Good Evening New York City Review
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On August 15, 1965, The Beatles performed at Shea Stadium, the home of baseball’s New York Mets. At that time, playing a stadium show was unheard of. However, this marked the beginning of huge shows by rock bands, leading up to musical festivals. This past year saw the opening of Citi Field, the new home of the Mets. I live about 30 miles away, so, for me, there was a steady media barrage of news that Sir Paul was coming back to town. Luckily for those like me who couldn’t attend the concert, the event was captured on the DVD/2 CD combo release of Paul McCartney’s Good Evening New York City.

There are 35 songs performed, if you count Paul’s version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady,” added at the end of “Let Me Roll It.” Of those songs, twenty are Beatles tunes, and the remaining are a mix from his solo albums, Wings material, John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance,” and the recent electronic music experiments, in which Paul calls himself “The Fireman.”

Touching moments come when he talks of John Lennon before singing “Here Today” and when speaking of George Harrison as he starts the song “Something” on ukulele. Midway through, the band joins in, and the crowd seems to slip into a higher gear in its response to Harrison’s beautiful song.

The performance of Sir Paul and band on the DVD features moments of all three shows, so the best efforts were captured. It drags just a tiny bit on the more introspective songs. The only other detraction I found was Paul not introducing each member of the band. He may have done so at the actual shows, but it would have been nice for the DVD viewers.

Highlights for me are the opening of the DVD, which shows The Beatles about to take the stage at the Shea concert, the mixing/splicing in of The Beatles performing “I’m Down” at that same concert with Paul’s rendition at Citi Field, and the guest appearance of Billy Joel on piano for “I Saw Her Standing There.” The last song of the DVD/CD is predictably “The End,” which was the triumphant ending to the Beatles’ Abbey Road album.

I suggest you watch the DVD first, then listen to the CD. Why? Well, it’s like being at the actual show, so when you listen to the CD, you will think back to a moment of the DVD which most likely will make you smile. Though the order of the songs is identical, the banter has been cut out a little on the CD based on time constraints.

If you’re a music fan, not just a Beatles fan, Good Evening New York City will make a terrific present for the holidays. Greatness is timeless, and Paul McCartney was a part of the greatest band that ever was.

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