Paul McCartney doesn't know how to act his age.
Now 67 years old, the legendary rock star turned back the clock Sunday night, and fans in Glendale, Arizona were treated to three thrilling hours of some of the greatest rock and roll of all time, with no opening act and no breaks.
McCartney kicked off what he called a "mini-tour" with a rolicking and energetic concert before a huge and enthusiastic audience. He knew what they wanted to hear, and delivered with charm and an easy smile. Fans of early Beatles got "Day Tripper," "All My Loving," "I'm Looking Through You." Fans of classic Beatles got the greatest hits: "Hey Jude," "Eleanor Rigby," "Get Back," "Lady Madonna." And every fan got a rock and roll thrill of a lifetime when McCartney played a song never before performed on American soil; with a grin, Paul said coyly, "I think you're gonna like it," before launching into the opening chords of "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da". Not wanting to disappoint, McCartney also gave Wings fans a full compliment of hits, including a soulful "Let Me Roll It' and another never before performed song, "Nineteen Hundred and Eight Five" from Band on the Run.
Some of the evening's most memorable moments were studies in contrast. Some were quiet, as when, alone on the stage, McCartney offered up a beautifully lyrical "Blackbird." Later in the set, a backdrop of stunning photos of the Sonoran Desert (where he and his late wife Linda lived for many years) lent a sense of poignancy to a bittersweet version of "Long and Winding Road." He could have easily lingered on the quiet side and few would have faulted him, but Paul's still the wild boy from The Cavern Club and he wanted to rock: a sweet ukelele version of "Something" transitioned into a full-throttled showstopper that had the audience on its feet. After cranking up the volume with "Back in the USSR" McCartney threw himself into an edgy version of "I've Got a Feeling." Even at the end of a show that would have exhausted a performer half his age, McCartney was still rocking, following up his signature Beatle song, "Yesterday" with a ripping "Helter Skelter"...as part of his second encore.
Through it all McCartney never seemed to weary. And while his voice no longer rings with the crystal purity it had when he was twenty, he still touched the high notes on "Every Night" with as much ease as he growled out the opening of "Lady Madonna."
Toward the end of the show McCartney caught a small stuffed animal, a pink bunny, tossed by a member of the audience; he wore the bunny on his back for the encore (making sure to turn around so the happy fan could see). The little gift might have been an Easter gift, or it might have been an Energizer Bunny. If the latter, it had nothing on Paul McCartney. The legendary performer proved once again that he doesn't just keep going and going. He's still getting better all the time.