Press reaction: Paul McCartney One On One in Hershey and Boston

Tuesday night saw Paul McCartney bring his One On One tour to Hersheypark Stadium. Read what the local press thought below, including more reaction from his incredible Fenway Park show last weekend.

Lancaster Newspapers

Paul McCartney is charming at jaw-dropping Hershey show

As if the world needed any proof that Paul McCartney’s still got it, skeptics should look no further than the music icon’s Tuesday night show at Hersheypark Stadium.

Just a few songs into his nearly three-hour set, McCartney peeled off his royal blue Nehru jacket to reveal a sharp dress shirt.

Fans, primarily the women in attendance, shrieked in delight.

“That’s the main costume change of the whole evening,” McCartney said with a wink.

Moments like these are what makes seeing McCartney live an experience unlike any other. Of course the music is going to be good – not just good, astounding – so the pleasant surprises are in the humanity McCartney brings to his live show.

Sometimes it was a little jig he’d do after a song, standing up at the piano and waving his arms around playfully at the crowd. Other times, it was a sweet memory of one of his former bandmates, or a story about a time he performed in Moscow, during which he impersonates a Russian government official.

During “And I Love Her,” it was when he turned his back to the crowd and did an adorable little booty shake.

The man still has it.

The sprawling, spectacular setlist was like a musical scrapbook of McCartney’s career. He played the first song he ever recorded with the pre-Beatles band the Quarrymen, “In Spite of All the Danger.” He also played his 2015 collaboration with Rihanna and Kanye West, “FourFiveSeconds.”

McCartney performed numerous Beatles songs, from sailing toward the sky on a mobile riser during “Blackbird” to the circus ditty “For the Benefit of Mr. Kite,” which was a joy to hear live thanks to McCartney’s exceptional backing band. (It’s worth mentioning that McCartney has played with this lineup longer than he did with the Beatles or Wings.)

McCartney hit high notes with remarkable ease, especially during “Maybe I’m Amazed.” Photographs and videos taken by McCartney’s late wife Linda were displayed on the big screen behind him as he played the song, which he wrote for her.

There were many times when it was easy to get misty-eyed as McCartney paid tribute to loved ones. He played “Here Today,” a song he wrote as a conversation he wishes he had had with John Lennon.

“If you’ve got something nice to say to someone, get it said,” McCartney said.

As he played the George Harrison tune “Something” on ukulele, photos of McCartney and Harrison were shown on the screen behind him.

The jumbotrons were utilized incredibly well during the entire performance. The images were a mix of photographs, video and animation, which were always interesting but never distracting. Fireworks and pyrotechnics elevated the show even higher, blasting off at key moments during “Live and Let Die.”

Even though McCartney is conditioned to putting on a grand spectacle night after night, his live show never feels like he’s simply going through the motions. On Tuesday night, he even made a conscious effort to be present and allowed himself a moment to just look out into the crowd.

“I’m just going to take a minute here to drink it all in for myself,” he said.

We’re trying to do the same, Paul. Take as long as you need to.

Worcester Telegram Gazette

Paul McCartney takes fans 'Here, There and Everywhere' at Fenway Park

In what is becoming a commonplace (but never unwelcome) occurrence at Fenway Park, Paul McCartney brought the sold-out Bay State crowd on another whirlwind Magical Mystery Tour through some of the best and most beloved pop songs ever recorded.

With more than just a little help from his friends (guitarist Rusty Anderson, guitarist/bassist Brian Ray, keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Paul “Wix” Wickens and powerhouse drummer Abe Laboriel Jr.), McCartney, who’s played at the famed ball diamond four times in the last seven years, promised to deliver a rock 'n' roll party packed with old songs, new songs and some in-between songs.

The 74-year-old McCartney delivered on his promise.

Showcasing his illustrious career as a Beatle, Wings frontman and solo artist, McCartney's 39-song, two-hour-and-40-minute performance Sunday night was a dream come true. It contained 24 Beatles songs, seven solo gems (four of which were released within the last five years), six Wings songs, a Macca, Rihanna and Kanye West collaboration and a Quarrymen song, which pre-dates the Fab Four.

And for the incredible encore, McCartney was joined on stage by Grateful Dead founder Bob Weir and Pats’ star Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski, both playing with Macca for the first time.

Looking all Beatley in a maroon-colored, collarless jacket, lightly pink-colored long-sleeve dress shirt, black slacks and his signature Hofner bass strapped around his neck, McCartney opened his stellar set with the Mop Top-era chart-topper "A Hard Day’s Night," which was sheer magic, as it hinted at the truly memorable performance that was about to unfold.

