Written by General Jabbo
When the Beatles played Shea Stadium in 1965, it revolutionized the concert industry. Rock bands didn’t play baseball stadiums and though you could barely hear the band over the drone of screaming girls, it set the tone for bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Led Zeppelin.
Now 44 years later, Shea Stadium is gone, but the Mets have a new stadium and who better than Paul McCartney to christen its concert stage? Captured over three nights at Citi Field in 2009, Good Evening New York City is an excellent document of these historic shows.
Containing two CDs and one DVD, Good Evening New York City offers a healthy cross-section of McCartney classics old and new — from “I Saw Her Standing There” with New York-native Billy Joel guesting on vocals and piano to “Sing the Changes” from McCartney’s critically acclaimed Fireman album, Electric Arguments — the latter featuring images of Barack Obama on the video screen during the performance.
As has been the case in recent tours, Paul pays tribute to both John Lennon and George Harrison by performing “Here Today,” the song he wrote after Lennon’s passing and “Something” for George, featuring Paul on ukulele for the first part of the song. McCartney gets visibly choked up during “Here Today” and his voice cracks, only adding to the song’s poignancy.
McCartney has also taken to performing Lennon-written songs in recent years with “Day Tripper” and “A Day In The Life/Give Peace a Chance” getting the nod here. With Lennon and Harrison gone, McCartney has effectively become the curator of the Beatles legacy.
“I’m Down” was added to the set list as a nod to the Shea Stadium show from 1965. While the CD features the unedited audio of the performance, the DVD has a mash-up of both footage and audio with the Beatles’ performance and McCartney’s. It’s a clever touch and very well done.