Paul McCartney carries the weight at Bonnaroo - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Paul McCartney carries the weight at Bonnaroo

Posted: Updated:

MANCHESTER, Tennessee (AP) — Even a former Beatle needs a moment standing on the main stage at Bonnaroo.

A few songs into his transcendent first set at the massive Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Paul McCartney wrapped his arms around his signature Hofner bass and surveyed a crowd of 80,000 adoring fans.

"Hey, listen, I'm going to take a moment just to drink all this in for myself," McCartney said.

McCartney is one of the world's most recognizable musicians and showed why as he led a massive 2½-hour sing-a-long of three dozen songs that included two encores Friday night.

Playing for a crowd consisting mostly of fans who were born a decade or more after the Beatles broke up in 1971, he lavishly revisited the Beatles, Wings and his own solo catalog, laying down hit after hit and playing two Beatles cuts he only recently began playing live for the first time — "Lovely Rita" and "Mr. Mustard."

McCartney, who turns 71 next week, acknowledged some cultural similarities between the generations, however.

"That's some pretty good weed I can smell," McCartney said as wispy puffs of smoke rose from hundreds of spots in the crowd. "What are you doing to me?"

McCartney took the time to talk about several songs, explaining his Beatles classic "Blackbird" was written about the civil rights struggle in Arkansas.

He noted songs he wrote for his wives over the years, took a moment to express support for incarcerated Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot after playing "Back in the USSR" and told a humorous story about Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.

He also paid tribute to late Beatles members John Lennon and George Harrison. Drummer Ringo Starr and McCartney are the only surviving members of the genre-defining British rock band.

McCartney kicked off Harrison's biggest hit "Something" on the ukulele, playing in an unfamiliar time signature that gave the song new meaning, before strapping on a guitar to finish the song. And he played "Here Today" for his old songwriting partner Lennon, a song he wrote after Lennon was shot to death in 1980.

McCartney warned members of the crowd to never hold back their feelings, as he did with Lennon after the group broke up.

"That's it," McCartney said after finishing the song on a baby grand piano. "If you wait to tell someone you love them, it's too late."

The set only seemed to pick up speed as the night edged toward midnight. With the crowd yet to diminish, he played "Live and Let Die" accented by onstage pyrotechnics and fireworks.

The entire crowd joined in on "Hey, Jude" before McCartney and his four-piece band left the stage. He returned waving a Tennessee state flag and played a three-song encore that included "Day Tripper" and "Get Back."

He returned for a second encore that included a rollicking version of "Helter Skelter." A member of the crowd tossed McCartney a stuffed toy walrus, alluding to a cryptic nickname given to him by Lennon, and McCartney concluded his first show at Bonnaroo by singing "Carry That Weight" to the toy he placed atop his piano.

___

Online:

Http://paulmccartney.com

___

Follow AP Music Writer Chris Talbott: http://twitter.com/Chris_Talbott.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Tony Stewart back at the track, looking to heal

    Tony Stewart back at the track, looking to heal

    Saturday, August 30 2014 12:20 AM EDT2014-08-30 04:20:07 GMT
    Tony Stewart should be back in his comfort zone at a NASCAR track, ready for racing.More
    Tony Stewart took his seat on the podium - unshaven, his eyes glassy - and unfolded a sheet of paper. His voice quivered as he read, pausing to maintain his composure as he described the death of a driver he hit as "one of...More
  • Grundy Co. Yellow Jackets Marching Band

    Grundy Co. Yellow Jackets Marching Band

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:34 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:34:57 GMT
    The Grundy County High School Band's Director says, "for a little band, they can make a good bit of noise!" To Yellow Jackets faithful and band aficionados, it is sweet music. They serenade us with Rocky Top and are our Band of the Week!More
    The Grundy County High School Band's Director says, "for a little band, they can make a good bit of noise!" To Yellow Jackets faithful and band aficionados, it is sweet music. They serenade us with Rocky Top and are our Band of the Week!More
  • UPDATE: Man killed while mowing grass when truck hit him; 3 teens inside truck also died

    UPDATE: Man killed while mowing grass when truck hit him; 3 teens inside truck also died

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:22 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:22:40 GMT
    4 teens inside truck that killed man on his lawn mower; Pinson only survivor4 teens inside truck that killed man on his lawn mower; Pinson only survivor
    Four teens were inside a vehicle that hit and killed 57-year-old Bryan Bartley while he was mowing grass on Thursday evening. Three teens also died in the tragedy. Alexis Pinson survived the crash and is improving, friends say. More
    Four teens were inside a vehicle that hit and killed 57-year-old Bryan Bartley while he was mowing grass on Thursday evening. Three teens also died in the tragedy. Alexis Pinson survived the crash and is improving, friends say. More
Powered by WorldNow
Can't find what you're looking for?

WRCB-TV
900 Whitehall Road
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 267-5412

WRCB Jobs EEO | FCC Public Files

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WRCB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.