Sounding like a lost new wave gem that was a cross between Pete Shelley and Gary Numan, “Temporary Secretary” (from 1980’s “McCartney II”) was, by far, the evening's most offbeat oddity.

Proving that he’s no slouch in the six-string department, The Cute Beatle channeled his inner-Jimi Hendrix on “Let Me Roll It,” which he closed out with the scorching guitar lead from “Foxy Lady,” before leading the band from behind a piano on the jangly, honky-tonk rocker "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five."

The evening's most pleasant surprises were the timeless Beatles’ classic “Here, There and Everywhere,” which literally had the audience swooning in delight as soon as they recognized it, and "We Can Work It Out," which still boasts some of the truest lyrics about life that has ever surfaced in a tidy pop ditty.

Sounding like he was auditioning for the Soggy Bottom Boys, McCartney went all the way back to his skiffle roots on the country-tinged "In Spite of All the Danger," the first song he ever recorded with Lennon and Harrison (as the five-piece Quarrymen) back in 1958.

Sir Paul dedicated “Love Me Do” to Sir George Martin, without whom McCartney said there wouldn’t have been any Beatles records. During “And I Love Her,” McCartney playfully shook his butt, to great crowd approval.

In his introduction to "Blackbird," McCartney talked about how the Civil Rights movement of the '60s was the chief inspiration behind the song.

"Eleanor Rigby,'' easily the best nihilistic pop song ever recorded, was followed by “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!,” which momentarily transformed Fenway into a psychedelic carnival with its sweeping calliope effects, swirly laser and McCartney singing lead.

“Something” was something else. This deeply moving salute to Harrison started with McCartney tenderly caressing the lyrics while rudimentary strumming a ukulele and then erupting into full-body Beatlesque grandeur with Anderson’s shooting off Harrison’s incendiary guitar licks.

After a blistering “Band on the Run,” "Back in the U.S.S.R." was so rocking and inspired it made even the most patriotic of flag-waving Americans in the audience momentarily homesick for Mother Russia.

“Live and Let Die” was explosive, figuratively and literally, with its mix of rocking instrumentation and fiery, eyebrow-singeing pyrotechnics.

To close out the main set, McCartney took a sad song and made it better with the massive singalong/spiritual sermon "Hey Jude," a number that is still an emotional powerhouse.

After parading back on stage with U.S., U.K. and Massachusetts state flags, McCartney showed why “Yesterday” is still the quintessential acoustic ballad of the rock era and most popular song in history.

Weir (who played the previous two night before McCartney at Fenway under the Dead & Company moniker) joined Sir Paul for a jam-worthy version of Wings’ “Hi, Hi, Hi,” which made McCartney joke afterwards that he wasn’t sure if the crowd just witnessed the inaugural performance of “The Grateful Beatles” or “The Beatles Dead.”

Just when the audience thought the show couldn’t get any cooler or crazier, Gronkowski came barreling out on stage like a big friendly giant and provided some laughable stiff dance moves, goofy air guitar gestures and ridiculously bad vocals on the Beatles’ classic “Helter Skelter,” which McCartney hasn’t been playing regularly on this tour.

And, if that wasn’t enough to inflate ones spirits, Gronk told the already pumped crowd that football season’s just around the corner and the Pats are gonna “turn it up” this year.

Appropriately enough, the evening came to its confetti and fireworks finale with the beloved “Abbey Road” suite consisting of “Golden Slumbers,” “Carry That Weight” and “The End,” which concludes with the ringing sentiment, “And in the end/The love you take/Is equal to the love you make.''

No arguments here.


Paul McCartney Takes Nothing for Granted on 'One on One’ Tour

At this point in his career, Sir Paul McCartney wouldn’t be faulted for phoning in a live performance. Fortunately, one look at setlists from his current ‘One on One’ tour will show that he does nothing of the sort. The former Beatle didn’t play it safe, nor did he pander to the audience with some easy hits. In fact, McCartney invited them to celebrate as he packed 38 songs from all eras of his life into his revamped tour.

Fortunately, McCartney has incorporated a variety of classics into his set including “Love Me Do” and “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” in addition to staples like “Live and Let Die” (complete with fireworks) and “Blackbird”.

The only oddball song was “FourFiveSeconds”, a recent collaboration with Rihanna and Kanye West. But from that, he went right into “Eleanor Rigby”, so the minor detour to something unfamiliar didn’t prevent everyone from continuing to have fun.

In spite of the size of the venues, McCartney and his music forge a personal connection with each and every one in the audience. His ‘One on One’ tour continues—dates follow below the photos.

Paul's One On One tour of North America continues throughout July and August. Full details here.