The Stick: No Longer Out There

Paul McCartney closed down the aging, crumbling Candlestick Park in San Francisco amid controversy. A tug of war between San Francisco and Santa Clara, where there’s a new pleasure palace built for the San Francisco 49ers, with each city wanting the lucrative super show, ended with McCartney closing down the Stick. History aside, it was a mess. If you were lucky enough to get to the venue three hours early, you could get parking and stood a fair chance of finding your seat (staff were clueless about helping people find seats and security was dangerously invisible when numerous scuffles broke out between drunken fans). If you were late, you would have been turned away, as indeed hundreds if not a few thousand ticket holders experienced. Traffic jams in and out of the surrounding area marred the evening. People slept in their cars because they couldn’t get out of the area. Others were left to walk out hours later. I never thought I’d say this, in print, but I missed Live Nation at the helm.

Burning Man: Paul McCartney

It was my night off, so I just had my iPhone instead of my usual camera gear. It was another working night for Paul in Seattle at Safeco Field. And it was a first for Seattle (just another first in a long career of firsts for Paul): tonight’s concert was the first-ever live music show inside Safeco Field. The baseball field’s emerald-green pampered grass was covered with some kind of flooring to allow for seating, and the stage was set up in the outfield. Our seats were almost behind home plate, awesome for baseball, but pretty far away for a concert. It didn’t matter. The man still creates a unique vibe and fills the space. We heard from the field staff that his staging arrived in 31 semi trucks (a week before the show), which we later saw from the garage. At the end of the long set Paul was joined by Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic for a mini Nirvana reunion thing, and some energetic jamming. Very cool evening, nostalgic and sweet with fireworks (during “Live and Let Die“; yes, you know the song, written in 1973), on a warm Seattle summer night, with 50,000 friends, give or take a few.