Sir Paul McCartney Brisbane Review @ Suncorp Stadium

Sir Paul McCartney's 'One On One' world tour played Suncorp Stadium (Brisbane) 9 December, 2017.
Kylie Thompson (she/her) is a poet and scenestr reviewer based in Brisbane. You can find her writing about literary festivals, pop culture cons and movies.

Though the ticket said ‘rain or shine’, as a severe storm rolled through, not everyone may have believed the Brisbane leg (9 December) of Paul McCartney’s ‘One On One’ tour would go ahead.

Maybe an opening act was sacrificed to appease the storm gods or maybe they just really like nostalgia-fest music, but the skies cleared just in time for Sir Paul McCartney to jog onto the stage.

Given how many older acts no longer have the vocal power to keep up with their old tunes, the first question most people ask about musicians of a certain age is, ‘have they still got it?’

So let’s get it out of the way. Sure, his voice might not hit all the same notes with the same level of perfection, might be a little bit more gravelly than that fresh-faced kid who ran with The Beatles, but overwhelmingly, yes. Sir Paul is still a damn fine musician, and one who certainly hasn’t slowed in his ability to rock a guitar or a piano.

And the man can nail a three-hour set without an intermission.

The charm that won him many a heart in his youth is still very much on display: a little less rowdy, perhaps, but that child-like enthusiasm certainly hasn’t waned or become less infectious.

Throughout the evening, Sir Paul was quick to offer stories and trivia about the songs he performed; whether it was seeing Jimi Hendrix perform ‘Sgt. Pepper’ barely days after the album was released (and trying to convince Eric Clapton to come on stage and re-tune his guitar), to writing ‘Blackbird’ in support of the people struggling in America and hoping it could provide some comfort.

Sir Paul’s career is hallmarked by his gift for writing heart-melting songs, and they were out in force at Suncorp Stadium.

Family photos graced the screens during ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’, videos of Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp performing via sign language backed ‘My Valentine’ (made all the more romantic by Sir Paul’s wife being in the audience).

Still, there were more than enough tunes to keep audiences tapping their feet, with ‘All My Loving’, 'Hard Day’s Night’, and even an impressive version of recent hit with Kanye and Rhianna ‘FourFiveSeconds’.

There were tributes, too, to John Lennon and George Harrison, with stunning renditions of ‘Give Peace A Chance’ and ‘Something’ that left more than a few audience members weepy.

And that’s the power of Sir Paul’s work, whether he’s performing his own hits or covering someone else’s; there’s a depth and emotion brought to whatever he sings - from playfulness to heartbreak - that’s impossible not to be captivated by.

While there was no verbal statement, I think it speaks volumes that immediately after the encore started, Sir Paul and the band ran about the stage, each carrying gigantic flags: Australian, Aboriginal and the Rainbow taking pride of place with the British.

Sir Paul McCartney’s ‘One On One’ tour has two shows remaining in Sydney (Monday and Tuesday) before heading to New Zealand.

Rating: eighty kabillion stars. ★★★★★

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