Sunday, June 12, 2005

Paul McCartney in Red Square

Even though Paul McCartney in Red Square doesn't come out for two more days I got a copy last week and finished watching it today. Generally, this is nicely done. However like Macca's other recent concert videos, this one has almost no shots longer than 2 or 3 seconds. This makes the video more exciting but leads to a bit of a frenetic pace and doesn't really let you focus on the band and the players. It would be nice to have at least one McCartney video that focuses on the stage and lets you see what's going on without tons of quick cuts and shots of the audience loving the concert. Also, I think that Paul's voice is starting to show its age occasionally. But I'm certainly not going to criticize him for still rockin' at a ripe old age. That part's just cool.

One real nice touch here is that Paul focused this DVD on what made this concert (actually, two concerts, as a concert in St. Petersburg about a year later is also presented here in a shorter film) unique - where it is being filmed and the songs that he does for these shows. There is a lot of film of the place, of PM visiting sites in Russia, spending some time with Vladimir Putin and the setting itself, as well as a few Russian talking heads speaking of the impact of the Beatles on them 30 years ago and how wonderful it is to see Paul now. This, unfortunately gives the video a sort of self-congratulatory tone which McCartney videos often have. In this case, though, it is an historic concert so I guess it's OK to be pleased with yourself for filling Red Square with fans who were not allowed to buy most of the songs you're playing when they came out!

Finally, during the European leg of McCartney's world tour he replaced about five songs from his Back in the US tour with five other songs (some of which he hadn't ever performed live - like "She's Leaving Home" or "Two of Us") and he made sure that these songs were included on the DVD. Also, the St. Petersburg concert was part of a Europe-only tour from last summer and it also included some songs not seen elsewhere (like "Helter Skelter" and "I've Got a Feeling") and the short St. Petersburg video includes those songs.

So, if you're a Macca fan, buying this is a no-brainer. If you're only a casual fan then here is a chance to see Paul perform many of his biggest hits live in front of a very appreciative audience.

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