In 1993, Paul McCartney was to play the Syracuse area for the first time but unfortunately had to cancel due to a scheduling conflict (he had to get ready for a FOX TV Concert). Fast forward 24 years and more than 36,000 fans were at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY, Saturday night waiting to embrace him with open arms. Probably the most iconic musician on the planet, McCartney still has the swagger and style that attracts people of all ages.  Not only did music change from the first appearance of The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show back on February 9, 1964, but a whole new counter culture developed.  This was a bucket list show for many people.

As fans took their seats, McCartney and his band were prompt and started the show at 8pm. His band has been consistent over the last 15 years. They included multi-instrumentalist Wix Wickens, guitarists Brian Ray and Rusty Anderson and drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. “Hard Day’s Night” got the people up and kept them there for most of the next three hours. YES THREE (3) HOURS! McCartney and his band played a total of 39 songs. They encompassed a retrospect of songs from the very beginning, including McCartney’s first song he recorded with The Quarryman (his band before The Beatles) titled “In Spite of All the Danger” to the latest song he cut with Rhianna and Kanye West called “FourFiveSeconds.”

McCartney did tributes to Sir George Martin (“You Won’t See Me”) and his former bandmates George Harrison (“Something”) and John Lennon (“Here Today”).  He also dedicated “My Valentine” to his wife Nancy Shevell. He also told stories about how Jimi Hendrix opened his show with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” two days after the album came out.

Going back to the band, the talent is unmatched. Ray went back and forth between guitar and bass duties and Wix handled keys, accordion, percussion, and harmonica. Laboriel Jr. not only did a stellar job behind the skins but plays an important role with his vocal harmonies. McCartney, at times, showed a few cracks with the higher registered notes during slower compositions like “Maybe I’m Amazed,” but those notes aren’t always easy, especially when the inside temperature inside soared over 80 degrees. I thought McCartney battled through the heat and showed no ill effects at all. His wit and charm were also on display as he told funny stories about performing at the Kremlin for the first time and how Russian dignitaries said they learned how to speak English by listening to Beatle records. He also talked about how and Lennon wrote The Rolling Stones first hit in the UK with “I Wanna Be Your Man.”

A woman was brought up later in the set.  She had a sign for him to get a hug and to sign her wrist, to which he obliged. During the explosions and fireworks of “Live and Let Die,” a very small fire happened (which many probably never noticed) on top of the truss above stage left. Two workers scurried up there to put it out with first responders putting any remnants that fell off with fire extinguishers. Many kudos to the responders who handled the issue quickly and properly. “Let It Be” then followed and prompted most of the people to hold up their cell phones during the entire song.

McCartney appeared by himself to sing “Yesterday” for the first song of the encores. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was given a psychedelic feel with trippy images accompanying the song on the video screen. One of my favorite Beatles tracks was “Helter Skelter” and various screen and lighting components brought the song to life along with the terrific musicianship. He dedicated “Birthday” to anyone who was celebrating a birthday.

With McCartney at 75 and the current rigors of touring, he does not need to do this as we all well know. How much longer we will have the musical icon performing anywhere nearby is the question?  McCartney will wrap up the One on One tour with dates in Australia later this year. Syracuse got a scorcher of a show literally and figuratively!

Setlist:

A Hard Day’s Night (The Beatles song)
Junior’s Farm (Wings song)
Can’t Buy Me Love (The Beatles song)
Jet (Wings song)
All My Loving (The Beatles song)
Let Me Roll It (Wings song) (followed by ‘Foxy Lady’ jam by Jimi Hendrix)
I’ve Got a Feeling (The Beatles song)
My Valentine
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five (Wings song)
Maybe I’m Amazed
We Can Work It Out (The Beatles song)
In Spite of All the Danger (The Quarrymen song)
You Won’t See Me (The Beatles song)
Love Me Do (The Beatles song)
And I Love Her (The Beatles song)
Blackbird (The Beatles song)
Here Today
Queenie Eye
New
Lady Madonna (The Beatles song)
Four Five Seconds (Rihanna and Kanye West and Paul McCartney cover)
Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles song)
I Wanna Be Your Man (The Rolling Stones cover)
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! (The Beatles song)
Something (The Beatles song)
A Day in the Life (The Beatles song) (with Give Peace a Chance snippet)
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (The Beatles song)
Band on the Run (Wings song)
Back in the U.S.S.R. (The Beatles song)
Let It Be (The Beatles song)
Live and Let Die (Wings song)
Hey Jude (The Beatles song)

Encore:

Yesterday (The Beatles song)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) (The Beatles song)
Helter Skelter (The Beatles song)
Birthday (The Beatles song)
Golden Slumbers (The Beatles song)
Carry That Weight (The Beatles song)
The End (The Beatles song)

Photo Gallery

We would like to thank Olivia Muenz from Nasty Little Man for eh credentials to review the show.

About The Author Gus

My first opportunity to write about music was with Kissunderground, featuring just one band (KISS). In 2006, I started working for another outlet that showcased more musicians. It was a great experience for me at the time. I personally nailed down some great interviews during my time at glam-metal.com (Paul Stanley, Jonathan Davis, Slash and Sully Erna to name a few). In early 2009, I decided to venture out on my own with the idea of creating a website that has all the offerings that a reader would want in a music review website. That’s when Backstageaxxess.com began.
I’m so proud of what was created here and of our staff that brings it to you. Each one offers a diverse opinion and a creative ability to share it in a unique way. We are so lucky to have them here.
When discussing making a list of favorite shows with the staff, I also found it hard to narrow that list down to a select handful of shows. Everyone experiences a concert in their own terms, whether it’s the show itself, maybe it’s the people you met there and the new friendships created, or maybe it was meeting the artist at the show. For my criteria, I tried to stick to just the show itself, but again, it was sometimes hard to do.
My first concert was Sammy Hagar’s first tour with Van Halen at the Niagara Falls Convention Center, Niagara Falls, NY, on August 30, 1986. My favorites are as follows:
1. Kiss – Tiger Stadium – Detroit, Michigan 6/28/96
2. SARS (Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Rush, and handful of other bands) – Downsview Park – Toronto, Ontario 7/30/03
3. Paul McCartney (every McCartney show I saw was awesome, but Iwent with my first show) Air Canada Centre -Toronto, Ontario 10/10/05
4. Motley Crue – Memorial Auditorium – Buffalo, NY 12/19/89
5. Kid Rock – Tweeter Center – Camden, New Jersey 3/25/06
The honorable mentions would be any McCartney show (The Joint at the Hard Rock, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 2009 or Air Canada Centre Toronto, Ontario 8/10/10), Prince (Club 2112) at the Rio Hotel, Las Vegas 12/30/07, Heart (Pulse Lounge * only 200 people) Hilton Hotel, Anaheim, California, January 21,2008, Monsters of Rock (Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica, Dokken, and Kingdom Come) Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY 6/19/88 and the Rocklahoma Festival (Queensryche, Lita Ford, Triumph, etc.). Also, Cher (with my mom) at the Blue Cross Arena Rochester, NY, November 22, 2004.