It's a tiny planet, really, and most of the people on it have some love for the songs of Paul McCartney. And so to simmery-summery Boston he comes, to the hysterical green bowl of Fenway Park, this sly, gangsterish old boy with his legend in his back pocket. He looks good, a vision of vegetarian slimness, narrow-trousered, Cuban-heeled, sliding between guitars and pianos on familiar elegant-ungainly Beatle legs. He sold out this show in five minutes, I'm told.
Crowdpleaser, deliverer: "All My Loving" is the first number, and the joy of the audience is instantly complete. He could end it here, really, take one of his impressively low bows and call it a night. But he doesn't--he plays for another nine hours. Or five hours. For several hours, anyway, without ever (as far as we can tell) a sip of water. This is hard, hard rocking. And loud, too: The incredible, beautiful matrimonial bombast of "Maybe I'm Amazed" properly shakes the place. Maybe I'm amazed at the way you love me all the time... Shouldn't he be streaming with tears as he sings this? No--he's Paul McCartney. Huge latitudes of emotion conveyed with boisterous professionalism, with showbiz invincibility. So we get the wink, the head-toss, the comically lengthened upper lip, the full arsenal of insouciance. My companion for the evening is a McCartney nutter, a real Macca-head, rapt in her enjoyment even as she trains her formidable critical mind upon his performance. "Another song of empathy," she shouts in my ear after a thumping, flawless run-through of "Lady Madonna". "Always taking the woman's side. He's very woman-identified."