. His crowd work saw its wittiest improvisation when he invited a sign-holding couple on stage for a marriage proposal—the musician had to convince the giddy groom to take a knee.



The oldies, some of which Paul played 51 years ago in the Beatles' Portland debut, were the obvious favorites.  Paul did three songs from 2013's "New," a sharp record made with the likes of Ethan Johns and Mark Ronson, some of the best young producers in pop. 



It's a celebration, of art that deserves to endure and the incoming generations getting the chance to share in their parents' or even grandparents' music. Wonderful night.


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