When the opportunity arose to review Paul McCartney’s new DVD, I nearly passed on it. Why bother? That was my initial thought. Didn’t I just purchase a Paul McCartney concert DVD — Paul McCartney: Live in Red Square — last year? Was there something on this new release that would allow it to stand out and be different from the earlier?
The answer, quite simply, is both yes and no.
For the casual fan of McCartney who may have purchased last year’s DVD, there might not be a need to purchase this new one. Granted, there is a subtle shifting of the set-lists on the two DVDs, so you may want one over the other due to there being a performance of a particular song.
As the earlier DVD has two completely unique concerts included, though, chances are your favorite song is going to be somewhere in there.
Having said that, there is something innate in this newer DVD that intrigued me enough so that I kept watching the concert until Paul and his band’s final bows; it was the sense that I was really watching home movies and filmed memories, rather than a concert film.
A concert film is most definitely what Live in Red Square is. Actually, the word film very nearly doesn’t fit that release. Live in Red Square is very nearly a music documentary. Though it aptly chronicles McCartney’s tour as it makes a historic swing into Russia (historic as he was the first of the Beatles to ever do so), it manages to leave me feeling like an outsider looking in.
Does that make sense?
Even though I adore the Beatles and McCartney, it left me feeling like I didn’t quite love them as much as the average Russian fan did. It made me feel like a pretender to the name of “fan.”
This newer DVD, however, presents McCartney and his band in a much more intimate atmosphere. Sure, there are the requisite statements peppered throughout the film of how important McCartney’s music has been throughout the years, and what it means to each one of the celebrated names who chirped in their two cents.
What you also get are nice little filmed moments where you get to see an entire family getting ready to invade one of Paul’s concerts, as a love of the man’s music has been passed from generation to generation to generation.
Sure, it is cheesy, but it is still kind of cool.
My parents grew up during the heyday of the Beatles, and I’d have loved to have been able to share their music with them. Problem was, my folks were way more into Patsy Cline and weren’t fans of the Fab Four.
Alas, there went my chance for bonding over McCartney’s music.
Another thing that this DVD has over its predecessor is the stage itself. Being one of the ultimate out-door venues, Red Square didn’t allow for the fantastic production that McCartney’s American tour featured.
Dozens of screens, around, behind, and under the band, present images that serve both to illuminate and enhance the emotions that Sir Paul decided to convey along with the actual performance. Case in point, seeing the band appear to be floating among the clouds on some of the lighter songs, was simply a gorgeous effect.
So, if you don’t already have a McCartney’s concert DVD or are looking for one that is a tad more intimate and immediate, I find myself heartily endorsing The Space Within US to you. Actually, I think I’m safe endorsing it even if you already own the earlier DVD as I do.
Despite that fact that I had already predispositioned myself into thinking that this was an unnecessary release, I will probably go out and purchase a few copies as Christmas gifts.
In the spaces within me, it seems, McCartney shoved away my grinchy-side.