On Friday, I was not looking forward to heading into the madness of the Paul McCartney “green concert” at Piedmont Park the next day. All week, I’d read various accounts of what a nightmare traffic and MARTA were going to be. There was a Braves doubleheader, a big show at the Georgia World Concert Center, a few other big events. And I don’t know which I was dreading worse: seeing some old guy perform an evening of songs he made famous 40 years ago or listening to an old guy perform new songs I couldn’t care less about.
I resolved to wake up Saturday, put a smile on my face, and go have a good time.
So we loaded up the van here in the ‘burbs, stopped by to pick up E., and scooted over to Lindbergh to park. All very green so far: the MomVan/ConcertCamper was filled to its capacity of 8 passengers.
MARTA had us at 10th and Peachtree in a jiffy, but the line to get in the park wrapped halfway down to the other entrance. By the time we got in, we were way, way back in the park. We found a shady spot and settled in. Everything was very well planned inside: the vendors and portapotties were all very adequate — no long lines anywhere.
Ethan decided to head up toward the front before the opening band. Elizabeth and I thought we’d wait until time for McCartney to start. Big mistake. Warren tried to go up toward the end of the opener (The Script) and said it was so packed he couldn’t get through. Ethan texted us that he made a bunch of folks mad on his way up. Who cares? He was right up at the stage, with just a few people in front of him. Best of all? He had won his tickets!
Check out his photos to see how close he was, and here’s a link to all of his videos. At the very least, watch this little tribute to the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, inspired, I suppose, by the sea of people in the park, old, clean, white and well dressed though they were:
The rest of us, however, were left acres away from the stage. Thank goodness the sound and the video were fabulous. They started folks off with some Beatles tunes, then some great new songs I’d never heard, then some Wings (major pyrotechnics for “Live and Let Die”), then back to Beatles. Several encores made us feel like we’d gotten more than we paid for. Here’s the setlist.
It had to pour down rain, of course, just about the time he sang “Blackbird.” But it cooled us off and didn’t last too long.
He’s 67, he may have had a little work done, but his voice sounds great and he’s just so engaging and somehow still boyishly, self-deprecatingly goofy. By the end of the show, I was singing along with every song and happy to be there. And he ended with the “goodbye” version of “Sgt. Peppers” (We’d like to thank you once again”) and finally one of my very favorites, from Abbey Road, “The End.” (Was that their last song on a record, ever?)
Afterward, the big wet mob herded itself calmly out of the park and up 10th Street. Solid people from the park to the Midtown station. But somehow MARTA sucked us all right out of there and back to the ‘burbs, with no major backups or waits. I was very impressed with the MARTA folks. Despite major budget cuts, they pulled off a big one.
And in the end / the love you take / is equal to the love / you make.