Paul McCartney ‘One On One’ Tour Review by Martin Jones – Saturday December 9 – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

There’s nothing like a stadium to drain any nuance and grace out of live music. The general rule is bigger over better. So while there were plenty of fistpumping, cheeseball performances during Paul McCartney’s show at Suncorp, giant drums and searing guitars razing older Beatles material like ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ and

‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, McCartney somehow delivered on the tour’s ‘One on One’ promise of intimacy by telling plenty of anecdotes and by breaking the stadium group down into smaller ensembles.

The middle section of the epic 40-song set saw the five-piece group huddled at the front of the stage with a small drum kit to summon the first ever pre-Beatles Quarrymen song ‘In Spite Of All The Danger’. Songs like ‘Love Me Do’ and ‘And I Love Her’, performed in this arrangement, were far more effective without the bombast. And a solo rendition of ‘Blackbird’ was human and affecting.

Of course, the Wings material, much of it designed for and performed in larger venues, worked in a stadium setting. ‘Jet’, ‘Let Me Roll It’ (with McCartney joining in on the cutting electric guitar riff and a completely unnecessary ‘Foxy Lady’ coda), ‘Band On The Run’ and ‘Live And Let Die’, complete with KISS-like explosions and pyrotechnics, all filled the arena.

It’s easy to be critical. Watching such a highly competent group’s take on this soundtrack to our lives just made me lament all the more that I never got to see The Beatles, a band that was so incredible because of the members’ limitations and personalities, not despite of them.

And the less said about the ‘multi-media’ visual elements the better.

But grown men were crying in their seats around me. We were seeing a genuine living legend; a cultural icon and a songwriter and storyteller who has been a significant part of all our lives; and, in the end, a phenomenal musician still performing at the elite level, despite his age. McCartney spent 99% of the three-hour show engaging us, me, holding me enthralled, whether goofing about, telling stories about providing Mick Jagger and Keith Richards with their first hit, or singing immortal compositions like ‘Let It Be’, ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Yesterday’. That’s three hours I’ll treasure for the rest of my life.

Martin Jones


Set List:

A Hard Day’s Night

Junior’s Farm

Can’t Buy Me Love


All My Loving

Let Me Roll It

I’ve Got a Feeling

My Valentine

Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five

Maybe I’m Amazed

I’ve Just Seen a Face

In Spite of All the Danger

You Won’t See Me

Love Me Do

And I Love Her


Here Today

Queenie Eye

Play Video

Lady Madonna


Eleanor Rigby

I Wanna Be Your Man

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!


A Day in the Life

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Band on the Run

Back in the U.S.S.R.

Let It Be

Live and Let Die

Hey Jude



Get Back

Mull of Kintyre

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

Helter Skelter

Golden Slumbers

Carry That Weight

The End