Paul McCartney is about to make his long-awaited local debut at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena as he kicks off his 13-city tour.
It’s an extra-special experience since Spokane will be the first to hear the setlist McCartney has assembled for his “Got Back” tour. Sir Paul tends to play a tune that has never been rendered live. The Beatles legend also is known to dust off a track that hasn’t been performed in many years.
Local fans who have scored tickets for Thursday night’s show are hoping for certain songs to be delivered.
“My very first album was ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’” north Spokane’s James Dodd said. “My favorite song on there is ‘Can’t Buy Me Love.’ So, I want him to kick off the show with that one. After that, he can do (anything) he wants.”
Another local who is very excited about the concert hopes to hear her favorite McCartney solo track.
“ ‘Maybe I’m Amazed,’ the greatest song written to his first wife, Linda,” Mayor Nadine Woodward said when asked what she would love to hear.
Woodward is ecstatic about catching her first McCartney concert. “I wouldn’t miss it,” she said.
“Hey Jude,” which is normally an encore staple, is at the top of South Hill resident Peggy Rolando’s wish list. “I’d say ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Blackbird’ are the songs I am most looking forward to hearing,” Rolando said. However, Rolando is now having second thoughts about attending.
When tickets went on sale in February, proof of vaccination and mask mandates were in effect for the show. However, that’s changed, and the local fan is concerned.
“I saw Paul with the Wings back in 1989 at the football stadium on the Berkeley campus,” Rolando said. “I remember the crowds being so large that when we were entering, at one point, the momentum lifted me off my feet and started carrying me in the opposite direction of where I was going.
“I know the Spokane crowds won’t be that large, but I was dismayed to get the email yesterday that COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted for the concert. I know many will be happy about this, but those stipulations were what let me feel comfortable in purchasing the tickets.
“I’m crushed. I’m still trying to wrap my head around this, and I am not sure that I will be able to attend.”
Some are making the pilgrimage to town by air, and then there are some traveling a long and winding road for the most intimate venue on the Got Back tour, which features eight of 15 dates at stadiums and ballparks.
Joe Martinez, 17, a high school senior, and his parents, Maria Martinez and Michael Martinez, are driving nearly 200 miles from Ronan, Mont., to catch their musical hero. “We live in a very small town, and at the start of COVID lockdowns, our son Joe picked up his dad’s guitar and started learning,” Maria Martinez said.
“He is a huge Beatles fan and was determined to learn their songs, ‘Blackbird’ being the first one he mastered. Since then, he has poured his heart and soul into music and now is writing original songs all around town. He is now known as that kid who loves the Beatles, singing many of their songs in his shows. He wants to bring that old school sound to the modern music scene.”
Martinez is on the same wavelength as the mayor. “The song he wants to hear most is ‘Maybe I’m Amazed,’” Maria Martinez said. “It (the tickets) is our graduation gift to him.”
Some folks may be looking forward to McCartney’s more recent material, from 2012’s exceptional “Kisses on the Bottom” and 2018’s warm, lush and modern “Egypt Station,” to 2020’s quirky and whimsical “McCartney III.”
4000 Holes owner Bob Gallagher would like to hear tracks from the latter. “I hope we hear the new stuff,” Gallagher said. “The new record is pretty good. As far as Beatles songs go, the Beatles song I like best is whatever I’m listening to.
“When it comes to a particular song from McCartney, I can’t choose one. It really doesn’t matter to me what he plays because every time he plays a song live, he blows you away.”