The year of 2016 has been an awful one for music. Losing David Bowie, Glen Frey, and as of the last month, Prince, we have lost some of music’s absolute legends. So seeing Paul McCartney open up a two-night stint in Minneapolis, a city that is on the cusp of mourning Prince, was a sight. His mixture of happiness and sadness in the setlist made the concert quite nostalgic.
McCartney will be seventy-four years old next month, but one wouldn’t know it listening to him. His voice is still amazing and he appears to live for the stage, much more energetic than other entertainers his age or younger. A few of his higher notes seemed a bit harder to hit, as if he had a cold, but it’s to be expected occasionally, given his age and how long he has toured.
After dedicating an instrumental version of “Foxy Lady” to “the late, great Jimi Hendrix,” McCartney announced that he was dedicating Wednesday’s concert to “the late, great Prince.” He revealed that he’d seen Prince in concert in London numerous times and a in a smaller club this last New Year’s Eve. “Minneapolis, Prince,” Sir Paul stated, then paused. “Prince, Minneapolis. It goes together.” As all of Minnesota sheds a tear.
As he did in Target Field during his last show in Minneapolis, McCartney dedicated songs to John Lennon (“Here Today”) and George Harrison (“Something”). George Martin also received a dedication this time around – “Love Me Do”, as it was the first song he had recorded with The Beatles. A back story was then given on how Martin had asked McCartney to take a Lennon vocal part so Lennon could play harmonica instead.
The setlist consisted of a solid mix of songs throughout the years. Included were numerous Wings tunes (“Band on the Run” and “Letting Go”), the expected Beatles songs, including “Hard Day’s Night”, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, and “Blackbird” and even going as far back as Quarrymen’s “In Spite of All the Danger”.
A number of more melancholy songs, rounded out the evening. “Let It Be”, “Yesterday”, and “Hey Jude” brought a tremendous amount of emotion to the night, as well as a Target Center filled with cellphone light. However, he chose the more upbeat Wings song, “Hi Hi Hi,” to make the night that much better. The addition of a taste of Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” — complete with a purple glyph on the video screen, was included in the encores, closing out the night with “The End.”
“Here’s to the man,” he then said. “Loved that guy. Thank you, Prince, for writing so many beautiful songs, so much music. And he’s your guy.”