OK, I’m going to be a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem.
When it was announced the Paul McCartney was going to headline the 2015 Lollapalooza Festival, I was disgusted.
Lolla used to be a traveling circus of edgy alternative groups with cult status rather than mainstream chart toppers.
Now it is calling Chicago its home and had grown into a megamonster event and a lot more mainstream acts have joined in on the act. But Paul McCartney? He’s older than some kids’ great grandfathers for gosh sakes. This is just so wrong in so many ways.
Let the guy sell out Wrigley Field. Let him sell out Soldier Field. But keep him out of Lollapalooza, pal-eeze.
Oh, well, I am spitting in the wind if I think that it’s going to change. Sir Paul will be there with his AFM and AARP cards on July 31 whether I like it or not.
So I will suggest a set list from his career more worthy of Lollapalooza.
First off, Sir Paul has a lot of lame garbage in his collection. So we’ll allow him a few soft ballads but NOTHING from “Give My Regards to Broad Street.” No “Ebony and Ivory” either.
Let’s keep this bad boy to about 90 minutes because if it goes any longer, the real McCartney fans will be nodding off to sleep because it will be past our, er, their bedtime. And they have to get home to soak their feet.
So here is what Sir Paul should play:
Revolution: Let’s open the show with a big scream and some guitars and catch the attention of the teens in the crowd wondering “Why am I here?” This Beatles rocker should get the show off on a good note.
Back in the U.S.S.R.: As long as we have everybody on their feet, let’s throw in this Chuck Berry romp that the Beatles covered.
Another Day: This give us old goats, er, those old goats a chance to sit down and rest with this medium-tempo hit from the early days of his solo career.
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey: Another big hit from his early solo career, this song is so offbeat some of the shoegazers and avant garde crowd in the funny outfits might stop what they are doing and give it a listen.
Helter Skelter: OK, everybody back on their feet again! Make it loud enough to let Mr. Manson hear it in his cell in California.
I’m Down: A short Beatles B-side with more screaming and guitar that is worth plugging in here.
Ballroom Dancing: Not too fast. Not too slow. It’s just a cool song from his “Tug of War” album that isn’t played too much, but is worth reviving here.
Transpiritual Stomp: Now THIS is the ultimate McCartney Lolla song. Few know or remember that Sir Paul started up a group called The Fireman and recorded some offbeat songs. This is more Brian Eno than Brian Epstein. This song, off the 1993 “Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest” is an ambient techno piece that should fascinate some of the younger crowd and, if it is played in its full nine minutes, could give the older crowd time for a little nap. I would add more of his Fireman work to the concert, but this is all one big moneygrab, so let’s just stick with some of the basics.
You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away: I’ve always been bored by this song except when Pearl Jam puts its spin on it. So, we bring up Eddie Vedder to play guitar and sing it and let Sir Paul take a three- or four-minute break.
Rock Show: This is just a great, great live song from his Wings days for a festival of this size and he can change the lyrics around to localize Chicago and the Lollapalooza fest.
Live and Let Die: This is a good spot for another Wings-ding for rock fans and James Bond fans as well.
Hi, Hi, Hi: OK, we’re done with the Wings era after this fist-in-the-air rocker.
I Saw Her Standing There: Ratchet this baby up like Elton John and John Lennon did many years ago and you have a great way to end the regular part of this event.
And now for the one encore:
Hey Jude: He can’t leave town without playing this one, but how can we make this special?
Well, when it’s time for the na-na-na-na-na part of the song, various acts from the fest can start to fill the stage. You can have Florence and her Machine. You can have members of TV on the Radio, Of Monsters and Men, the Alabama Shakes with the Shakey Graves, the Black Tiger Sex Machine, Mista Cookie Jar and the Chocolate Chips, Sam Smith and even one of the chaps from Metallica to all cram the stage and have the tens of thousands of fans na-na-na-ing in unison for about 10 minutes.
Sounds like a good show. Now, I’ll go out and buy a ticket…