Paul McCartney – Complete Liverpool Sound Concert (Piccadilly Circus PCCD-50/51/52/53/54)

Complete Liverpool Sound Concert (Piccadilly Circus PCCD-50/51/52/53/54)

Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England – June 1st, 2008

Disc 1, audience recording:  Introduction, Hippy Hippy Shake, Jet, Drive My Car, Flaming Pie, Got To Get You Into My Life, Let Me Roll It – Foxy Lady, My Love, C Moon, Long And Winding Road, Dance Tonight, Blackbird, Calico Skies, In Liverpool, I’ll Follow The Sun, Eleanor Rigby, Something

Disc 2:  Penny Lane, Band On The Run, Back In The USSR, Live And Let Die, Let It Be, Hey Jude, Yesterday, A Day In The Life – Give Peace A Chance, Lady Madonna, I Saw Her Standing There, outroduction

Disc 3, soundboard recording:  Hippy Hippy Shake, Jet, Drive My Car, Flaming Pie, Got To Get You Into My Life, Let Me Roll It – Foxy Lady, My Love, C Moon, Long And Winding Road, Dance Tonight, Blackbird, Calico Skies, In Liverpool, I’ll Follow The Sun, Eleanor Rigby, Something

Disc 4:  Penny Lane, Band On The Run, Back In The USSR, Live And Let Die, Let It Be, Hey Jude, Yesterday, A Day In The Life – Give Peace A Chance, Lady Madonna, I Saw Her Standing There

DVD:  Introduction, Hippy Hippy Shake, Jet, Drive My Car, Got To Get You Into My Life, My Love, Long And Winding Road, Dance Tonight, Blackbird, Eleanor Rigby, Something, Band On The Run, Back In The USSR, Live And Let Die, Let It Be, Hey Jude, Yesterday, A Day In The Life – Give Peace A Chance, Lady Madonna, I Saw Her Standing There, Outroduction

During the year 2008 the city of Liverpool is celebrating itself because “The city is the European Capital of Culture 2008, paving the way for a massive 12-month celebration of the best in the arts, sport, music, heritage and culture.”  Paul McCartney’s June 1st concert at Liverpool’s FC’s Anfield Stadium is placed within this context since The Beatles have perhaps the greatest cultural impact upon music in the past forty years.  The show, called Liverpool Sound, was opened by The Zutons, and The Kaiser Chiefs and has been in preparation for more than a year.  The original idea was to build a sea side venue specifically for the event but studies proved it to be unfeasible.  The reviews of McCartney’s set use hyperbole, calling it is his greatest ever and it is indeed an excellent show. 

Complete Liverpool Sound Concert initially was going to be a two disc set with only the audience recording.  Several days later they changed it to have four audio discs and a DVD with the audience, soundboard, and video telecasts all in one convenient package.  The audience recording was produced by the same guy who taped the Led Zeppelin reunion at O2 and is in excellent stereo with an emphasis upon the treble and the bass being a bit too thin.  It is a bit more complete than the soundboard because it include’s Peter Kay’s introduction, all of Paul’s little quips between songs, and the six minute “outroduction” featuring the fireworks display after the show.  The soundboard is excellent stereo but edits out Kay and some of Paul’s between song talking such as his dedication of “My Love” to Linda.   

The DVD contains the television broadcast which omits “Flaming Pie,” “Let Me Roll It,” “C Moon,” “Calico Skies,” “In Liverpool,” “I’ll Follow The Sun,” and “Penny Lane” to fit the program into an hour.  The video quality is crystal clear and is one of the best McCartney DVDs available.  There are many camera recording all aspects of the event from McCartney, the band, and copious amounts of audience shots.  The editing is also impressive too and shows that the director of the broadcast knows the material well.  The faster tempo material are shown with the typical fast cuts, but slower numbers tend to focus more upon the artists and other attractions.  They are also cognisant of the entire production and give excellent views of the pyrotechnic display during “Live And Let Die” and when Paul sings “Give Peace A Chance” in the encores they focus upon the Beatle widows, Yoko Ono (in sunglasses at night and black top hat) and Olivia Harrison (looking more like Talia Shire). 

