Paul McCartney, “Out There Osaka 2015” (No Label)
Opening / Magical Mystery Tour / Save Us / Can’t Buy Me Love / Jet / Let Me Roll It / Paperback Writer / My Valentine / Nineteen Hundred & Eighty-Five / The Long & Winding Road / Maybe I’m Amazed / I’ve Just Seen A Face / We Can Work It Out / Another Day / Hope For The Future / And I Love Her / Blackbird / Here Today / New / Queenie Eye / Lady Madonna (79:54)
All Together Now / Lovely Rita / Eleanor Rigby / Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite / Something / Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da / Band On The Run / Back In The USSR / Let It Be / Live & Let Die / Hey Jude / Day Tripper / Hi Hi Hi / I Saw Her Standing There / Yesterday / Helter Skelter / Golden Slumbers – Carry That Weight – The End (79:56)
Intro / Honey Hush / Blue Suede Shoes / Magical Mystery Tour / Junior’s Farm / C Moon / Let ‘Em In / San Francisco Bay Blues / Every Night / Midnight Special / Ram On / Big Barn Bed / Bluebird / Queen Eye / Lady Madonna (54:24)
Paul McCartney’s return to Asia was welcomed with open arms after his battleship was sunk in 2014 after he contracted a touch of the flu, was bed ridden for a week and told to scrap the rest of the Asian dates that he’d planned and to take some rest.
A triumphal comeback greeted him upon his return and the good ship Macca restarted his tour at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka on the 21st of April, 2015. The set list was the standard ‘Out There’ set, the surprises were still to come a little later on in the tour in Tokyo but Osaka would still get the full ex-Beatle treatment with a long set list which at the sprightly age of 73, is no mean feat.
To be fair to McCartney – again – it’s just the heads that really want to hear him play his oddities. If you’re Joe Everyman though and you’ve shelled out your hard earned, you want to hear the hits thus a perfect balance is held in concert for both fair weather fans and the rabid fan too.
The soundtrack is the place to be if you REALLY want to hear Macca tear out something of difference. As we generally think of Mick Jagger being a Rolodex of tunes to play in concert, Macca is the same as Bob Dylan in private – he really lauds it over the back catalogue and for his lucky soundcheck fans, gives them something just a little more special so while I could tell you about the main set (these are hits – there’s very little chance you’ve not heard these before.) I’m going to devote this review to the lesser heard sound check tunes.
The main show firstly though is a fair audience recording, a little distant, augured with a few hand claps from the crowd standing by – as opposed the soundboards we’ve had from the Far East – it’s slightly disappointing to hear but certainly not a mess by any standard.
The soundcheck seems to have been recorded from further away. It begins with a spot of banter betweenn the band and the crew, McCartney apologising because he’s been caught in traffic then asking the crowd if the Japanese translation system on the screens was working. He tests the machines skills with a slow english before he’s ready to bawl through a raucous ‘Honey Hush’, one of the feistier tracks from his ‘Run Devil Run’ covers album from 1999 and a track that he has’t attempted on stage properly with his ‘new’ band yet – it would make a great middle set track for him if he was to dig another early Beatles story out of mothballs.
‘Blue Suede Shoes’ is played at a slow and louche pace, it has the swagger of a big-balled pool shark and the heft of a cannon ball – a beautiful rendition.
The shows opener, ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ comes next and is a suitable representation of the track as it usually appears, ‘Juniors Farm’, a relative newbie to the set, interchangeable with ‘Save Us’ has a little more power, representative of 70’s Wings tracks and really goes some.
‘C Moon’, absent from the set list of this tour, is played replete with an extended ‘out-fake’ intro. Tonight, it’s a track for the Macca-heads to lap up, lacking of substance because of the acoustics of the tape, it does feature a little ad-libbing by Paul but lacks the power to really amaze. ‘Let Em’ In’ has a little more of that lilting magic though and it’s whistling choruses are more effective.
Another soundcheck special is ‘San Francisco Bay Blues’, little heard of outside of the afternoon warm ups in these past few years (Apart from at the Outside Lands festival in 2013), a swinging skiffle romp, it gets the crowd grooving a little more and their excited hand claps are obvious.
‘Every Night’ slows the pace of the show up a little bit but is a delightful little distraction and richly deserves more outings in the set. ‘Midnight Special’ takes us back to Macca’s covers portion and has the same effect as ‘San Francisco Bay Blues’ in getting the audience clapping along.
Two Wings tracks lead the set further, the first being ‘Ram On’, the uke track that acted as the inbetweener, low key tracks on the 1973 album. It’s short and sweet but leads nicely in to a storming ‘Big Barn Bed’ from ‘Red Rose Speedway’ that features a rolling bass, chiming piano and furious hand claps. For such short renditions, they’re enticingly thrilling and lovely to hear.
‘Bluebird’ from “Band On The Run” is a breezy swish of charm. ‘Queenie Eye’, one of the stand out tracks from the “New” album tears out of the quiet with a giddy bluster. Abe is one of the stars of this track as his fills really keeps the motor going.
The set ends with an exuberant ‘Lady Madonna’ which ends on a grandiose note. Paul then thanks the crowd and bids them farewell until the show itself.
The package is a good one – a triple fat-boy box, great pictures, readable, initial pressings come with a sticker but because of the tinny recording of the Osaka show, I might suggest that No Label would have been better sticking with a single disk edition of the soundcheck or have been better waiting for a better recording of the full show. If you’re a mega completist, you’ll be looking for the Empress Valley or Tarantura boxed sets, in the mid price range, I dare say that there may be better recordings of this show but for now, this could be the best way to get your soundcheck and the show on a budget.