After the 2002-3 world tours Paul continued to record, tour and work on projects. His short lived marriage to Heather Mills ended with much turmoil and many of the songs on his next two releases (CHAOS AND CREATION IN THE BACKYARD (2005) and MEMORY ALMOST FULL (2007)) dealt with the changes. He also released the TWIN FREAKS in 2007 and the classical ECCE COR MEUM in 2007.
He toured the U.S. to support CHAOS in 2005 (I saw him in Miami) and in 2007 played various high profile shows, promoting MEMORY highly in the set list. The reviews of both albums were outstanding, and Paul was more than willing to play these tracks live.
This is exactly the type of gig that Paul loves. Small, intimate loving crowd that hangs on every note. Even the new songs are cherished by this audience of 700.
The Ameoba Gig
Some screamed adulations. Others danced with religious fervor. Hundreds waved peace signs in the air with eternal devotion. Many wept at the sight of him. Outside the unfortunate were forced to stand and peer through windows just to get a glimpse of a living icon. Sir Paul McCartney was singing “Drive My Car”…inside a record store.
Amoeba Music Hollywood was chosen as McCartney’s next stop on a promotional “mini tour” for his latest album 2007’s “Memory Almost Full.”
Only an hour after the official announcement on Monday the tried and true McCartney fans began to line up outside the store with lawn chairs and McCartney memorabilia in hand.
By Wednesday night a lucky seven hundred fans, some coming all the way from Japan, were let into the show.
Beatlemania descended upon Amoeba for the biggest show in the store’s history. Fans camped out on the street for days for this once in a lifetime chance to get up close and personal with Paul.
Celebrities like Woody Harrelson and Alanis Morrisette could be found in the crowd but none could compare to the arrival of Ringo Starr.
Although only coming to lend support to a friend the former Beatle drummer was practically mobbed as he stood in the crowd to watch the show.
AMEOBA GIG is taken from the recordings of a secret performance at Amoeba Music in Hollywood, California, on 27 June 2007, and released in its full format in July 2019.
Parts of the performance were released in November 2007 as “Amoeba’s Secret”, a limited edition 12″ vinyl record, and again in January 2009 on CD.
Three tracks from the Amoeba’s Secret release were also released as B-sides for the “Ever Present Past” single in November 2007.
In 2010, the set was released as Live in Los Angeles, a 12-track CD version given away free with the Daily Mail newspaper.
In 2012, an extended version of the Daily Mail CD was released by Paul McCartney’s website, adding two additional tracks.
The complete Amoeba Gig show, with all 21 songs and remixed by McCartney’s engineer Steve Orchard, was finally released on 12 July 2019 on CD, vinyl, and digital download.
This is the version I will review.
It is Paul with his touring band, but Paul “Wix” Wickens didn’t play on this show and replaced by keyboardist David Arch.
Number of Songs: 21
Songs of Paul (solo): 7 (33%)
Songs of Wings: 1 (4.7%)
Songs of Others 2 (9.5%)
Songs of Beatles 11 (52.4%)
As we can see this is a shorter set list than the band would do in a regular concert set list. The solo songs are basically pulled from MEMORY, and the only Wings track was “C Moon.”
This review is going to be simple. This may be the finest example of Paul and this recording/touring band officially released. The playing of the entire band is near perfection. They are all obviously loving this gig. Even missing Wix isn’t a factor, with Arch handling everything perfectly.
McCartney’s voice is amazing, and the remix of the full show on the 2019 release is breathtaking.
Yes, we have heard these songs before, and still to this day, but unless noted, these are some of the best, if not the best, live versions of these songs I have ever heard.
“Drive My Car”
“Only Mama Knows”
- All of these are rated a solid 9….. as are….
-Paul and the band make me love a song I have never loved before.
“The Long And Winding Road”
“I’ll Follow The Sun”
- Paul has so much fun with this…with 5 mini reprises of the chorus where he usually does one or two.
“That Was Me”
-Rating of 9 for all of these gems.
-The first flawed. Tender, loving attempt, but even in 2007 Paul struggles on the vocals. Maybe “Getting Better” or some other acoustic ballad (“Footprints” from PRESS TO PLAY?) would have worked for me…. Rating – 7
-The highlight. With Ringo, and others who knew John in the crowd, Paul breaks down emotionally near the end, but carries it to the finish line. He points out after… “It’s okay for men to cry.” It’s impossible not to listen to this and not be affected. Rating -10
“Back In The U.S.S.R.”
“Nod Your Head”
“House Of Wax”
“I’ve Got A Feeling”
All Ratings are a delightful 9
-Since Richard Starkey is in the crowd, Paul does the usual soundcheck song as a tribute to the man who sang it back in the day.
Done a bit too loosey goosey for me. Maybe this was the time to do a tribute to him, like “Photograph” or “Yellow Submarine?” Rating – 7.5
-Simply fantastic version. Everyone there wanted to…“get back.”
-Paul has done this before… pretending to sing a piano ballad and launch into an old-time favorite. He’s done it usually before “Hey Jude” each of the times, with “Baby Face” and “Tip Toe Thru The Tulips” and once about a naughty limerick and then he stops the band. He takes a beat and sings… “Hey Jude..” And he has them…..
He has done “Baby Face” in the studio with “One Hand Clapping” video and I believe he also when he was in New Orleans recording VENUS AND MARS and he did an amazing job. This was a just a lure….. Rating – 7
-Traditional way he did it in that period. With 700 people…. Many of whom “were great.” By the way, the girls section kicked the mens ass and he had them do a second verse.
Rating – 8
“Let It Be”
“I Saw Her Standing There”
-All done great by Paul and the band…. And after thanks all around he again says….“See you next time.”
Rating – all 9’s
This is the kind of gig that the biggest artists love. While he has dazzled nearly 200,000 in South America, it’s the “he can see every single fans face in the crowd” that makes Paul and this band take it up at least a notch.
The Cavern Club, Grand Central Station, On The Roof at Letterman Show etc… these are all gigs Paul and his band will remember most.
Overall this amazing release gets a rating of 8.73/10.
The highest rating for a live album so far!!! Up next…. 2009’s “GOOD EVENING NEW YORK CITY.”