The Daily Gamecock

Paul McCartney brings down the house

Paul McCartney has nothing to prove. “Yesterday” is the most covered song ever, he’s a two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and he has 32 number one hit songs between his Beatles, Wings and solo work. And, yes, he’s 73. Don’t let his age fool you – if Paul McCartney wants to put on a great show, he’s going to put on a great show.

McCartney proved that Thursday night in his performance at the Colonial Life Arena as part of his Out There tour. He rocked his way through his extensive catalogue, playing everything from classic Beatles songs to “Hope For The Future,” a song he wrote for the videogame “Destiny.” He didn’t do anything more acrobatic than jazz hands and a 45 degree kick, but he threw himself into every song, and his voice was as smooth and joyful as ever.

The crowd loved it, but then, McCartney is a lovable guy. Towards the end of the concert, McCartney brought Rick Glover on stage, a member of the Fans on the Run group that has seen McCartney 135 times, and gave him a well-deserved hug. Cameron, a teenage girl from North Carolina, had a sign that read “this show was 3 (years) of baby sitting money” and asked McCartney to sign her drawing of him in his younger days.

One woman’s sign read “I tried to mail myself to you when I was six.” McCartney was even attentive enough to point and wink at a woman holding a sign reading “I’m Rita” during a rendition of “Lovely Rita.”

Over the three straight hours that he played, McCartney went soft, loud and everything in-between. The classic rock sound of Wings brought a lot of energy, especially when McCartney unleashed the one-two punch of “Let It Be” into “Live And Let Die,” complete with an over-the-top pyrotechnics show.

There were quieter moments, too. McCartney dedicated the emotional “Here Today” to John Lennon and opened the George Harrison-penned “Something” on the ukulele, as the two had once played it together.

Before performing “The Long And Winding Road,” McCartney gave a tribute to the people of Charleston in the wake of the Emanuel AME Church shooting.

“We pray that people of all colors will be able to live together in peace and harmony,” he said.

He also introduced “Blackbird” by explaining its link to the civil rights movement of the 60s.

If pop music is about connecting to people through joyful music, then McCartney has it figured out. He turned “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and “Hey Jude” into rousing singalongs and let some of his cheeky humor poke through.

“If you’re wondering why we’re changing all these guitars all evening, it’s just ‘cause we’ve got them and we’re going to show off,” he said.

Yes, Paul McCartney is 73, but his rock star skills are still very much intact, and he’s not slowing down anytime soon. Just look at the way he said goodbye:

“See you next time.”