Paul McCartney played Washington-Grizzly Stadium yesterday, and wonder of wonders, some of us at the Independent got to go. And just maybe, it was amazing. (Sorry, I am a terrible person.)
Anyhow, with 25,000 people or so in the stadium and plenty more perched on Mount Jumbo and Mount "McCartney," this was going to be a spectacle no matter what. The biggest battle was just to get in the stadium. After a perilous bike ride down the riverfront trail trying to not run into a zillion out-of-towners who meandered across the entire path, I got my press pass and headed inside the stadium. The PETA booth was set up inside the gate, across from a chicken teriyaki noodle vendor, which I found amusing. I got in line for drink tickets—$7 for a beer—got my foot stepped on and remembered why I avoid stadium shows and dislike human beings.
But, you could buy a mini box of Bota wine for $14, as it turns out, which isn't all that bad of a deal, and suddenly I felt much more affectionate towards the human race. I headed down to find my seat. Us fancy members of the press were seated in the 10th row, close enough to see the zipper on Sir Paul's rather spiffy shirt.
Anyhow, the set was a pretty well-curated mix of new stuff, Wings and Beatles classics. The acoustics sounded crystal clear and, for how close I was, wasn't too loud. I liked Paul's little stories in between sets, where he referenced other incredible famous people on a first name basis. Like "That's a song by my friend Jimi. We got to see him play it back in the day along with our friend Eric." That's Hendrix and Clapton. You know, like you do. And, for a 70-something, he still emanated energy and looked very fit. Perhaps there is something to all that vegan lifestyle business.
I wouldn't claim to be a Beatles expert or anything, but to get to hear a consummate professional play some of the greatest music of the last century? Hey. There are worse ways to spend an evening.
Here's a slideshow of images from the show by Indy photographer Cathrine L. Walters:
Paul McCartney in Missoula