Comedian Peter Kay welcomed Paul McCartney onto the stage, saying he’s played with such luminaries as Stevie Wonder, Rupert The Bear and “The Beatles…oh, you’ve heard of ’em?  I thought it was just me!”  He goes on to say that he heard the soundcheck and that Paul dropped “the Right Said Fred medley.”  (I know it’s a joke, but that would have been cool to hear).  And finally that “It’s my duty to reveal that Britain has got talent….Paul Mildred McCartney!” 

Sir Paul McCartney took to the stage dressed in a black, sixties-style suit, and opening with Chan Romero’s “Hippy Hippy Shake.”  This is a song The Beatles recorded for the BBC in 1963 and also played at the Star Club in Hamburg in December that year.  It is remarkable he starts the show with an obscurity like this.  After an excellent “Jet,” “Drive My Car,” and “Flaming Pie” McCartney says, “Thank you for coming tonight – in the city of culture – at the centre of the universe.  I was born just down the road here in Walton Hospital…it’s my show I’ll say what I want.”

“Let Me Roll It” includes the Jimi Hendrix “Foxy Lady” reference at the end and afterwards Paul takes a moment to “drink it all in” before saying “This one’s for Linda” before playing “My Love.”  Many people criticize this song as being too sappy but Paul’s singing is very sincere and heart-felt. After “The Long And Winding Road” he embarks on a long acoustic based set beginning with last year’s “Dance Tonight” played on the mandolin.  The bouncing melody and catchy hook sets it perfectly within the context of the older Beatles and Wings hits.  Afterwards he says, “It’s great for me because every time I come to Liverpool my memories come flooding back.  Me and the lads. I remember there was this thing that me and George used to do as kids…doing little things by JS Bach. He got it right, I got it wrong.”  He plays a bit of the Boureé before starting “Blackbird.”

“Calico Skies” is the second song from 1997’s Flaming Piein the set list and with the Musette arrangement reveals his love of all things French. He then speaks about the next song that he wrote several years ago but never performed it live “so this is a first.”  “In Liverpool” is a two minute number with Paul on acoustic guitar that is appropriate for the occasion but certainly not one of his best songs.  With it’s opaque lyrics and maudlin melody, it is painfully obvious why it has never been recorded and why it was edited out of the radio broadcast.  He plays “Something” in the same arrangement he played at the Concert For George, beginning on ukulele George Formby style before the band kicks in.  “Penny Lane” is another appropriate song for the occasion.  

Dave Grohl joins the band on guitar for “Band On The Run” and on drums, joining Abe Laborial Jr, for “Back In The USSR.”  The sing alongs with “Hey Jude” close the show.  The first encore is “Yesterday” followed by the very first live performance of “Day In The Life.”  He delivers the Lennon parts well but flubs the line “Found my coat and grabbed my hat” and sings “Made the bus in seconds flat” twice which is ironic since that is his contribution to the song.  Both on audio and video it is obvious he knows he blows it.  The audience joins in on the “dream” part and instead of going into the fourth verse segues into Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance.”  Paul’s little mistake doesn’t track from the performance of one of The Beatles’ more profound masterpieces.  “We’ll give prizes to anyone who can spot the mistakes” he says afterwards.    

The encores continue with “Lady Madonna” and finally “I Saw Her Standing There” again with Grohl on guitar.  Complete Liverpool Sound Concert is packaged in a five disc fatboy jewel case with very good cover art.  Piccadilly Circus have been at the forefront of providing excellently recorded and package releases chronicling McCartney’s live appearances the past couple of years.  Their decision to expand the original scope of this project to include the professionally recorded sources is commendable and provides the most comprehensive and detailed souvenir of one of McCartney’s already legendary concerts.       

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  1. Great Performance. McCartney and his band sound fresh and these versions are more reminiscent of the original tracks. The premier of “A Day In The Life” is the real kicker with corresponding panned shots of Yoko + Olivia taking it in. The band looked tight and everyone appeared to be on cue.

    Look out for Neil Young’s blistering encore performance of “A Day In The Life” from his 6-28-08 Dublin show!


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