Monday, June 27, 2016

NEW: Paul McCartney live in Chicago 2011 - 3CD - August 1

Paul McCartney
Wrigley Field
Chicago, Illinois
August 1, 2011

Source: Audience
Location: 12th row, in line with right speaker stack

Disc one (73:33):
(1)  Magical Mystery Tour (2:48)
(2)  Junior's Farm (3:41)
(3)  All My Loving (2:16)
(4)  Banter (0:57)
(5)  Jet (4:38)
(6)  Got To Get You Into My Life (3:22)
(7)  Sing The Changes (4:14)
(8)  The Night Before (3:15)
(9)  Let Me Roll It (Incl. Purple Haze) (6:07)
(10)  Jimi Hendrix story (2:54)
(11)  Paperback Writer (3:55)
(12)  The Long and Winding Road (3:52)
(13)  Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five (4:17)
(14)  Let 'Em In (5:26)
(15)  Maybe I'm Amazed (5:07)
(16)  I'm Looking Through You (2:55)
(17)  Sign banter (2:05)
(18)  And I Love Her (3:48)
(19)  Blackbird (4:22)
(20)  Here Today (3:25)

Disc two (64:06):
(1)  Dance Tonight (3:26)
(2)  Mrs. Vanderbilt (5:12)
(3)  Eleanor Rigby (2:47)
(4)  George Harrison story (1:29)
(5)  Something (4:34)
(6)  Band on the Run (5:55)
(7)  Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da (3:38)
(8)  Back in the U.S.S.R. (3:26)
(9)  Banter (1:45)
(10)  I've Got a Feeling (6:36)
(11)  A Day in the Life => Give Peace a Chance (6:12)
(12)  Let It Be (4:06)
(13)  Live and Let Die (3:48)
(14)  Hey Jude (7:01)
(15)  Encore break (4:04)

Disc three (31:44):
(1)  Lady Madonna (3:06)
(2)  Birthday (3:44)
(3)  I Saw Her Standing There (3:03)
(4)  Encore break (3:07)
(5)  Yesterday (4:02)
(6)  Helter Skelter (4:38)
(7)  Thank You's (2:46)
(8)  Golden Slumbers Medley (7:14)


Amazing show by Sir Paul, the second of two historic nights at Chicago's Wrigley Field.  His last Chicago appearances in 2005 were somewhat of lackluster, disappointing affair, so it was nice to see him roaring back with a vengeance on two very hot (90 degrees at show time) summer nights.  The setlist was heavier on Wings material (7 songs, I think) than any Paul tour I can remember; I think most of us had forgotten how many great songs Paul's lesser-regarded band recorded in the 1970s.  A big surprise for me was that the setlist varied significantly from the first night -- considering that he generally puts on a heavily scripted show where even the banter is identical every night, it was shocking that he swapped in 6 songs that weren't performed the first night.  Phenomenal performance; I still can't believe that I saw a 69-year-old man put on a 170-minute set in the heat on two consecutive nights.

The band sounded great, and I thought Paul was in really good voice.  Maybe the key for him is to scale back to a dozen shows a year.

This recording sounds really good overall.  I was more or less in line with the right speaker stack, and mercifully the people in front of me were seated for most of the show.  The mix was a little harsh for the first 2-3 songs and settled down nicely.  I'm not sure whether it was the mix or my location, but the vocals were lower in the mix than I'd prefer -- not buried by any means, but not as prominent as I would have hoped for.  It's a minor point -- the sound is really good.

I had a very chatty crowd around me, and you will hear it between tracks -- they really annoy me, but I'm not sure most people will really notice.  I haven't listened to the whole recording yet, but for the most part I think they were quiet and didn't intrude on the music -- there may be points in the quiet songs (tracks D1T16-20) where you can hear them periodically, but for the most part I don't think they really interfere with one's enjoyment of the music.

I used Audio Cleaning Lab to cut the mid-range a little bit (it made the sound a little sharper, particularly the rhythm guitar and bass) and emphasize a couple higher frequencies to bring out the vocals a little better.  Minor stuff; for the most part, this is the raw recording.

Hopefully, Beatles/McCartney fans will enjoy this recording -- I was happy with it.  I wish he'd tour more often because he really is a national treasure; however, considering that he's nearly 70 years old and still performing at a high level, I suppose we should be thankful for what we get.  There was a fan holding up a sign that said, "I saw you at the Amphitheater in 1964 and have been following you for 47 years!"  That really struck me; most pop stars today would consider it a good career if they can stay relevant for 10% of that time.


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