Paul McCartney Perth review: Something in the way he moves

Paul McCartney at nib Stadium in Perth on December 2, 2017. Picture: Paul Kane/WireImage.
Paul McCartney at nib Stadium in Perth on December 2, 2017. Picture: Paul Kane/WireImage.

There are some concerts that defy explanation.

You can go over the setlist, describe the stage design, even quote the audience banter – but still, somehow, you will fail to accurately describe just how good the show was.

Paul McCartney’s Perth show last night fits this brief.

The man is a living legend – as a founding member of arguably the biggest band of all time, The Beatles, his show is the closest anyone will get to a Beatles concert – and last night’s gig was a celebration of more than 50 years of musical pop culture.

Paul McCartney with band members at nib Stadium in Perth on December 2, 2017. Picture: Paul Kane/WireImage.

Kicking off the three-hour set with A Hard Day’s Night, Macca managed to straddle the line between Beatles crowd pleasers and solo efforts – without taking a break.

The huge stage gave the Perth audience an excellent stadium show feel, as McCartney followed the opener up with Wings hit Junior’s Farm.

Greeting the Perth crowd with a “g’day”, McCartney endeared himself early on with his onstage banter while reeling out hits such as Can’t Buy Me Love, Letting Go, All My Loving and Let Me Roll It.

It wasn’t just the smash hit songs that had the crowd transfixed – his stories in between songs wowed the audience in a way few musicians could.

Regaling the crowd with tales of Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon and the Rolling Stones, McCartney dropped names in a way that only someone of his calibre could – keeping the crowd hanging on his every word.

Paul McCartney at nib Stadium in Perth on December 2, 2017. Picture: Paul Kane/WireImage.

His cheeky sense of humour was still intact, almost 60 years after he, George, John and Ringo gained notoriety for it while on international touring duty.

McCartney acknowledged early on to the crowd that he was aware the Beatles hits were far more popular than his solo efforts – but said he would persist in mixing it up nonetheless.

Blackbird, Eleanor Rigby and the Rolling Stones hit I Wanna Be Your Man – which McCartney explained he and Lennon gave to Mick, Keith and co – kept the audience entertained while the singalongs started to gather pace.

Ob La Di Ob La Da, Back in the USSR and a beautiful piano version of Let It Be captivated the crowd – who sang along at full voice – before a spectacular rendition of Live and Let Die – complete with a pyrotechnic display not seen in WA since Rammstein last visited.

Hey Jude provided the perfect ending to the set with a singalong the likes of which Perth has rarely seen.

For the encore, the crowd was greeted with an Australian, British and gay pride flag – although McCartney missed the opportunity to comment on the recent results of the marriage equality survey.

This was soon forgotten after an incredible rendition of Yesterday, followed by Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise) and the rocking Helter Skelter.

At this point, the Beatles legend brought a couple onstage for an apparent spontaneous proposal, followed by a rousing rendition of Mull of Kintyre – complete with an appearance by the WA Police Pipe Band.

McCartney closed out the night with an Abbey Road medley, featuring Golden Slumbers (recently covered majestically by contemporary Mancunian legends Elbow), Carry That Weight and The End.

If you were there, you know how good it was – McCartney has managed the incredible feat of a near flawless show.

If you weren’t, and you somehow get another chance to see him at some point in the future – don’t miss out next time.