Paul McCartney – Teenage Cancer Trust 2012 (no label)

Teenage Cancer Trust 2012 (no label)

Royal Albert Hall, London, England – March 29th, 2012

Disc 1 (52:20):  Introduction (by Roger Daltrey & Paul Weller), Magical Mystery Tour, Juniors Farm, All My Loving, Drive My Car, Sing The Changes, The Night Before, Let Me Roll It, Paperback Writer, Long And Winding Road, 1985, My Valentine, Maybe I’m Amazed

Disc 2 (74:20):  I’ve Just Seen A Face, Blackbird, Here Today, Dance Tonight, Eleanor Rigby, Something, Band On The Run, Back In The USSR, I’ve Got A Feeling, Let It Be, Hey Jude, Day Tripper, Get Back (with Roger Daltrey, Ronnie Wood & Paul Weller), Yesterday, Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight, The End

In late February came the announcement that Paul McCartney would open the series of gigs in support of the Teenage Cancer Trust.  He played on March 29th, the first night of the week of shows, followed by Example on March 30th, Pulp on March 31st, Jessie J on April 1st, comedy night featuring Jason Manford on April 2nd, and finally Florence+The Machine on April 3rd. 

Teenage Cancer Trust 2012 features an excellent stereo audience tape made by the same one who recorded On The Run In London.

The London Evening Standard, in a review titled “Teenage Cancer Trust: Paul McCartney, Royal Albert Hall – review:  The annual series welcomes the biggest star in its 12-year history” by Rick Pearson, opines that:

The Teenage Cancer Trust concert series welcomed the biggest star in its 12-year history last night.

“Introduced by Paul Weller as ‘a fella I’ve been listening to my whole life’, Sir Paul McCartney strolled on stage — smile spread wide, peace sign held high — for a romp through his unparalleled back catalogue. Beginning with Magical Mystery Tour, a harmony-filled slice of Sixties psychedelia, the former Beatle was soon regaling the audience with some facts about the venue. ‘It was opened 141 years ago to this day — not by me, by Queen Victoria,’ he quipped.

“While not quite as old as the Royal Albert Hall, at 69, McCartney remains remarkably energetic. Whether wrestling blues riffs from his guitar on Let Me Roll It, or dedicating songs to his various wives while sitting at the piano, he was keen to demonstrate the full range of his talents. Not that this was a one-man show. McCartney’s fantastic four-piece band provided harmonies, solos and, in the case of drummer Abe Laboriel Jr on Dance Tonight, a faultless rendition of the macarena.

“However, given the night’s wider context, it was the more sombre moments that really resonated. Blackbird and Here Today, both played solo on acoustic guitar, were highlights. If I’ve grown tired of hearing Hey Jude, I seemed to be the only one —everyone was out of their seats, nah-nah-nahing. And the excitement levels rose further when Paul Weller, Ronnie Wood and Roger Daltrey joined McCartney for a riotous encore of Get Back. Returning alone for a beautifully understated Yesterday, McCartney would have been justified in leaving it there.

“Instead, he invited the band back for a joyous romp through Carry That Weight. ‘I think we’ve had a good time this evening,’ he said. I don’t think anyone in the crowd would disagree.”

Compared to McCartney’s previous live show in London, this is about forty minutes shorter.  He opens with “Magical Mystery Tour” instead of “Hello Goodbye” and also adds “My Valentine,” one of the two original tunes penned for Kisses On The BottomDropped are “Jet,” “I Will,” “Mrs Vanderbilt,” “Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da,” “A Day IN The Life,” “Live And Let Die” and “The Word / All You Need Is Love” from the encore, but keeps “The Night Before” as the “new” song introduced during the On The Run tour last year.

The performance is really good.  Paul has reduced touring and live appearances of late but the joy is still infectious.  He retains all of the familiar stories and quips between numbers, such as wanting to “drink it all in,” taking off his jacket is the only wardrobe change in the set, and speaking about Lennon before “Hear Today,” George before “Something,” and the American civil rights movement before “Blackbird.”

During the “piano” song interlude, beginning with “The Long And Winding Road,” the band almost make a complete mess out of “Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five” by missing the bridge.  Thankfully Paul keeps the band together and they repeats the section correctly.  He jokes about it afterwards, saying there will be a prize to those who could point out the “deliberate” mistake. 

McCartney introduces “My Valentine” for his new wife Nancy, and “Maybe I’m Amazed” for his first wife Linda (Heather Mills, wife number two, obviously doesn’t get a dedication). 

The “acoustic interlude” lasts from “I’ve Just Seen A Face” through to the first half of “Something,” played on the ukelele, and is followed by the rocker section with “Band On The Run,” “Back In The USSR” and “I’ve Got A Feeling.”  His two great anthems, “Let It Be” and “Hey Jude,” close out the show. 

During the encore set McCartney introduces Daltrey, Weller, and Ronnie Wood to the stage to help with “Get Back.”  Wood joined McCartney for this song in the O2 show in December.  Daltrey and Weller help on the “get backs,” and Ronnie takes a short (yet inaudible) solo in the song’s middle. 

It is followed by “Yesterday,” sung by Paul alone, followed by the “Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End” finale to Abbey Road which has to rank among rocks all time best show closers.  It is musically very exciting yet very poignant and emotional as well.   

Teenage Cancer Trust 2012 is packaged in a standard double slimline jewel case with many photographs of the “Get Back” encore, with all the musicians on stage, on the artwork.  The performance is very nice and the sound quality is very enjoyable, making this very much worth having. 

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