Dave Carlock: McCartney concert hits it dead-on

Published 7:51 am Friday, July 26, 2013

Welcome to Part Two of my experience at the Paul McCartney concert in Indianapolis, Ind., on July 14.
Last week, I talked a bit about Paul’s history and the forming of the current band lineup he’s had since  2002.
After arriving at the venue, my teenage daughter and I made our way to the preshow meet and greet, where we connected with my longtime L.A. friend, Brian Ray, who’s been handling second guitar, bass and vocal duties with Paul for the past 11 years.
It was a nice relaxed vibe of about a dozen or so people, unlike many of the “industry town” preshow hangs, which are packed. He was looking great, fit and filled with energy.
Brian asked about how production and mixing was going at my third-floor studio in the Benton Harbor Arts District and we joked about the Funkin’ Rock School kids learning about moving a Rhodes up and down the stairs for their rock concert at Studio 376 during Senior PGA week.
“It’s part of the education!” I said.
My seven-foot grand piano does lives in the first-floor space, but I didn’t think they needed that much education, so I had movers move that back and forth to the venue.
Brian also met up with his other guests, a bevy of beautiful ladies who I later found out were members of “The Whooray Team,” the fan club for “The Bayonets” — Brian’s new band formed with longtime friend and collaborator Oliver Leiber. Some of my earlier work with Brian, pre-Paul, was mixing one of the duo’s songs for a TV project, co-written with Adam Cohen. Glad to see Brian and Oliver forging ahead full steam.
The forming of a fan club is well timed as The Bayonets have scored with two consecutive Top 10 placements on the classic rock charts with their iTunes released singles, “Smartphone” and  “Vagabond Soul,” which features Brian’s Brutha From Anotha Mutha: Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler.
Seriously, it’s like blonde and black haired rock clones when these guys stand next to each other, and their camaraderie comes through in the track.
It was great to introduce my daughter to Brian, keyboardist Wix Wickens and guitarist Rusty Anderson before heading out to the show, which I knew would blow her mind. Her taste is predominantly indie bands like MGMT and Tame Impala, so this would be an experience on the complete opposite end of the scale.
As soon as the opener, “Eight Days a Week” started, I looked over and could tell she was overwhelmed.
The setlist must’ve seemed like a Christmas list of amazing music that had all come to life after being trapped in her iPod and Pandora forever. This is the stuff that Beatlemania was made of being played by arguably, the best pop/rock band in the world, with THAT VOICE.
Some of the Wings material really got me excited, like “Junior’s Farm,” the second song out. I may be more of a Wings fan than I remembered. Hearing “Listen To What The Man Said” with Brian on electric sitar and Wix executing a great sampled/synth version of the soprano sax solo with breath controller was a great surprise.
As often is the case with lighter “pop” songs, when you put some great players and the gonads of a great PA behind the mix, the song really comes to life. Backstage, I met one of Wix’s friends who developed some breath controller sounds to more authentically recreate wind instruments.
Wix is also a horn player and prefers the very best sounds possible, and the results were impressive. Things have come a long way since the DX-7 Harmonica patch, let me tell you
“Let Me Roll It,” another Wings track, featured Rusty and Paul playing the signature guitar licks in stereo. Gotta love that! I first heard them do it on the HD 12.12.12 Benefit Concert broadcast, and live was equally as hot. “Mrs. Vanderbilt,” “Band on the Run,” “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five” and “Hi Hi Hi” were other great Wings cuts that fared really well in the setlist, 40 years after their debut.
Of Paul’s “solo era” tracks, early staples such as “Maybe I’m Amazed” and “Another Day” didn’t disappoint, though amidst a show presentation so authentic to the recordings, I did miss the pitched ascending/descending wood block hook in the “so sad” sections of “Another Day.” I think I heard a cowbell or something? The amazing thing is that this show paid so much attention to all the other hooks in all the other songs that I expected those wood blocks to be there!
At live shows, it’s really hard to keep a detail hound like myself satisfied all night, and the band was blowing me away left and right.
From the ’62-’66 era Beatles catalogue: “Paperback Writer” vocals were dead-on perfect and Rusty’s lead guitar tone was as bull-nosed and prodding as the record. Really blown away. “We Can Work It Out” sounded great as well with Wix on real accordian and Brian on tambourine, which he threw out to the audience after, making someone in the front at stage left quite happy. “And I Love Her” and “I’ve Just Seen a Face” rounded out the acoustic side of things, and “Eleanor Rigby” brought Abe to Brian’s downstage mic for backing vocals in absence of drums.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK: Late era Beatles tracks, a tribute to John and George, and the amazing final encore…


Dave Carlock is a 26-year veteran of the entertainment business whose work as a recording engineer and producer, touring musician and songwriter made him Googleable. His continuing work as an Independent Content Creator of Sound and Image has earned him a Grammy Award certificate, two Platinum Record Awards, and a Paragon Award in advertising. Currently, he brings artists to make records and music videos at his production studio in the Benton Harbor Arts District. www.davecarlock.com