Dave Carlock: McCartney concert part 4

Published 7:50 am Friday, August 9, 2013

Welcome to the fourth and final segment on my experiences surrounding the Paul McCartney concert in Indianapolis on July 14.

Before the show, a reconnect with Jay Elliott, singer/guitarist from the Indianapolis pop/rock band Stereo Deluxe, started the evening off on the right foot. Hearing that I was coming to see the show, Jay contacted me and invited my daughter and me to meet up with him at Lorenzo’s Ristorante downtown Indy, THE perfect pre-show dinner destination when attending Bankers Life Fieldhouse, which is just a block away.

Lorenzo’s was solid, upscale, Italian cooking; proven in the delicious Pear Salad, Spinach and Cheese Ravioli, and Penne Alla Vodka that were *all* to die for. We were humbled that Jay rolled out the red carpet for us, and I was excited to hear what Stereo Deluxe had been up to since I last saw them, when they participated in on camera interviews a while back for Dave Carlock’s Funkin’ Rock Road Trip.

After dinner, we simply walked to the field house. Couldn’t have been easier. Last week, I left off detailing the setlist near the conclusion of Paul’s set, which we knew was inevitable as soon as we heard him strike the opening piano chords to Wings’ James Bond anthem, “Live and Let Die.” The song’s first verse always feels like a slow climb up a rollercoaster’s first incline, knowing what’s about to occur: large scale pyrotechnics.

During the onslaught, enormous 20-foot tall hellfire blasts erupted across the full stagefront, obscuring the entire band as the rocket’s red glare of firework explosions never failed to startle everyone in the stadium. Being lulled by the song’s easy ballad intro insured the 1-2 punch. My daughter snapped a fantastic photo that captured the Mt. Vesuvius-like eruption in the stadium. The pyro crew and the venue’s fire chief must’ve gotten joint satisfaction watching the show’s reduced powder packs sail to perfect height for a 150-plus foot tall indoor venue as opposed to outdoor stadiums, in a stunning feat of bombast and marvelous controlled chaos.

The set’s denouement and final song, “Hey Jude,” served to soothe the nerves of the frazzled like a hymn, the one that no one ever needs the overhead projector. There is no experience quite like singing “Hey Jude” with 18,000 people, I promise you.

The first encore was nothing but feel-good rocking elation featuring “Day Tripper,” “Hi, Hi, Hi,” and “I Saw Her Standing There.” Guitarist Brian Ray really killed the slide solo in “Hi, Hi, Hi,” one of my favorites. I briefly mentioned that three weeks ago, but you know what? It was worth mentioning again!

The second and final encore expanded in its scope of musicality: “Yesterday” was a prerequisite choice for its beauty and legacy as one of the most performed songs in popular music history. Then “Helter Skelter” kicked off in full tone scream from Brian’s two Divided by Thirteen BTR23 amps.

The song’s sense of unleashed anarchy was further underpinned by a monstrous back-screen LCD graphic presentation that made the audience feel it was falling wildly into a geometrical abyss. All the while, stereo electric guitars groaned and droned like twisting girders in a collapsing structure — overstruck open E strings rose to F naturals and fell back again over and over under Brian & Rusty’s relentless downstrokes. Incredible.

But to end it all? The well-known song medley pulled from Abbey Road’s B-side: “Golden Slumbers,” “Carry That Weight,” and “The End.” The vocal harmonies in the closing four bars of “The End” have to be one of the finest harmonic cleansings and resolutions in pop music. That final musical movement sent us all home with one resounding, lasting thought: PAUL IS NOT DEAD.

Thanks again Brian and Jay for an amazing evening that took four weeks of this column to even begin to describe adequately, and as always, for your continuing friendships.

**And for those of you interested in the fan club for Brian’s new band, The Bayonets, search online for the Whooray Team. A fan club with a social conscience, they’ve made contributions as gifts in Brian’s name to charitable organizations such as The MD Anderson Cancer Clinic, MusiCares and Petadoptionfund.org.
©2013 27 Sounds, Inc. 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 national and international artists to make records and music videos at his production studio in the Benton Harbor Arts District. www.davecarlock.com