Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Paul McCartney in Norway

Photo: Helge Røys Halkjelsvik
We are back from Paul McCartney's fantastic concert at Telenor Arena in Bærum (just outside Oslo). The concert attracted very good reviews from the biggest newspapers in Norway.
Paul's plane landed around 15:30, and on his way from the Gardermoen airport, he had a phone interview with one of our most popular radio stations, P4. You may listen to the interview here. When his black limousine arrived at the venue, he went straight to the stage for the soundcheck. Several of the most devoted fans from the Norwegian Wood, Beatles Fan Club were there, and from Tore Waskaas we received this soundcheck set list:

Talking intro
Jam
Matchbox
Honey Don't
Blue Suede Shoes
Drive My Car
Junior's Farm
All My Loving
Celebration
Let 'Em In
Miss Ann
I'll Follow the Sun
Every Night
It's So Easy
Midnight Special
Raunchy
Leaning on a Lampost
Ram On
Bluebird
Lady Madonna

Also around ten people gathered around one of the garage doors outside were able to hear the soundcheck, which started at 16:23 and finished at 17:30. I believe that may be the origin of a two part YouTube upload of this soundcheck. Part 1 starts with Blue Suede Shoes and part 2 with Every Night. An hours' worth of warming up before the show must have been good for his voice, because at the Roskilde Festival, several reviewers noted that his voice was a little creaky for the first half hour, and this was not the case in Norway. Some remarked that Paul looked a little tired at the soundcheck in Oslo, but he may have taken a nap between that and the concert itself, which started two and a half hours later. The concert was announced to begin at 19:30, but that was only the pre-show collage film and soundtrack, McCartney didn't show up until 20:00. The audience were up on their feet for Paul's arrival to the stage.
He set the mood straight away with "Eight Days A Week", which got a great reception from the concertgoers, who as usual were from every generation. I'm not going to give you a detailed blow by blow, but I can tell you that his voice was steady 90% of the time, which was commented on by several people after the show. The big Telenor Arena championship for bathroom-running and beerpurchasing took place during "Another Day" and "Hope For The Future". As usual, the albums from the past, ten, twenty, thirty years were all forgotten about by Paul too, except for the latest album "New", from which we got the title tune, "Save Us" and "Queenie Eye". Here's the full set list:

1. Eight Days A Week
2. Save Us
3. Got To Get You Into My Life
4. Good Day Sunshine (Two in a row from "Revolver" is never a bad thing)
5. Temporary Secretary (surprisingly forceful!)
6. Let Me Roll It (with the familiar Foxy Lady coda)
7. Paperback Writer ("I played this guitar on the original recording in the sixties")
8. My Valentine (for Nancy, he said she was there)
9. Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
10. The Long and Winding Road
11. Maybe I'm Amazed (for Linda, very good vocals, not as shaky as on the Saturday Night Live anniversary)
12. I've Just Seen a Face
13. We Can Work It Out
14. Another Day
15. Hope for the Future
16. And I Love Her
17. Blackbird
18. Here Today
19. New
20. Queenie Eye
21. Lady Madonna
22. All Together Now (for the kids)
23. Lovely Rita
24. Eleanor Rigby
25. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! ("I remember the writing session with John")
26. Something
27. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (audience singalong)
28. Band on the Run
29. Back in the U.S.S.R.
30. Let It Be
31. Live and Let Die (Guns 'n' Roses, go home!)

Photo: Eivind Vesterkjær (@eivindves)

32. Hey Jude

Surprisingly many people in the audience seemed to think that this was it, and rushed to get out of the arena to get an early start of their journey home.

Extra numbers:
33. Another Girl
34. Birthday (for Ringo, 75 and daddy Jim, who would have turned 114)
35. Can't Buy Me Love

Again, lots of people reckoned this was it and headed for the exits.

Extra extra numbers:
36. Yesterday
37. Helter Skelter
38. Golden Slumbers
39. Carry That Weight
40. The End

The set list from Oslo. As we can see, switching "Hi Hi Hi" with "Birthday" was spontaneous. Photo: Geir Paulsen
About audience members who were taken up on stage to meet Paul, this was very much almost a reprise from Roskilde, since one girl wanted a hug (Catherine from Philadelphia, USA) and another wanted her arm signed for a tattoo (Eirin from Trondheim, Norway).
"See you next time", was Paul's standard goodbye. If it's in another 11 years time, he will then be 84. On the way home, waiting for the bus, we overheard a surprised young girl saying to her friend "I didn't know he was a rocker"! A testimony to what kind of songs by Paul the radio stations favour. This was truly a RockShow, no doubt about it!

Here are some samples from VG TV:



Here's an amateur recording of "We Can Work It Out", Paul reading a couple of the posters, followed by "Another Day".

2 comments:

James Percival said...

Jealous!

paulo said...

Roger,can you please say hello to Helge (the guy who took the photo with the flags)? I'm Paulo from Portugal and we used to chat a few years ago. I was at the Oslo concert too (7th row) and went to the soundcheck as well. Great show, with Paul in great form! All the best!