Macca gets a big thumbs-up for this, a three-part live album recorded in New York City earlier this year. Crammed with Beatles, Wings and solo songs spanning the bassist's entire career, it's an enjoyable example of how a professional musician should sound.
Who doesn't like Paul McCartney? One of music's perennial nice guys, this live album documents the three nights he played at New York's Citi Field (the home of the Mets baseball team) this summer. The gigs were historic for more than one reason; not only were they the first concerts performed at the newly-opened stadium, but it's directly across from where Shea Stadium stood - a venue that has gone down in both Beatles and popular music lore.
In that respect, it feels a bit like McCartney has come full-circle with his career, particularly since the setlist is comprised of Beatles tracks (mostly the second disc) as well as material from his past and present solo career (mostly the first disc). There's a hell of a lot to listen to here - this is not the sort of album you sit down with for two hours and listen to intently, but rather one you enjoy in short bursts (unless, of course, you have the benefit of the bonus DVD disc.)
That said, its length is validated by the sheer quality of these songs. It's simply a pleasure to hear such classic tunes performed with class and enthusiasm when they could easily be lazy, listless affairs. With a host of very fine musicians, McCartney's voice sounds almost as strong as it did it its heyday on songs like the beautiful, stark 'Blackbird' and he still sings songs like 'The Long & Winding Road' and Wings ballad 'My Love' with genuine tenderness, while poignantly standing in for George Harrison on the beautiful 'Something', which breaks into luscious instrumentation after a simplistic ukulele opening.
And if you want to rock out, there's plenty of opportunities to do so: a stomping 'Back in the USSR', a brilliant 'Band on the Run' and a shimmy-and-shaking 'Daytripper' are highlights in a set crammed with all-time classics and only a few cheesy blips. What's more, it's a nicely packaged album, with all of the discs (two are audio, one is DVD footage of the entire concert) designed like baseballs, in keeping with the motif. A giant thumbs-up, and a mouthwatering appetiser for Macca's forthcoming Irish date.