We've all seen footage of the Beatles historic 1965 performance at Shea Stadium, where, at the height of Beatlemania, they played the first ever rock concert in a major stadium, in front of 55,600 frantic fans. In October 2008, demolition began of this historic 44-year old stadium to allow for more parking space for the successor stadium built next door, Citi Field. On July 17th, 2009, Paul McCartney played the first of his three concerts to christen this brand-new stadium in front of a combined 109,397 people who were lucky enough to attend these three sold-out shows. Fortunately for us unlucky ones, most of the magic was captured on this superb new DVD, Good Evening New York City.
Good Evening New York City is the fourth new DVD of a major concert tour that Paul McCartney has released this last decade. 2003's Back In the U.S. was the first one and it was a mind-blower to see McCartney and his excellent new band knocking Beatles, Wings, and solo numbers out of the park. McCartney had not exactly embraced his Beatles' past up until this point, so it was a real treat to see so many Beatles classics performed by the man himself.
The one thing that has plagued all of McCartney's past concert DVDs, including Paul McCartney In Red Square, from 2005, and The Space Within US, from 2006, has been the terrible camera editing, that focused more on the crowd than the band, and continuously violated rule #1 of my Do-Not-Do list - interrupt a song performance midstream with interview and backstage footage. Especially when they are some of the GREATEST SONGS EVER WRITTEN! Well, I am happy to report that for this DVD, McCartney finally hired a director with a clue, and the results, although not perfect, are far better than any of his previous DVDs.
For this tour, McCartney took on a pretty challenging setlist that covers every aspect of his brilliant career, from the earliest of Beatles' hits, like "I Saw Her Standing There", all the way up to songs from his most recent solo album, Memory Almost Full, with the tracks "Dance Tonight" and "Only Mamma Knows." Probably the biggest surprise was McCartney's inclusion of two songs from his most recent album with The Fireman, 2008's Electric Arguments, where he busted out some exceptional versions of "Highway" and "Sing The Changes."