Paul McCartney has kicked off the Australian portion of his 'Got Back' tour by showcasing Beatles classics, Wings numbers and a good portion of solo Paul since his last visit in 2017.
McCartney has seven dates in Australia, playing in some of the country's biggest arenas, but decided to begin the tour at the relatively small (by McCartney standards) 11,000-seat Adelaide Entertainment Centre. The 30-year absence from the city was not lost on McCartney, nor was it forgotten at a prior fan Q&A when he was asked about the very first visit in June 1964 with The Beatles, when 350,000 screaming fans lined the streets from the airport to the town hall.
"I mean, it was overwhelming," he answered. "That many people, it was insane. We were just standing there." And while reminiscing about his friendship with John Lennon. "He was a genius," he answered poignantly, before adding with wry self-deprecation. "I helped."
As with previous 'Got Back' dates, the 39-song setlist was a potpourri of solo, Wings and Beatles songs. But four songs in, McCartney announced "We screamed a long time ago. Let's hear it for a long time ago!" as guitarists Rusty Anderson, Brian Ray, drummer Abe Laboriel, Jr. and keyboardist Paul "Wix" Wickens began the chugging intro to "She's A Woman." The original, recorded in one day at EMI Studios, has not been played live since 2004. However, the crowd at the AEC thoroughly got into the song as McCartney rocked the vocal.
Of course, the highlights were ones that harkened back to those songs from a 'long time ago:' opener "Can't Buy Me Love," "Let Me Roll It," "Live And Let Die" and a stage transformation with the band in front of a ramshackle house with McCartney singing the Quarrymen's "In Spite of All The Danger." McCartney also pays tribute to George Harrison with a ukelele rendition of "Something."
But it's during the encore, as McCartney & Co. launch into "I've Got A Feeling" with the backdrop of John Lennon from the January 1969 rooftop singing along that can really grab your heart. This presentation is also harkening to what else Get Back director Peter Jackson will be unveiling (along with McCartney, Harrison and Ringo Starr) when "Now and Then" is finally released at the end of the year. While started during the Beatles' Anthology, the song was left dormant after Harrison vetoed its inclusion.
The 'Got Back' Tour runs for 17 shows this year, including dates in Mexico and Brazil.