Paul McCartney is back in the U.S.A. having kicked off the latest North American leg of his Out There tour in Ottawa on Sunday (July 7th), following a brief run of European shows. During the Ottawa concert, in honor of the French speaking Canadians, he added the "Fab Four's" Rubber Soul classic, "Michelle" to the setlist, a brief run-through of "Happy Birthday" for Ringo Starr -- who was back home in England celebrating his 73rd birthday, and the 1977 international chart-topper, "Mull Of Kintyre" -- which McCartney has still yet to perform in the U.S. Tonight (July 9th), McCartney will play Boston's Fenway park, launching a nine-date open air string of stadium and festival shows.
McCartney's longtime drummer, Abe Laboriel, Jr., told The Boston Globe that McCartney has amassed, "a wealth of material. . . It's exciting. A lot of different styles. It's very youthful -- aggressively rock at times, and singer-songwriter, insular and intimate, at others." Insider reports say that McCartney's still-untitled new album may be out by Thanksgiving.
Laboriel began drummer for McCartney during the spring 2001 L.A. sessions for the lackluster Driving Rain album. He first performed with McCartney at that year's The Concert For New York City, and hit the road with the former Beatle in April 2002: "He has boundless energy. At the end of an almost three-hour show, I'm completely wiped out. I've run the marathon. It's amazing -- he's still bouncing around. The truth is, every time he gets onstage, he's enjoying himself beyond anything. That gives us confidence that there's no sign of this gig slowing down. He loves being in front of the audience, with his band, rocking out."
McCartney was asked how he and the band tend to get around while on the road: "That depends, really. It's mainly flying. We did plan to take a bus trip, but then we got this really cool plane -- no one wants to take the bus anymore (laughs). I don't know why. 'Cause maybe we've got a disco on board, (laughs) and food and drink. Yeah, that's normally how we travel; on the plane, yeah."
Wings' final lead guitarist, Grammy Award winner, Lawrence Juber told us that when McCartney does entrust the drums to other musicians, he always wants them to follow his lead: "It's interesting, Paul has the tendency to use drummers that don't play like Ringo (Starr), but play like him -- like Paul does. I mean Abe (Laboriel) Jr. has a 'Paul' kind of sensibility on the kit. He doesn't play the Beatles stuff like Ringo."
Paul McCartney tour dates (subject to change):
July 9 - Boston, MA - Fenway Park
July 12 - Washington, DC - Nationals Park
July 14 - Indianapolis, IN - Bankers Life Fieldhouse
July 16 - Milwaukee, WI - Miller Park
July 19 - Safeco Field - Seattle, Washington
July 23 - Quebec City, QC - Plains Of Abraham
August 9 - San Francisco, CA - Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park
August 12 - Winnipeg, MB - Investors Group Field
August 14 - Regina, SK - Mosaic Stadium At Taylor Field
Photo Courtesy of PRPhotos.com