Paul McCartney's Good Evening New York City celebrates the opening of Citi Field, the brand new baseball stadium of the New York Mets, that was built right next door to old Shea Stadium. If you're a Beatles fan (and maybe even if you're not) then you know about the Fab Four's historic night at Shea in 1965. It was rock 'n roll's first outdoor stadium concert.
It's easy to dismiss Good Evening as a clone of McCartney's last live album, Back in The U. S. Live 2002, and that is because seventeen of it's thirty-five tracks appear on both of the double disc sets. The two releases even sound alike at times so the best way to get the full effect and most enjoyment out of Good Evening is to watch its accompanying DVD on your home theater system. The sound is amazing and you'll believe you're right there fighting the crowd for a place in the front row.
Despite the repetition Good Evening does have a few surprises. "A Day In The Life," "I've Got A Feeling," "I'm Down," "Helter Skelter," and Mrs. Vanderbilt are all featured here. "Let Me Roll It" has a hot rendition of Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady" tacked onto the end. Because of the supersized venue the band leaned toward the harder rocking stuff yet there were still enough McCartney ballads to keep those fans happy too. Billy Joel paid the ex-Beatle back for his appearance at Joel's concert that closed Shea by helping McCartney out on "I Saw Her Standing There." The songs needing strings or an orchestra (most notably "A Day In The Life" and "Eleanor Rigby") suffered because keyboard player Paul "Wix" Wickens replaced them with a synthesizer instead but that is a minor complaint.
Overall, it was an enjoyable two and a half hours of non-stop music. For a little while Beatlemania was back in New York.