Live At The Apollo London (no label)
HMV Hammersmith Apollo, London, England – December 18th, 2010
Disc 1 (78:20): Opening, Magical Mystery Tour, Jet, Got To Get You Into My Life, All My Loving, One After 909, Drive My Car, Let Me Roll It / Foxy Lady, The Long And Winding Road, Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five, Maybe I’m Amazed, Blackbird, Here Today, I’m Looking Through You, And I Love Her, Petrushka, Dance Tonight, Eleanor Rigby, Hitch Hike, Sing The Changes, Something
Disc 2 (61:10): Band On The Run, Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, Back In The U.S.S.R., A Day In The Life / Give Peace A Chance, Let It Be, Live And Let Die, Hey Jude, Wonderful Christmastime, I Saw Her Standing There, Get Back, Yesterday, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise), The End
Paul McCartney ended 2010 with two special homecoming Christmas shows, on December 18th at the Hammersmith Apollo in London and December 20th in the O2 Academy in Liverpool. Live At The Apollo documents the London show by utilizing a very clear and enjoyable stereo audience tape. The relative intimacy of the venue ensures a very good performance and tape.
This is the first time he played in the venue since the Kampuchea show in 1979 when he played there with Wings and it was still called the Hammersmith Odeon. Even the nasty weather didn’t affect the show, as was posted on Paul’s website telling everyone that the show was still on.
Instead of opening with “Venus And Mars” and “Rock Show,” he brings back “Magical Mystery Tour” from older tours which leads into “Jet,” the first Wings song of the set. “I’m glad you got here” he tells them afterwards. “I was thinking there would be like four of you in the audience” before “Got To Get You Into My Life,” the first song played the last time he played the Hammersmith.
He introduces “All My Loving” as a “new song,” but the corrects himself afterwards saying it’s new compared to “One After 909” which is one of the first songs he wrote with John.
Early in the set he plays a string of “piano” based songs starting with “The Long And Winding Road,” one of the staunchest perennials in his live act. “Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five” from Band On The Run is one of the newest songs in the set, having been introduced in the past year. He dedicated “Maybe I’m Amazed” to his late wife Linda and “all the lovers in the audience.” That is the usual introduction for “My Love,” but it was dropped from the set.
Paul then plays a few acoustic songs in a row beginning with “Blackbird” complete with the George Harrison Bouree story and an explanation of its American civil rights origins.
Paul switches from acoustic guitar to mandolin after “And I Love Her.” He quips “I get all Russian when I get a mandolin in my hands” in a Russian accent. The little song “Petrushka” began as a little piece played at a soundcheck in Argentina and was subsequently developed. The name of the character changed, but the story of the Russian immigrant coming to Great Britain and buying a football team remained pretty much intact. It’s a simple, two verse lyric to the tune of “Hava Nagila” (but with a heavy Russian beat) and serves as a nice diversion before “Dance Tonight.”
“Hitch Hike” is a cover of the Marvin Gaye song which Paul dubbed “from Apollo to Apollo” since he played in Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York the previous week. “Something” has the ukulele introduction before segueing into the full rock arrangement and after the song Paul says that Frank Sinatra liked the song so much he called it “the best Lennon/McCartney song.”
A string of rock classics follow culminating with loud bangs in “Live And Let Die” and a jolly sing-a-long in “Hey Jude.” The audience are so enthusiastic they continue singing the catchy chorus even while cheering for the encore set.
Since it’s Christmastime, Paul pulls one “out of the cupboard” before they play the late seventies single “Wonderful Christmastime” complete with the dated keyboard effects. “Lady GaGa, eat your heart out” is Paul’s response at the end.
Compared to earlier in the year, he dropped “Day Tripper,” “Lady Madonna,” and “Helter Skelter” but added “I Saw Her Standing There” and the Christmas song. He retains the final encore, the reprise of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” with a segue into the instrumental break, guitar duel, drum solo and “The End” from side 2 of Abbey Road.
McCartney concerts are always very long, fun, and have some surprises in them no matter how solid the setlist may be. The London homecoming Christmas show is very good and with the great sound quality is worth having.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)