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Tireless and electrifying, that would be an apt description of Paul McCartney’s performance at Comerica Park this evening, (July 24) as he swings by the City of Detroit, one of his concert venues of his “On The Run Tour” throughout the United States and Canada which kicked off July 16-17 in New York City.
After almost 5 decades on the stage, McCartney still makes waves, and lots of money. Tickets sold from $19 to $250. T-shirts sell, at $50, posters, $30 to $50, caps at $25.
I was in high school during Beatles’s heyday; and I have to content myself with enjoying their rock and roll musics through the radio, but now I have their albums as a collection, but that was after I was through college and have earned some loose change.
Comerica Park, built in 1997 for $300 Million over 70,000 square foot (23.3 hectares) of prime land at the heart of Detroit is a ballpark where professional baseball games are held and it has a seating capacity of 49,000. But the 69 year old former Beatles’s songwriter-musician, overfilled thi s stadium with adoring fans of mixed screaming senior citizens and teenagers. He was soaked with sweat but that did not dampen his spirit to entertain a swelling crowd of an estimated 60,000 who danced ang sung with him throughout his performance.
Hundreds of additional seats have to be placed in front of a platform across the baseball diamond for those who are willing to pay the ticket at $250.00 Thousand other spectators have to be content watching the concert standing right on the lawn of the ballpark and swayed their bodies in excitement as McCartney belted the lyrics of “Paperback Writer”, “I Will” “Day Tripper”, Obladi Oblada” and a couple of dozen more of other old but timeless Beatles’s songs. McCartney and his band performed a total of 46 tunes including songs from his solo gold platinum albums in over 3 hours starting at 8:30 p.m.
The entire ballpark, except the diamond, which was secured by wire fence to prevent the excited fans from ruining the daintily manicured lawn, was densely occupied. But in the regular 49,000 seats of the stadium though, you can rarely see a vacant seat.
Only about the same size of the diamond remains sparse early in the performance, but as midnight draws, the entire field was all humanity of dancing spectators and singing with the most resilient remnant of the Fabulous Four.
Acoustics were enhanced by huge speakers on two towers on the park that you can distinctly taste the flavor of the rock and roll rhythm and the nostalgia of the 60’s theme of having “to give peace a chance.”
Two huge rectangular video screens flanking the platform and facing the stadium provide the spectators from farther out the bleachers a vivid on-goings on the stage by McCartney and his band of 4 others, including a bald huge black guy who can hit the drums and cymbals with the same energy and suave of Ringo Starr; one on a Yamaha keyboard, and two others strum their guitars with McCartney front-stage. Two smaller displays at 90 degree angle from the front video screens were in place for those at the corner of the stage who can’t see the central videos and neither the performer on the stage.
On the stage itself, just few feet above the heads of the performers was a continuous panorama of historic and idyllic Beatlemania years, strobelights and fog lights add colors to the show and fireworks highlight the contaminating revelry at the stadium.
Shouting, giggling and swooning of frenzied fans did not drown out the ecstatic and melodious memorable beat of the 60’s popular tunes, thanks to the newest technology on acoustics.
And those fans who watched McCartney’s performance tonight, resonate on every familiar tunes of the Beatles because the performer was part of the original band that sang those tunes in much earlier times and captivated their hearts. So sentimental was their admiration to the band that they rubbed it off to the next generation that comes. No wonder, teenagers were still there, swooning and shouting.
At the gate though, the guards would not allow me to bring my Tl1 Canon Rebel camera inside the ballpark. I have to take photos and videos using a cell-phone. The output was a disaster, but that would be better than without a memorabilia of the night.
There is some common denominator among rock stars and movie superstars. During their younger days, you can mistake them for gays. That goes with Al Pacino, John Travolta, Robert DeNiro, Andy Garcia and McCartney, but as they aged, they become more handsome, poised and balance. Some rock stars though like Boy George and Michael Jackson did not metamorphose unto someone more macho and sexually appealing rockstar symbols, but you can still salivate over their money and not on their sensuality, regardless of your sexual orientation.