The opening of the show should be exciting and upbeat. But what song should Paul start with ? Of course, "Venus and Mars / Rock Show" is an obvious choice, but not only has it already been done, it alludes to bigger venues like "Madison Square" and the "Hollywood Bowl", which might give lazy journalists an excuse to give a few digs. "Band on the Run" would also be a good opener, especially since it builds, and would send the crowd into a frenzy. However, I decided to go with a hit song that has rarely been played live, is a favorite of fans, and provides a good rocking start:
1. JUNIOR'S FARM
Of course, the reference to gas prices will unfortunately still be relevant. The only problem would be the line about the president (originally about Nixon), which might have to be rewritten. What rhymes with "President"? Maybe something like "heaven sent"? Plus, I'd love to Paul exclaim, " Take me down, Rusty ! "
2. FLAMING PIE
And now for something more recent. Paul loves this one. It's the title track from his great, Grammy-nominated 1997 album. Keeps the momentum going, and a bit of a Beatles reference to boot !
Back in the 1990's, Paul gave an interview where he said he didn't really like performing this one, even though it's possibly his most played solo hit on "Classic Rock" radio. I'm not sure if he still feels this way, but let's get it out of the way, just in case he does.
4. SILLY LOVE SONGS
"Silly Love Songs" ? Really? "SILLY LOVE SONGS" ?!?! YES "SILLY LOVE SONGS" !!!!! This was one of his biggest hits, which went up the charts as Wings Over America crossed the country in the year of our bi-centennial. When I saw Rod Stewart in 2004, he closed the main set - not with "Maggie May", but "Do You Think I'm Sexy" - and the crowd went wild ! Even though the song will be forever linked to the disco era, this is a catchy song, makes you feel good when you hear it, and it has a killer bass line. It will get the crowd dancing. It will also separate the "Beatle" fans from the "Macca" fans. This is kind of Paul's manifesto. And what's wrong with that?
5. MY BRAVE FACE
Paul's minor hit from the late 1980's, written with Elvis Costello. A return to form, and something worth revisiting. It will also keep the momentum up.
6. COMING UP
Paul big hit from 1980, from the end of the Wings-era. (It was released as a live Wings track as well as a song on McCartney II, where Paul played all the instruments). This song also holds a special place in Paul's heart, as John Lennon complimented the single in one of his last interviews.