Paul McCartney – Secret Live In Los Angeles 2007 (Piccadilly Circus PCCD-046/047)

Secret Live In Los Angeles 2007 (Piccadilly Circus PCCD-046/047)

Amoeba Music Store, Los Angeles, CA – June 27th, 2007

Disc 1:  Drive My Car, Only Mama Knows, Dance Tonight, C Moon, The Long And Winding Road, I’ll Follow The Sun, Calico Skies, That Was Me, Blackbird, Here Today, Back In The U.S.S.R., Nod Your Head, House Of Wax, I’ve Got A Feeling, I’ve Got A Feeling (reprise), Matchbox, Get Back, Baby Face, Hey Jude

Disc 2:  Let It Be, Lady Madonna, Ringo Starr left the building, I Saw Her Standing There.  Soundboard source from this show:  Drive My Car, Only Mama Knows, Dance Tonight.  Newsfilm from this show:  Drive My Car (sound check), Dance Tonight, Only Mama Knows, I’ve Got A Feeling, Blackbird, Hey Jude.  “Larry King Live” – June 26, 2007:  Dance Tonight.  Ipod + Itunes promotional version:  Dance Tonight

Secret Live In Los Angeles 2007 is a great release.  It contains a DAT audience recording of McCartney’s complete promotional show at the Amoeba Music Store in Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard on June 27th.  With such a small venue, the recording is very good and clear.  Compared to the New York tape, this one is much more consistent and enjoyable.  The intimacy also guarantees numerous audience comments scattered throughout the tape, but they are generally respectful with one exception, which will be mentioned below.  According to the review in Variety magazine, the performance “was possibly the worst kept secret in Los Angeles. 

According to some reports, nearly 200 people began camping outside the store Monday night; the only way the show could have generated more excitement would have been to promise a free iPhone along with the wrist-bands that guaranteed admission.”  The total attendance was estimated to be about five hundred with such celebrities as Ringo Starr and his wife Barbara Bach, George Harrison’s widow Olivia, Roy Orbison’s widow Barbara, Rick Rubin, Jeff Lynne, Alanis Morissette, Woody Harrelson, Rosanna Arquette, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Amoeba Records’ first signing Brandi Shearer. 

The night began with a special charitable auction of gifts donated by McCartney including an autographed copy of his latest limited edition CD/DVD Memory Almost Full, a promotional poster, and a signed lobby card from A Hard Day’s Night for which one fan paid $2,600 for the package.

The set list for Los Angeles is identical to the New York show with several tunes from the new album, songs from the solo era and many Beatles’ classics beginning with the opening number “Drive My Car.”  After the excellent “Only Mama Knows” from the new album, McCartney addresses the small audience by saying, “Hello and welcome to Amoeba.  This has got to be the most real gig ever.  And the management has asked us to point out no shoplifting please.”  The first single off of Memory Almost Full is played before the first rarity of the set “C-Moon.” 

The band don’t pound the reggae rhythm as hard as in New York, but it is still a fun song.  Afterwards McCartney points out that “C-Moon which is the opposite of L-Seven….quite an educational evening in a record store.”  For “The Long And Winding Road” Paul switches to the piano for the first of his many piano based ballads scattered throughout the set list and this arrangement contains a high harmony which, as someone pointed out, “splits the difference between Phil Spector’s overproduced original and the unadorned version heard on 2003’s Let It Be…Naked.” 

“I’ll Follow The Sun” is almost ruined by a guy close to the tape recorder singing off-key harmonies during the chorus.  Before “Blackbird” McCartney says, “It is so surreal playing a gig in a place like this.  It does look like something out of a Village Of The Damned or something.  So I was thinking, if everyone would do me a personal favor and stand like in the Village Of The Damned, I’ll do it to.  Too many people smiling.”

Many have singled out this version of “Here  Today” for its emotional poingnancy.  It is about “people we miss” and McCartney dedicates it to “John, George, Linda…and Ringo.”  It is easily the best version on record and the audience are visibly moved.  (So much so that one guy behind the taper says, “I’m straight and I still love him.”) 

The mood is thankfully lifted for “Back In The U.S.S.R.”  Afterwards McCartney tries some audience participation by saying, “we got a silly little thing going on our website right at the moment.  The last track on our new album is called ‘Nod Your Head.’  And in these shows we’re asking people to nod their heads.  And you’d be surprised how people cannot nod their heads in time.  But actually American audiences I think can.  We’ll play ‘Nod Your Head’ and all you gotta do is…”  “Nod your head” one woman shouts.  Another woman shouts, “In time, in time.” 

Before “I’ve Got A Feeling” Paul gets into a long, incongruous story, saying, “When we were kids me and John were in the back room of my house and we’d written this song called ‘She Loves You.’  And my dad was in the house so we were like pleased with ourselves and we took this song in and we played it to him and said ‘it’s called ‘she loves you yeah, yeah, yeah.’  So what do you think of it.  He said…” Someone makes an inaudible comment to which Paul says, “Shut up….however I digress, thanks to you.  So my dad, we said what do you think of it dad.  He said, enough of these Americanisms, couldn’t you sing yes, yes, yes?”

The Let It Be track contains a hard rocking, fantastic sounding coda.  The end of the set has him playing two piano based songs in a row, “Hey Jude” and “Let It Be.”  The former is almost ruined again by the same guy who sang off-key during “I’ll Follow The Sun.”  Before the final song, and tracked separately, is Paul pointing out that Ringo is leaving the crowd.  The comments surrounding this show using words like “mysterious,” “mystical” and “magic” are on the whole justified since this is an exceptional show in front of a special audience.  

It makes me wish I were there.  Piccadilly Circus load the second disc with several bonus tracks.  They are all interesting but not essential.  The first set of bonus songs are short fragments from the soundboard of the first three songs.  The sound quality isn’t that good and doesn’t add anything.  The news footage contains short snippets of the rehearsal and fans talking about how amazing it is to see the legend in such a small venue. 

A short version of “Dance Tonight” from the previous day’s taping of Larry King Live for CNN is included with Ringo accompanying with loud foot stomps.  Finally the ipod promotional version of “Dance Tonight” is included for good measure.  This title is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with Piccadilly Circus’ usual thick, high quality paper inserts and a copy of the promotional photos on the front and back covers.  Given the sound quality and performance, this is more satisfying than the New York release and is a title worth having.

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