The 60’s are making a big come back over 40 years later.
We’ve seen rebooted efforts for “Star Trek”, “The Green
Hornet” is forthcoming, Bob Dylan released a Christmas album
(!), John Fogerty has released a new Blue Ridge Rangers
album and The Beatles remasters finally arrived. Piggybacking
on the last release Paul McCartney (who has been a solo
artist longer than he was a member of The Beatles or his
band Wings)returns with a really good live album that’s
in keeping with the strong late career comeback that Macca
has demonstrated with his last six studio albums (“Flaming
Pie”, “Run Devil Run”, “Driving Rain”, “Chaos and Creation
in the Backyard”, “Memory Almost Full” and the Fireman album
that Macca made with Youth). “Good Evening New York City"
features Macca opening the new Citi Stadium which replaced
Shea Stadium and it’s only fitting that he open it with
the first rock concert there as he and The Beatles did the
same thing for Shea over 40 years ago. Many Macca fans are
probably going “Ugh! ANOTHER McCartney concert CD AND live
DVD?” I’d suggest reading on because this MAY be worthwhile
particularly since the DVD portion has footage from Macca’s
live appearance at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York.
While I’d rather have an “Anthology” type series of
Macca’s unreleased material and outtakes (or the supposed
two albums worth of material that he’s prepared but hasn’t
released yet), “Good Evening New York City" stands among
the best concert albums that Macca has made outside of “Wings
Over America” and “Unplugged”; he tackles a number of Beatles,
Wings and solo classics augmented by some of the best of
his new material. While some of these are not the definitive
version of Beatles or Wings stuff, they crackle with an
energy that makes this among Macca’s stand out live albums.
When artist release live albums they usually act as a summation
of their career to that point or, if nothing else, a closing
of the door on a certain creative period. It’s possible
that’s the case here as well but Macca has released live
albums after each tour and/or DVD’s. The latter have been
horrible not because of the performance but because it spends
too much time on the audience and their reactions/comments.
No fan really wants that. Instead, they want the full performance
of a show or one like it that they have seen and we have
yet to get that (particularly since “Rockshow” Macca’s performance
with Wings from the 1970’s has yet to show up on DVD or
There have been some rumors that Macca used Autotune
on this album because his voice sounds really, really good;
I’ve confirmed that he didn’t use Autotune but that the
shows benefited from being early in the tour schedule. There
may have been some studio overdubs to correct various mistakes
(heck, the Eagles “Live” album for an example of the worst
of these had so much overdubs that it was, essentially,
a studio album for all intents and purposes) but, on the
whole, it appears that Macca has kept “Good Evening New
York” largely intact trying to stay true to the “live” nature
of the album. ***
Songs: CD Disc: 1
1. Drive My Car 2. Jet 3. Only Mama Knows 4. Flaming
Pie 5. Got To Get You Into My Life 6. Let Me Roll It 7.
Highway 8. The Long And Winding Road 9. My Love 10. Blackbird
11. Here Today 12. Dance Tonight 13. Calico Skies 14. Mrs
Vandebilt 15. Eleanor Rigby 16. Sing The Changes 17. Band
On The Run
CD Disc: 2
1. Back In The USSR 2. I'm Down 3. Something 4. I've
Got A Feeling 5. Paperback Writer 6. A Day In The Life /
Give Peace A Chance 7. Let It Be 8. Live And Let Die 9.
Hey Jude 10. Day Tripper 11. Lady Madonna 12. I Saw Her
Standing There 13. Yesterday 14. Helter Skelter 15. Get
Back 16. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band / The End
1. Intro 2. Drive My Car 3. Jet 4. Only Mama Knows 5.
Flaming Pie 6. Got To Get You Into My Life 7. Let Me Roll
It 8. Highway 9. The Long And Winding Road 10. My Love 11.
Blackbird 12. Here Today 13. Dance Tonight 14. Calico Skies
15. Mrs Vandebilt 16. Eleanor Rigby 17. Sing The Changes
18. Band On The Run 19. Back In The USSR 20. I'm Down 21.
Something 22. I've Got A Feeling 23. Paperback Writer 24.
A Day In The Life / Give Peace A Chance 25. Let It Be 26.
Live And Let Die 27. Hey Jude 28. Day Tripper 29. Lady Madonna
30. I Saw Her Standing There 31. Yesterday 32. Helter Skelter
33. Get Back 34. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band /
Performance from Rooftop of Ed Sullivan Theater for
"David Letterman Show" Get Back 35. Sing The Changes 36.
Coming Up 37. Band On The Run 38. Let Me Roll With It 39.
Helter Skelter 40. Back In The USSR 41. Audience Documentary
Film: Good Evening People 42. Full Performance: I'm Down
Image & Sound:
Let’s go with the sound first since that’s the most
important part given that his IS a concert; for a modern
master “Good Evening New York City” sounds better than most
CDs out there. There’s a nice bit of headroom that allows
for some dynamic range. As far as I can tell minimal compression
was used and if there was any peak limiting it was fairly
transparent. In other words you can crank it up! ***
The DVD looks quite good with a sharp transfer. Blacks
are inky and fairly consistent throughout. *** The sound
of the DVD is extremely nice with a full sounding 5.1 mix.
I’m hoping we’ll see this on Blu-ray at some point with
the option of lossless sound but what we do get although
compressed sounds quite good. ---