Having attended perhaps half a dozen Paul McCartney concerts in my life (one in the very front row at Barclays Center), one thing I’ve learned is that Sir Paul doesn’t do anything halfway. Pyrotechnics often accompany his signature closer (one of many) of “Live And Let Die” and his shows are never short.
So for PETA’s 35th birthday, McCartney, a longtime supporter and advocate of the animals’ rights group, gave an astounding, career-spanning set that lasted almost an hour and a half. This is a far cry from the norm: a three-song set that closes the benefit. But like I said, Paul doesn’t skimp.
Instead, it was a fully-fledged concert with a celebrity audience so close to Paul’s stage that they could rest their shoes and handbags on the edge of it—and did. Oh, to be rich and a vegan!
It was a star-studded affair otherwise, with a vegan dinner for 1,200 guests and activists, as well as an awards show recognizing the passionate animal-rights activists. Guests in attendance included Joaquin Phoenix, Emily Deschanel, RZA, Molly Shannon, Courtney Stodden, Pamela Anderson, Tommy Lee, Tony Hawk, Anjelica Huston and Kesha. Talk about a diverse guest list!
But everyone pretty much agreed that Paul McCartney stole the show, offering up his greatest hits from his long and hugely successful career (understatement, to say the least). He began with the appropriate “Birthday” and continued with “Blackbird,” “Ob-la-Di, Ob-la-Da,” I’ve Just Seen a Face,” and “Drive My Car,” the last two of which he sang with Beck.
The set ended with an encore of “Golden Slumbers” that had the entire crowd out on Hollywood Boulevard. But the highlight of the night was undoubtedly the “Hey Jude” sing-a-long. Take it from me: those are pure magic.