Album Review: Good Evening New York City by Paul McCartney
Fairly Good, Based on 3 Critics
Entertainment Weekly - 79 Based on rating B+
This two-CD/one-DVD document of Paul McCartney’s July 2009 stand at New York’s Shea-replacing Citi Field will give obsessives who’re almost done sifting through the sonic nuances of the reissued Beatles catalog an opportunity to hear how one of the two surviving Fabs plays those sainted songs these days: well and faithfully. With more than half of this two-and-a-half-hour-plus bonanza composed of spirited versions of Beatles chestnuts, this blast of freshly minted nostalgia almost seems too pat. Still, the party vibe on Good Evening New York City is so contagious you might find yourself cheering for that song you don’t even know from the Fireman’s last album.
Unlike its 2002 predecessor, Back in the U. S. /Back in the World, Good Evening New York City doesn’t cherrypick highlights from a tour, it commemorates a specific event: the inauguration of Citi Field -- the replacement for the now-defunct Shea Stadium, where the Beatles played a legendary show in 1965 -- in the summer of 2009.
When it comes to a Paul McCartney concert at a sports venue in 2009, you know what you're going to get-- a little Wings, maybe some solo stuff, a whole lot of Beatles, and some stadium-sized production values, with a fair helping of do-you-feel-like-I-do stage banter. The CD portion of Good Evening New York City cuts to the quick, however, omitting as much banter as possible despite being spread out over two discs. At first, this seems to defeat the purpose of the live-concert-on-disc experience.