Paul McCartney kicked off his current mini-tour last night (November 11th) in St. Louis at the 19,260-capacity Scottrade Center. The show was the first of a five-show run this month, which will also hit Houston, Texas; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Edmonton, Alberta. In addition to all the usual Beatles classics which have dominated McCartney's setlists over the years, McCartney played such Wings favorites as "Junior's Farm," "Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five," and "Mrs. Vandebilt" -- along with a deeper dip into his "Fab Four" catalogue, running through evergreens such as "I've Just Seen A Face," "Birthday," and "The Night Before," among many others.
McCartney told us that there's no great method behind devising his nightly setlists, explaining that it really comes down to common sense: "We just do, first of all what we think the audience might like; secondly, what we like -- which is very important because we can't throw in stuff that they like, but we don't. And then we throw in a bit of things they may not know, but that we think would be interesting because they don't know 'em. And then we look and see what we did last time and we try to do too many of the same numbers. We try to open with something different, so a few little things like that."
McCartney's current band is the longest lineup he's had in place since the Beatles -- with the core group of player signing on to work with McCartney during the spring of 2001: "I was going to do the Driving Rain album, I was talking to the producer, I said, 'I better get some people -- or you better get some people.' (Laughs) Y'know, we're gonna work with musicians. So I said, 'Y'know what, you know guys out in L.A.' I said, 'Why don't you make a couple of suggestions' -- so he did, and they sounded great. Abe (Laboriel Jr.) on drums and Rusty (Anderson) on guitar. So, anyway, I worked with those two guys during the Driving Rain album, and loved working with them."
Britain's Daily Mail just revealed that back on May 2nd, McCartney and wife Nancy Shevell narrowly escaped a helicopter crash in a $9 million Air Harrods helicopter. According to the report, the couple was only two feet way from plunging into trees due to a disoriented pilot coping with poor weather conditions. He was able to steer the copter to safely at a nearby airport. The paper posted that air accident investigators have launched a "serious incident" probe.
Paul McCartney tour dates (subject to change):
November 14 - Houston, TX - Minute Maid Park
November 25 - Vancouver, BC - BC Place
November 28, 19 - Edmonton, AB - Rexall Place