I never really thought it would happen, but Wednesday night I saw Sir Paul McCartney live in concert at the new Cowboys Stadium in Texas. A little over a month ago I got a call in the afternoon. It was my daughter Cynda asking me if I would like to go see Paul with her. I had to ask her to repeat herself because I wasn't sure what she had said. I though about it for a couple of seconds and said sure. We talked to my wife, my son and his fiance and they all wanted to go. The morning that the tickets went on sale Cynda tried to buy the tickets. Cowboys Stadium is a 80,000 seat stadium, surely she would be able to buy tickets. She tried to buy 5 tickets together. No luck. She tried to buy 3 tickets together. once again no luck. She ended up having to buy 2 pairs and a single. She and I had seats on the floor, My wife sat on the first level, and my son and his fiance sat on the second level.
Things came together quite nicely. My wife Gina already had a plane ticket from Dallas to Seattle for 7:30 A.M. on Aug 20th. We were going to have to be in Dallas the night of the 19th anyway, so why not go ahead and see Sir Paul. We left Wednesday morning and drove to Keene, Texas where we had lunch with Gavin and Rachel. After some shopping at the Adventist Book Center where Gavin works, we got to see his new apartment. He had just moved in and was excited to show us his new place.
It is a 2 bedroom 2 bath duplex within walking distance of the University and work. He is sharing it with his friend Luis. I am happy for him. It's the first place he can really call home. His Mama took him some glasses, a set of stoneware dishes and a brand new set of pots and pans. He and Luis are now ready to do some serious cooking.
After Rachel got off work, we headed to our motel near the airport where we were meeting Cynda. After a good meal at IHOP we headed for the stadium. What a nightmare. Not only was there a sold out Paul McCartney concert but there was a Texas Rangers game at the Ballpark right next to Cowboys Stadium.
Cynda had purchased a parking spot when she bought the tickets, but with detours because of construction, no signs directing you to the specific parking areas, and no left turn signs for many many blocks, and no police presence directing traffic, getting to our parking spot was quite a trying experience for a country boy like me. The City of Arlington has some work to do figuring out how to handle traffic for the Cowboys games. The first game at the new stadium is a pre-season game this Friday night.
Once we got inside the stadium it was a madhouse. The staff is so new that they don't know how to direct you to your seats. Gina asked three different ushers how to get to her seat, and we were sent here, there and everywhere. We finally found her section on our own, and then set out to find out how to get to our seats on the stadium floor. Our dentist, Dr. Peppers, had asked Gina to get him a concert T-shirt, so I stood in line for an hour to get him a t-shirt. As much as I hated the pushing shoving surging crowd in front of the t-shirt kiosk at least it distracted me from the opening act. It is probably just because I am old, but "The Script" did nothing for me, and the sound seemed badly out of balance for a major concert event. I could not hear or understand the vocals.
When Paul came out on stage, and started playing "Drive My Car", the entire stadium was on their feet. That energy lasted for the next two and a half hours. Before long Paul removed his jacket and performed the rest of the evening in a white shirt with red suspenders. It was like an evening with Grandpa, but come to think of it he is 67 years old. I hope that I have that kind of energy at 67.
The music included many Beatles tunes along with songs from Wings and his solo career. The two songs from the new Fireman album didn't seem to connect as well with the audience as his older material. One of the highlights of the evening was when he played tribute to Texas native son Buddy Holly by reminiscing about Holly's importance musically to the young boys who became the Beatles, and covering his hit, "It's So Easy". The most surprising moment for me was the pyrotechnics during the song "Live And Let Die". I wasn't expecting that.
If this is Paul's last tour of the U.S. (as has been rumored), I might be able to say that I was at his final concert in America. If the rumor ends up being true, he will have gone out on a high. The sold-out crowd sang and danced in the aisles, basking in the evening’s nostalgic glow. It was hard to believe that most of the songs were written over 40 years ago. The make up of the audience was quite interesting, with many people there in their 60's and 70's. I had to smile to see little old ladies with their walkers and wearing Beatles T-shirts.
These were the songs that Paul and his band performed
Drive My Car Jet Only Mama Knows Flaming Pie Got To Get You Into My Life Let Me Roll It Highway The Long And Winding Road My Love Blackbird Here Today Dance Tonight Calico Skies It's So Easy Mrs Vanderbilt Eleanor Rigby Sing The Changes Band On The Run Back In The USSR I'm Down Something I've Got A Feeling Paperback Writer A Day In The Life Give Peace A Chance Let It Be Live And Let Die Hey Jude Day Tripper Lady Madonna I Saw Her Standing There Yesterday Helter Skelter Get Back Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band The End
The concert will be an evening that I will never forget, and it was great to be able to make those memories with my wife and kids.
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I was born in 1956 in Madison, Tennessee, while my parents were attending Madison College. I grew up along the Front Range in Colorado, attending schools in Longmont, Brighton, Boulder and Loveland, Colorado. Two years after graduating from Campion Academy, I married my sweetheart, Regina. We lived in Loveland, Colorado for six years before moving to Mena in western Arkansas.
I love the people of Mena and the friendly easy going way of life here. I have owned and operated my own business since moving to Mena. I enjoy the natural beauty of western Arkansas and being out of doors.
My newspaper column in The Mena Star, An Arkie’s Faith, premiered on January 7, 2016. In March 2017, I published my first book, titled An Arkie's Faith, using articles from the column.