Sir Paul McCartney at the Nashville Bridgestone Arena 10/16/14. Review by Ryan Oyer

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Ryan Oyer is a musician whose full band and solo performances have become one of the flagship live acts based in the Chattanooga, TN area.  Look for Ryan to take his live show on the road in the coming year.  Keep up with his concerts and recordings at www.RyanOyer .com and his facebook page. ~R.

Being in the same room as Sir Paul McCartney is an overwhelming experience. To look around and see 20,000 people of all ages, all there to see and hear him is absolutely awe-inspiring in itself.  Bridgestone Arena was my first experience seeing Sir Paul perform live. The warm-up music were remixes (which reminded me of the Beatles Love album) and covers of Paul’s music spanning McCartney’s career accompanied by images scrolling on the jumbo-trons from the early days of the Beatles to Wings and beyond. Because honestly, who can open up for Sir Paul, other than Sir Paul himself? The atmosphere in the arena was unlike any other show I’ve ever been to.  At 31, I’ve spent most of my life “waiting for this moment to arise”.

 Sir Paul and his band (Rusty Anderson, Paul Wickens, Brian Ray, & Abe Laboriel, Jr.) hit the stage one year and a day after releasing the album “New” on Oct. 16th. They opened the show with “Magical Mystery Tour”.  I have to admit I was taken aback by the sheer magnitude of the moment. At times, I would try to sing along but found my voice caught in my throat, choked up with emotion at the fact that an actual Beatle-musical/songwriting genius, and inspiration in the truest sense of the word was on stage before me.  Shortly after beginning,  he paused for a moment between songs to stop and take in the crowd. “I know this is cool for you, but let me just enjoy this for a moment.” I’m usually pretty leary of acoustics in a large arena, however I was pretty impressed with the sound.  Paul alternated between his iconic Hofner bass, ukulele, a slew of guitars both electric and acoustic- including the one with which he recorded guitar parts for “Paperback Writer,” baby grand piano, and a painted upright piano that reminded me of the art from Yellow Submarine or Magical Mystery Tour.  Between songs he told stories about the tunes and danced around playfully.  At 72, the man’s still got it. His band were extremely tight around him.  In reality this band has been touring and performing with him longer than the Beatles were a band.  As musicianship goes, the standout to me was Abe Laboriel Jr. nailing all of those iconic drum fills, singing harmony, and looking like he was having more fun than any drummer I’ve ever seen.

The setlist was comprised of arguably the best songs of his massive catalog.  Some highlights to me were “Blackbird,” his tribute to John Lennon, “Here Today” and George Harrison’s “Something,” performed partially on ukulele before the entire band kicked in to finish out the tune. “Live and Let Die,” with the full-on fireworks show, was truly an awe-inspiring sight. By the time they reached the last encore, I was unsure what they could possibly play to top the rest of the concert. That’s when Paul began to play the chords to “Golden Slumbers” they finished the show with the Abbey Road medley. If it’s true that in the end “the love you take is equal to the love you make”, then Sir Paul took a lot of love away with him from Nashville and those thousands of fans. I got to share this awesome experience with my little sister and my girlfriend, and coincidentally, when they played “Birthday” it was my girlfriends birthday (in EST at least). I think we all walked away from it feeling like we’d just seen one of the greatest things we’ll ever experience.

The full setlist Oct 16th at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville:

Magical Mystery Tour

Save Us

All My Loving

Listen to What the Man Said

Let Me Roll It

Paperback Writer

My Valentine

Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five

The Long and Winding Road

Maybe I’m Amazed

I’ve Just Seen a Face

We Can Work it Out

Another Day

And I Love Her


Here Today


Queenie Eye

Lady Madonna

All Together Now

Lovely Rita

Everybody Out There

Eleanor Rigby

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite


Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Band on the Run

Back in the U.S.S.R.

Let it Be

Live and Let Die

Hey Jude

Encore 1:

Day Tripper


I Saw Her Standing There

Encore 2:


Helter Skelter

Golden Slumbers

Carry That Weight

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