Paul McCartney – Driving Mexico 2002 (Beatle Master Works BMW023 A/B)

Driving Mexico 2002 (Beatle Master Works BMW023 A/B)

Palacio de los Deportes, Mexico City, Mexico – November 5th, 2002 

Disc 1 (77:02):  Hello Goodbye, Jet, All My Loving, Getting Better, Coming Up, Let Me Roll It, Lonely Road, Driving Rain, Your Loving Flame, Blackbird, Every Night, We Can Work It Out, You Never Give Me Your Money/Carry That Weight, Fool On The Hill, Here Today, Something, Eleanor Rigby, Here There and Everywhere, Michelle

Disc 2 (75:29):  Band On The Run, Back In The USSR, Maybe I’m Amazed, Let Em In, My Love, She’s Leaving Home, Can’t Buy Me Love, Live and Let Die, Let It Be, Hey Jude, The Long and Winding Road, Lady Madonna, I Saw Her Standing There, Yesterday, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band / The End.  Bonus track:  Midnight Special (live in Houston)

Paul McCartney played three massive concerts in Mexico City on the Driving Rain tour in 2002.  Driving Mexico 2002 documents the third show at the Palacio de los Depotes utilizign a complete, good and atmospheric recording.  There is some distance between the taper and the stage resulting in a deep echo, but it does capture the excitement and is an enjoyable listen.

There is an unfortunate cut in the tape before “Fool On The Hill” which cuts out the “Three Rabbits” story.  The Japan massage story in intact, however.

The setlist remains the same as the other shows from the tour, including the little stories and quips between songs.  It’s curious how rehearsed the show is, yet it’s filled with mistakes and miscues.  He does mess up the words in the opening song “Hello Goodbye,” but the band quickly bring it back on course.

He makes the normal “we’re gonna have a good time tonight” pronouncement before they continue.  On “Getting Better” he didn’t get to the microphone quick enough so he skipped a verse, and the band replayed the verse so he could sing it. He also forgot to turn up his volume up on the guitar when he started the song.

After “Let Me Roll It” is the Driving Rain set with three songs in a row from the new album.  He tells the story behind the writing of “Driving Rain,” but it remains one of his worst song of recent years and thankfully it doesn’t last too long.  “Your Loving Flame” is the last new song in the set.  “Freedom,” the album’s most known hit, wasn’t included. 

“Blackbird” begins a more intimate part of the show.  With Paul playing directly to the audience, he tells the civil rights story to explain the song’s  meaning.  Paul stops “Every Night” in the middle of the song so people could turn their lighters on and off. He made the noise (shick, shick, shick) of a lighter going on and off in time with the audience. At the very end he pulled out his own lighter and with flame blazing, held it up in a salute to the audience.

“You Never Give Me Your Money/Carry That Weight” is the first of the “piano” ballads in the middle of the set and include him singing:  “and this is the bit where I don’t know the words and I’m not even try to bother to learn them before the end of the tour” instead of “Any jobber got the sack Monday morning, turning back Yellow lorry slow, nowhere to go.” 

“Here Today” and “Something” (in George Formby style) form a little set, and Paul again makes mistakes in “Eleanor Rigby” and “Michelle.”  After “Back in the USSR,” Paul said, “Un gran publico, con corazones grandes!” ( a great audience, with great hearts)

By the end of the show, Paul introduces a bit of audience participation.  An eyewitness writes:  

Just before “I Saw Her Standing There” Paul said that he wanted people to experience what it was like to be onstage. He pointed to people in the audience saying “Cuatro amigos Mexicanos” (four Mexican friends) and brought up three female and one male fan (teenagers) from the audience to dance onstage during the song. The young man had wore a T-shirt with a Union Jack (British) flag on it. Two woman had on Sgt. Pepper suit and the third wore a mini skirt. The woman kissed Paul when they got onstage. The fans met the band and then Paul launched into the song. Paul said, “And now cuatro Mexicanos…bailando!” (four Mexicans dance) The fans danced and one female and one male shared Paul’s microphone to sing with him. One brave fan played Paul’s psychedelic piano! During the middle eight Paul said, “Bailando, bailando!” (dance, dance!) and the male fan danced and jumped up and dow. And at the end he had the crowd cheer them, “Amigos…cuatro Mexicanos!” (four Mexican friends).

The long night ends with two encore sets with the “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band / The End” segue closing the show.  BMW include as a bonus track “Midnight Special” from the October 13th Houston show.  It is sourced from a mediocre but reasonable clear tape.  It’s a nice bonus since it was the only variation in setlist int he entire tour.  Driving Mexico 2002 is a good release on BMW and is worth seeking out. 

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